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Seventeen magazine promises to stop manipulating photos of models

In response to a girl-led campaign to change the way women are portrayed in the media, Seventeen magazine has vowed to stop photoshopping its models and to promote healthy body images for its young readers. 

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Julia Bluhm of Waterville, Maine, holds up a copy of Seventeen magazine when she led a protest outside Hearst Corp. headquarters in New York in May 2012. In response, editor Ann Shoket promised that the magazine would promote healthy body images and not manipulate photographs.

Leanne Italie/AP

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Score one for girl power.

A 14-year-old Maine ballet dancer who led a crusade against altered photos in Seventeen magazine now has a promise from top editor Ann Shoket to leave body shapes alone, reserving Photoshop for the stray hair, clothing wrinkle, errant bra strap or zit.

And when Ms. Shoket or her staff do manipulate images, she vowed in the August issue, they'll 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.

The young activist, Julia Bluhm, said Friday from her summer camp she's "really excited."

"I didn't think it would get this big," she said. "It's a really great surprise for me."

Julia and her mom, Mary Beiter, sat down with Shoket in New York in early May to discuss the thousands of signatures on the Waterville girl's online petition at Change.org. Julia declared victory after Shoket's announcement, ending with more than 84,000 signatures.

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