Seventeen magazine, which has survived for years with stories and photos accentuating body image, giving every girl the dream that she, too, could have a model's figure and acne-free skin (and a hot prom date), is finally changing its editorial policy, thanks to 14-year-old Maine ballet dancer Julia Bluhm, who led a crusade against altered photos in the magazine.
Top editor Ann Shoket, a Pennsbury High grad, has promised in the new issue to leave body shapes alone, reserving Photoshop for the stray hair, clothing wrinkle, errant bra strap or zit.
And when Seventeen does manipulate images, Shoket vowed that it will post before and after shots on the magazine's Tumblr page for full transparency.
Shoket's promises are included in a "body peace treaty" that also commits the magazine to always feature healthy girls and models regardless of clothing size.
Bluhm said Friday from her summer camp she's "really excited."
Now, two of Bluhm's fellow bloggers from SPARK Summit, a group of girls and young women trying to end the sexualization of girls in the media, are targeting Teen Vogue to make the same commitment.
"I'm not saying it's a total victory," said Lynn Grefe, president of the National Eating Disorders Association. "Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Vogue, Cosmo, every magazine still has ads for diet products and other things that we find problematic, but in terms of the Photoshopping stuff, I believe that Ann is sincere and wants to really educate the consumer and work with the girls and show them what has been Photoshopped and how to recognize that."
Bluhm had asked Seventeen to run at least one unaltered photo spread a month, saying Seventeen and other magazines put pressure on girls to emulate perfect-looking models without realizing images have been doctored. Manipulated images, Grefe said, contribute to eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem among girls as young as 8.
So at the same time there's also this pressure for girls to be skinnier, more children than ever are obese. It's tough being a kid.
> As North Korea doesn't seem all that concerned with embargoes or sanctions, the country's probably not too worried about violating intellectual property rights.
That's why Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Tigger and Winnie the Pooh took the stage in a concert for new leader Kim Jong Un and footage from "Snow White," "Dumbo," "Beauty and the Beast" and other Disney movies played on a massive backdrop, according to still photos shown on state TV.
Zenia Mucha, the chief spokesperson for Disney, said the use of the characters in the performance was neither licensed or authorized.
Note to North Korea: You don't get to hate America and love Mickey Mouse. It's all or nothing.
> Angelina Jolie is in Bosnia to attend the Sarajevo Film Festival, this time as the city's honorary citizen.
She arrived in Sarajevo Saturday with three of her children.
Can you imagine how many frequent-flier miles those kids have?
> Brian Oxman, who was once an attorney for Michael Jackson, has lost his license and will no longer be able to practice law in California.
Oxman and his wife reportedly mixed clients' and personal funds to evade creditors. Oxman's wife is his law partner.
Michael's former doctor, Conrad Murray, lost his license to practice medicine — or whatever it was he practiced.
Michael's former chauffeur had better drive carefully.
> Justin Bieber was cited for speeding Friday, said Officer Ming Hsu of the California Highway Patrol.
Bieber told officers he was being chased by paparazzi.
The claim of a chase is backed by Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, a former veteran police officer, who called authorities after seeing Bieber's distinctive chrome Fisker Karma being chased by five or six other cars.
On his morning commute to City Hall, Zine said, he saw Bieber's sports car drive up behind him and zoom around him, weaving wildly in and out of traffic while five or six other cars gave chase.
Zine estimated the chase exceeded 100 mph as paparazzi engaged in wild maneuvers to keep up with Bieber, including driving on the shoulder and cutting off other vehicles.
"The way [Bieber] was driving was totally reckless, I would have arrested him if I had pulled him over," said Zine. "I wouldn't have given him a ticket and let him go."
Here's the thing about outrunning paparazzi, Justin: Wherever you're going, they're already there.