The Mid-Maine Community Forum welcomes Maine Central Institute student activist and ballerina Julia Bluhm as its featured speaker at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at the First Universalist Church in Pittsfield. Her topic is “Keep It Real: A Young Activist, Body Image, and the Media.”

In 2012, Bluhm wrote a petition resulting in a pledge from Seventeen magazine promising not to photoshop their models’ bodies and face shapes. The petition gathered more than 86,000 signatures, according to a news release from the forum.

She also will share her experiences with activism at the SPARK Movement, an online feminist-activist organization supported by girls from all over the world. She will talk about the influence of an unrealistic representation of women in the media, issues of body image within the ballet world, and the importance of community activism.

Bluhm is a 16 year-old ballet dancer, blogger and activist. In addition to attending MCI, she also dances with Bossov Ballet Theatre, and is a blogger for SPARK Movement. She has also been a member of the Girls’ Advisory Board for Hardy Girls Healthy Women in Waterville for three years. Julia has given a TEDx talk in Washington, D.C., and spoken at the National Eating Disorder Association conference. She also was the first student to present a Patterson Lecture Series speech at MCI.

For more information, call 487-6930

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