Girlfriend magazine launches self-esteem campaign, editor: ‘this is not a response to Cleo anti-airbrushing protest’

Girls magazine Girlfriend has launched a campaign around body image in young women.

Launched in the Pacific Magazine’s September issue, the Project You campaign sees a number of photoshoots featuring non-models without retouching.

The launch comes just days after Girlfriend’s ACP rival Cleo has been the subject of an anti-photoshop protest.

September issue

The campaign is to run for 12 months aims to promote its readers’ commitment to self-esteem and share their stories and pictures with the magazine.

Sarah Tarca, editor of Girlfriend, said Project You was not in response to the protest against Cleo, but had been in the works since April after a reader body image survey.

Tarca said: “This was something we had to address. The idea of body image was saturated in the market but the core is self esteem.”

Girlfriend magazine does include some photoshopped images of young women, but indicates which are photoshopped and which aren’t with a labeling system called ‘Reality Checks’.

“Reality checks say whether an image has been retouched or not, or it can demystify the glamour of the industry to include how long the shoot took to take a particular photo, or make-up used – it’s a media literacy tool. It makes our readers smart and aware as to what goes into a shoot,” she said.

On the Cleo anti-photoshopping protest, Tarca said: “Each women’s magazine stick to its own body policy and doesn’t change the body shape of girls. But perhaps it is about removing mottled skin from goose pimples because it’s cold outside.”

Project You features a panel of self-esteem experts to help answer questions and give advice, as well as celebrities Ruby Rose, Miranda Tapsell, Sarah De Bono and Johnny Ruffo showing their support.


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