Feeling Brainwashed?

The Brainwash Project

Please view  Paper People, a video by Francis Hadid. Francis was so inspired by Jess Barlow and her plans for The Brainwash Project, that she got together with Jess to help her mission.

Jess is unhappy with women’s magazines. She’s put together a national petition  and a pledge on Pozible  for money to fund The Brainwash Project, a new body-positive, culturally diverse magazine for young women and girls.

Here is what Jess has to say on her petition page about why she started The Brainwash Project:

Reality is beautiful. Stop using Photoshop to alter appearances.

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.

Jess has inspired me so much with BettyMag, and has contributed thought-provoking articles. This girl is going so far. In response to her request to put a picture of what real beauty means to us on Cleo Australia’s Facebook page, I put this picture up of my sister and I.

It was one of the most empowering things I’ve done.

I just went on Cleo page and had to scroll for about 15 minutes through the comments to find my picture! That’s how many people have voiced their concerns about Cleo’s much needed changes!

So excited and proud to be in this generation of thoughtful, inspiring and powerful women 🙂


A few weeks ago Jess met with the editor of Cleo, Gemma Crisp for a ‘tense’ but I’m assuming productive meeting!

I’m going to buy the magazine tomorrow to see what the outcome is inside, but judging by the cover, it doesn’t seem like much has changed.  Check out The Brainwash Project on facebook here, and be sure to sign the petition!

Laura x




  1. L said:

    Thanks Kell 🙂


Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: