TEDWomen 2013: Invented Here

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  • TEDxWomen

Julia Bluhm & Izzy Labbe

Julia Bluhm, 14, is a feminist-activist from Waterville, Maine. She blogs for a girl-fueled activist group called SPARK Movement. She is passionate about girls’ and women’s issues. As part of a SPARK Movement action, Julia wrote a successful petition asking Seventeen Magazine to change their use of Photoshop on models. Julia is also passionate about ballet. She spends twenty hours a week training to be a professional ballet dancer, as a part of her high school program. Her involvement in ballet has opened her eyes to another issue that affects many teenagers and young adults of today—eating disorders. Julia has recently become involved with the National Eating Disorders Association, and was honored to be able to speak at their teen conference in October. Julia loves giving presentations to community groups about girl activism and how girls are portrayed in the media. Julia is very excited to be a part of TEDxWomen with her good friend and fellow SPARK activist, Izzy Labbe.

Izzy Labbe is a freshman at Waterville High School in Waterville, Maine. In eighth grade, Izzy started blogging for the feminist movement SPARK, which later led her and fellow blogger/friend Julia Bluhm to the Seventeen Petition, the cover of the Boston Globe, Katie Couric’s talk show Katie, and a documentary. When Izzy is not doing activist work with SPARK, Hardy Girls Healthy Women, and her school’s Gay Straight Trans Alliance, she is most likely acting, writing, reading classic books, swimming, or singing in the shower.

3 Responses to Julia Bluhm & Izzy Labbe

  1. Candace says:

    I just watched your talk and I am so inspired by what you girls did. I work with youth and if the opportunity arises I will definitely play your talk, to show them what YOUth can do! I also believe in the message you are passionate about. It breaks my heart when young girls love Barbie, because I am worried about the road of self-objectification they may go down, as I certainly did. I may not have ever had a eating disorder, but I suffered a lot of emotional pain for not fitting up to the “ideal”, as you both mention. Besides when your looks become your only hobby you are in trouble, because looks are so short lived and only one dimension of you who you are. When you are so focused on your looks, you lose sight of who you are as an individual beyond your appearance. And then not only are your valued by your looks, as girls are in this society, what’s worse is you value yourself by how you look. This is one of my interests of working with children, to counteract that from happening. I am passionate about helping kids find their interests and develop them so that they can lead more meaningful lives and reach their full potential. Sort of like you girls right now…you are smart, confident, and interesting. And you are right, it is you girls that should be on the cover of the magazines, especially for younger girls to look up to. Imagine what a better place our world would be if we had role models for our young children like you girls to look up to!? And perhaps what is important to affect the masses is to be on a cover of a magazine.

    • Casey Moynihan says:

      Wow! I am so proud that Maine girls are leading the way for positive change! You two really inspire me and I admire your passion on this topic. I have worked with young women through internships, volunteer work, and school and there is a dire need to help young people love their bodies and honor their differences. Thank you so much for your work and effort in this great movement!

  2. Karin Hurt says:

    I really enjoyed your talk. I write a Saturday series on developing leadership in kids on my blog. I highlighted your talk today. http://letsgrowleaders.com/2012/12/08/connected-confident-and-courageous/