Cleo Magazine: Stop digitally altering images to change appearances #RealGirlsCleo
  • Petitioned Cleo Magazine Australia
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

Cleo Magazine Australia
Cleo Editor
Gemma Crisp
See response
Photo Editor
Jo Bainbridge
Art Director
Yvonne Kanti
Beauty Editor
Rachael Mannell
Online Editor
Erin Van Der Meer

Cleo Magazine: Stop digitally altering images to change appearances #RealGirlsCleo

    1. Jessica  Barlow
    2. Petition by

      Jessica Barlow

      Melbourne, Australia

October 2012


Success! CLEO Magazine has finally responded to my petition for it to stop using digitally altered images of young girls -- and there's exciting progress. A few weeks ago I flew to Sydney to meet CLEO's editor Gemma Crisp. I handed her more than 20,000 signatures from the petition, and lots moving stories you've sent me of how magazines' photoshopping policies are hurting the self-esteem of young women. Here's what CLEO have agreed to do from here: They'll publish their photoshopping policy within the front pages of every issue This month's edition includes a six-page spread on the issues of digitally altering images, magazines and body image -- including an article from me about the petition! Cleo have confirmed that their policy is to never slim down or alter girls' physical appearance in the photos they personally shoot for the mag. They're considering a disclaimer on externally sourced altered cover images, and are asking readers to email if you wish to see them do it. It means one of Australia's most popular magazines will now be more transparent, and held accountable, about the types of images they publish.

Reality is beautiful. Stop using Photoshop to alter appearances.

Can you also let Cleo know that you signed and what you think by posting on their facebook page?

It's here: (Australia) (NZ)

In high school, not a day would go by without hearing another girl complain about her weight or appearance. I saw girls get severely bullied and excluded because they didn't live up to the beauty ideals of women in magazines. And it made me want to doctor my own appearance even more. 

My friends and I looked up to the models in Cleo magazine. It was one of the most popular among my classmates. But what I think many of us didn't know is that Cleo was altering the images of women to make them skinny and blemish free.

The altered pictures make readers question their weight, appearance and self-worth. I know this much first hand. They teach us that to be "pretty" you have to be thin and have perfect skin. Studies now show that these damaging images can lead to eating disorders, dieting and depression.

Distorting and editing the appearances of models in magazines is distorting the mental health of girls who read magazines that engage in these practices.

Public pressure is building across the world for magazines to stop altering images of girls. In the US a teenager convinced Seventeen Magazine to publish one unaltered spread a month after thousands joined her petition. I think Cleo should do the same for their readers. 

I want Cleo to stop selling images that hurt girls and break our self-esteem. Let us see real faces and real shapes in at least one photo spread a month -- and always put a warning symbol on any image that has been altered. 

It's time to put an end to the digitally enhanced, unrealistic beauty we see in the pages of magazines. Please sign my petition to Cleo Magazine editors calling on them to give us images of real girls in their magazines. 

And I'd love to hear your stories -- if you're on Twitter use #RealGirlsCleo hashtag. 

To help convince Cleo to get on board, I have launched the "Brainwash Project", which involves the presentation of this petition along with edition one of a new magazine showing what young females want and need in their magazines. To complete it, I need as much help as I can get, please visit: and/or for more information.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 20,000 signatures
    2. Decision-maker Gemma Crisp responds:

      Gemma Crisp

      Hi there, thanks for your thoughts about the images in our magazine. At CLEO, we know we’re a role model for our readers, which is why we have strict guidelines when it comes to retouching images that appear on our pages.

      As Jessica Ba...

    3. Reached 10,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Caroline Marshall AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
      • almost 2 years ago

      Being thin, flawless skinned, and perfect figure can become obsessive affecting females lives forever as there is constant bombardment by the media that one has to be a certain way to ever be happy with oneself and their life. Madness and cruel.

    • Geoffrey Earl WERRIBEE, AUSTRALIA
      • almost 2 years ago

      I have granddaughters and want them to feel positive about their self-image, not have to conform to some fake ideal.

    • Leanne Hussein MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
      • almost 2 years ago

      We need to show photo's of real women! Not computer adjusted photos!

    • Heather Swan AUSTRALIA
      • almost 2 years ago

      The Unreality of models portrayed in the media is unhealthy for a host of reasons.

    • Kate Mazoudier MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
      • almost 2 years ago

      I have daughters, nieces, friends and sisters, please please stop digitally altering women's images. Real women are precious and beautiful just as they are.


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