Nightly News | July 05, 2012
>>> finally tonight, proof that girl power works. a teenage girl found it distressing that the girls in her ballet class repeatedly complained they were too fat when they were anything but. that eighth grader was inspired to take action and that included going up against a popular magazine she thought might be part of the problem. nbc's mara schiavocampo has our report.
>> reporter: in pitfield, maine 14-year-old julia bloom isn't afraid to step up or to speak out.
>> after i retire from ballet i definitely want to do activist work.
>> reporter: this spring julia started asking her middle school friends what they thought of the glossy, ultra perfect images in teen magazines like "17." she found that many girls were turned off by pictures that were photo shopped and air brushed.
>> these pictures make me feel really bad about myself.
>> reporter: so julia decided to fight back.
>> why don't you back off?
>> reporter: she started a video blog and online petition asking "17" magazine to include at least one unaltered photo spread each month, writing, i want to see regular girls that look like me.
>> it shows girls that there are more than one types of beauty.
>> reporter: critics say twle comes to being bombarded with glamorous photos in magazines and ads teenagers are especially vulnerable.
>> they compare themselves to the images they see when they're forming their self-esteem and sense of who they'll be in the world, and it gives them an unrealistic image to live up to.
>> reporter: julia 's crusade struck a nerve with supporters posting their own videos online .
>> it's wrong on so many levels.
>> reporter: and flocking to the petition. 84,000 signatures in all. this month the magazine announced a body image peace treaty . reaffirming its commitment to never change girls' body or face shapes but saying the magazine will continue to retouch minor imperfections like stray hairs and pimples.
>> started as just a petition and i feel like we've grown into a whole movement.
>> reporter: a movement to change what girls see in magazines and in the mirror. mara schiavocampo, nbc news, new york.