TED Blog

nadia-bluhm_topic15-year old Julia Bluhm is a ballet dancer and body image activist. That’s right. Ballet, an activity that conjures images of super slim prima ballerinas gracefully passing up french fries in favor of pirouettes. And body image activism, where passionate advocates remind us all that we’re beautiful just the way we are. You might see a disconnect, but Julia sees an opportunity; having seen her ballet friends struggle with body issues, she decided to do something about it.

In April 2012, she and her friend Izzy started a Change.org petition asking Seventeen magazine to feature fewer photoshopped images of models. They didn’t expect a big response, so what happened next was a shock.

Within days, the petition had over 25,000 signatures. One night in early May, Julia came home from ballet to find that she was booked to fly from Maine to New York the next morning to appear on…

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