NEW YORK – Days after a campaign led by a 14-year-old Maine girl secured a promise from Seventeen magazine not to alter body shapes in photographs, more teens protested against Teen Vogue on Wednesday with “Keep it Real” signs and a makeshift red carpet.

About half a dozen girls high-fived each other as they walked near the magazine’s office in Times Square. They’ve collected more than 28,000 signatures in just over a week asking Teen Vogue to follow Seventeen’s lead in declaring an end to digitally manipulating images.

The girls, affiliated with the protest group SPARK Movement inspired by Waterville eighth-grader Julia Bluhm, said Teen Vogue and other magazines read by vulnerable young readers present an unrealistic notion of beauty, threatening their self-esteem and leading to depression and eating disorders.

One of the protest organizers, 17-year-old Emma Stydahar of suburban Croton-on-Hudson, was a Teen Vogue subscriber in middle school.

“I remember looking through these magazines and thinking, ‘Oh, I wish I had her legs. I wish I had her waist.’ It was, like, this is what beautiful is and this is what I look like,” she said.

Teen Vogue said in a written statement that it makes a “conscious and continuous effort to promote a positive body image among our readers.” Like Seventeen’s top editor, Ann Shoket, Teen Vogue agreed to a private meeting with the girls.


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