A San Diego runner and cancer survivor claims SELF magazine misused a photo of her and used it to make fun of her in a tutu. Which is a problem for two reasons.
1. Monika Allen made the tutu herself. Her company Glam Runners makes them and donates the money to charity.
2. She was wearing the tutu with her friend to mark her first marathon with brain cancer. The marathon came right in the middle of chemotherapy, and she told ABC 7 that the outfit gave her motivation. Her friend’s bib even reads “Die Tumor Die!!”
Monika Allen says she was excited to receive an email from SELF magazine, asking for permission to use her picture in an upcoming issue but when it came out, she was appalled that they used the photo in “The BS Meter.”
The article puts the photo on the lame side of the BS meter and says “people think these froufrou skirts make you run faster. Now, if you told us they made people run away from you faster, maybe we would believe it.”
“Especially considering the fact that this picture is from last year’s LA Marathon when Glam Runner founders Tara and Monika ran together as superheroes … because Monika was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and was running a marathon in the middle of a year of chemo,” the women posted on Facebook.
I spoke to SELF Editor in Chief Lucy Danziger who said: “I am personally mortified. I had no idea that Monika had been through cancer. It was an error. It was a stupid mistake. We shouldn’t have run the item.”
Danziger says she is in the process of trying to reach Allen and will personally support her charity.
Furious supporters have flooded Facebook with images of them in tutus and messages claiming they have canceled their SELF subscriptions. Comments on SELF’s Facebook read: “Hey SELF Magazine. Shame on You for your half assed apology to the marathon runner, you should issue the apology to her not to NBC 7 San Diego. Whoever did this should be embarrassed!” and “Dear editors: You *DO* realize that dissing women for wearing tutus in races, regardless of whether the runners have cancer or are doing it for charity, is just bad form. What are you even doing calling “BS” on women who try to improve themselves by running? Does it even matter what we wear? The whole thing smacks of condescension and snarkiness. GET REAL.”
“I feel like we were misled in providing the picture. Had I known how the picture was going to be used, I wouldn’t have wanted to send it,” she said to NBC 7.
Here is a photo from the Glam Runner’s Facebook page showing the magazine: