Teens confront sexualization of girls in media

WATERVILLE, Maine — This quaint New England town seems an unlikely garrison from which to wage digital-media warfare. But as Seventeen magazine editors have learned, youth activism can be ignited anywhere, given the right spark.

In April, Waterville eighth-grader Julia Bluhm, 14, journeyed to Manhattan to protest Seventeen’s practice of retouching photos, making girls and young women look sexier and less flawed. After an interview with CNN, she was invited to the magazine to discuss her objections and spent an hour doing just that. Bluhm and her teammates at SPARK — which stands for Sexualization Protest: Action, Resistance, Knowledge — eventually collected more than 84,000 signatures on their anti-Photoshopping petition, distributed online through

Your comment is subject to the rules of our Posting Policy

This comment may appear on your public profile. Public Profile FAQ

We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of