Protest group urges Cleo magazine to stop using digitally altered images of girls

Cleo has been targeted by a protest group which wants the young women’s magazine to stop photoshopping images of girls.

More than 4,000 people have signed a petition in the latest campaign led by social activist platform

The campaign was started by a 20-year old TAFE student at Melbourne’s RMIT.

The protest follows a similar campaign by an American teenager that saw Seventeen Magazine commit to stop changing girls’ body or face shapes.

Among the comments on the petition, was: “It’s time to change, Cleo. Culture won’t accept this anymore. It’s time to get with the times. No more airbrushed beauty queens!”

Another comment read: “I’m signing because I struggled with self esteem and bullying during my school years, and I want to make a difference for young girls like me.” campaigns director Karen Skinner commented: “It’s been incredible to watch Jessica’s campaign take off. Between asking all her friends to sign her petition and sharing it on social media, Jessica’s been able to get 4,000 to join her campaign. It’s obviously struck a chord with the community.”

ACP, Cleo’s publisher, was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.


  1. Daniel-Jacob Santhou
    16 Aug 12
    12:18 pm

  2. That’s interesting: “Culture won’t accept this anymore”.

    More like: People who can relate to this petition and cause won’t accept this.

    Culture is defined by people. Sometimes, media influences the cultural ‘perceived values’ of its relevant audience.

    For people who don’t like this, they don’t need to ‘consume it’. It is about aspiration after all.

    What will happen next? Stop wearing make-up (that’s not who you are). Don’t go to the solarium. Stop with the hair extensions. Don’t wear high heels.

    All these negative connotations. It is a contradiction to the essence of the intended message these ‘activists’ are leaning towards, simple as that.

    For men, it’s the same: guys with buff bodies gracing covers of magazines, perfect white teeth, getting the girl of your dream.

    These are all aspirational values. Whether we choose to adhere to them or follow suit, it totally up to that individual.


  3. Rob
    16 Aug 12
    12:31 pm

  4. well they didnt do a good job on that cover – mila kunis looks fatter than she is!!

  5. Phil ohren
    16 Aug 12
    1:12 pm

  6. You should watch this program. Alisha from a band in the UK tried for 6 months to get on the front cover of a mag untouched…

  7. Sandy Morris
    16 Aug 12
    2:20 pm

  8. No they shouldn’t stop using digitally enhanced images. Perhaps for the uneducated they could put a warning on the front of magazine covers advising people it is digitally enhanced. It’s not hard to get 4000 signatures on a petition these days. Another day another petition thanks to social media. Perhaps we should educate our girls and start early if you can make time.

  9. Anthony Bull
    16 Aug 12
    2:41 pm

  10. I have always been torn on this issue, as on one hand I dislike the image that these magazines portray because it makes women (like my fiancee) feel inadequate and they do buy products in the attempt to look as good as airbrushed hotties who grace magazine covers.

    However from a marketing and functional point of view, not airbrushing these women and altering the picture in photoshop will help sales (where as having a natural look will hinder sales).

    In my opinion however, they should only alter small features in a photo (such as removing a scar or a spot where the model may have broken out in a pimple or 2) and adjust the colour and lighting etc.

  11. Wayne
    16 Aug 12
    3:34 pm

  12. This is SO tired! Much of the magazine industry is “fantasy’. That’s what they sell, that’s why people buy it! For just $7.95 an issue you can look at cars you’ll never drive, celebrities you’ll never meet, fashion you’ll never afford, perfect people with teeth that can’t get any whiter. If I want to look at ugly, I’ll look at my work colleagues, thanks very much! They put fat, unretouched people on the cover and sales will fall 95% and the editor would (and should) get the sack! The argument’s trite, pointless and juvenile.

  13. Paris
    16 Aug 12
    6:01 pm

  14. Stephen Colbert said it best a few days ago:

    Are there really unattainable standards of beauty, or are a lot of women just not tyring hard enough?

    Losen up people – these aspirational images of women have led me to be the beautifully put together, perfectly made up, botoxed woman I am today. You don’t see me complaining about a lack of men…just sayin’.

  15. Galba
    17 Aug 12
    12:43 pm

  16. Has anyone considered that it’s not necessarily the magazines promoting unattainable beauty, but that humans are simply ugly in general?