Two teenage girls on a mission to stamp out airbrushing in Teen Vogue say they were rudely brushed off by the magazine’s top editor.
Seventeen-year old Emma Stydahar and 16-year-old Carina Cruz staged a mock fashion show Tuesday in New York City’s Times Square to protest the magazine’s practice of digitally altering the body shapes of models who appear in its pages. They then met with Teen Vogue Editor in Chief Amy Astley on Wednesday to deliver a petition with more than 28,000 signatures in support of their efforts.
But instead of discussing Stydahar and Cruz’s request to stop Photoshopping models, the teens said Astley and her staff spared just five minutes to give them copies of Teen Vogue, telling them to “learn about the magazine.”
“It was kind of shocking how rude they were to us,” Cruz said, according to the Associated Press.
Theirs is a very different experience from what 14-year-old Julia Bluhm had earlier this year with Seventeen magazine: Bluhm sat down with Editor in Chief Ann Shoket and presented her with a petition with similar requests. Shoket promised in the magazine’s August issue not to alter body shapes in photographs.
Stydahar and Cruz had been hoping for the same result from Teen Vogue, which has an approximately 1 million circulation and goes out to girls as young as 10 years old.
“We assumed Teen Vogue would also want to hear what their readers think and do everything they can to help girls feel better about themselves and their bodies,” Cruz said. “Instead, they sat with us for five minutes and told us to do our homework.”
In a statement to the Associated Press, Teen Vogue said it is “always open to readers’ feedback” and was “receptive to meeting with Emma and Carina to give them an opportunity to discuss their concerns.”
The magazine, which previously said it makes a “conscious and continuous effort to promote a positive body image among our readers,” added that “we feature dozens of non-models and readers every year and do not retouch them to alter their body size. We will continue to show real girls on the pages of our magazine.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.