Thursday, March 27, 2014

Shame on SELF

I'm typically a pretty laid back person. I have my own opinions and thoughts on certain matters, well, just about every matter. But, I tend to keep them to myself or vent about them to close family or friends. I'm one of those people if a restaurant gets my food wrong, I'll just pick at it or take it home to give to someone else rather than speak up. It's just who I am.

With that said, it takes a lot to truly upset me enough to voice my feelings. I'm not sure what it is about this particular issue that has me in a complete rage today. Maybe it's just the timing. Maybe, it's because my aunt is a breast cancer survivor and it happens to be her birthday. Maybe, it's my involvement in I Run 4 and that Dakota is right now, as I type, sitting in the hospital receiving results from his recent testing. Maybe, it's because I'm a runner - I don't know. All I know, is I haven't been able to get the issue off my mind all morning and feel I won't be able to let it rest until I've put my feelings out there...

This morning started out like any morning - 10,000 trips to go the bathroom for Wyatt. Shower, hair and make-up for me. Breakfast served... you know the drill. I sat down on the couch and logged onto Facebook to send Dakota a message for his results day. The first thing that popped up on my newsfeed was THIS ARTICLE.

Monika Allen is a brain cancer survivor. She received an email from SELF awhile back, asking her permission to use a photo of her running the LA Marathon in a tutu/super hero outfit. I'm sure she never imagined it could be used in a negative light, and gave her blessing. The picture was posted in April's publication with this caption:

"A racing tutu epidemic has struck NYC's Central Park, and it's all because people think these froufrou skirts make you run faster," the caption reads. "Now, if you told us they made people run from you faster, maybe we would believe it."
Little did SELF know (or bother to even find out) Monika ran this marathon in the middle of chemotherapy. (Advice to SELF: THAT is newsworthy). She wore the tutu to celebrate her amazing accomplishment. To motivate herself on the run and have a little, well deserved, fun. Not only that, but she makes tutus and sells them to donate the money to a charity: Girls on the Run.

The amazing thing to me, is SELF is supposed to be a fitness and health publication.

 One that fails to understand the close-knit nature of the running community. I have participated in sports my entire life. Never have I found a community of people so supportive of all sizes, shapes, ages and abilities as runners.

One that clearly fails to understand that nearly every organized race is in support of some type of charity.

One that clearly fails to understand why anyone might want to brighten 3-50 miles. To bring a little cheer to themselves, other runners and supporters along the way. If a fun outfit can do that, why not?

One that clearly fails to understand that there are thousands upon thousands of people out there who can't run for themselves. That there are thousands of us out there dedicating our races and miles to these people. That many of them are children. In the I Run 4 group, tutus and goofy outfits are common. Members post race pictures for their buddies so they can feel a part of the race themselves. So, as a result, they go above and beyond to wear their buddy's favorite colors, characters etc...

Until  today, I've been a fan of SELF for many years. I've had subscriptions with them from time to time. I was following them on all forms of social media until this morning. But, I have no patience for ignorance, bullies, and judgements. Especially based on someone's appearance. I can't help but wonder if the "journalist" who made this comment has ever run a marathon, themselves. Until they have those 26.2 miles under their belt, or have underwent chemotherapy themselves, they should probably refrain from judging those that have.

Nice try, SELF, but I believe people will now be running faster from you... not the tutus.


  1. That is shocking. Even moreso that it wasn't simply an individual blogger's response, but a national publication that had to go through at least ONE Editor's approval as well. Maybe it was rubber stamped, I don't know. But shocking and disgusting. I'm too old to give a rat's ass about Self magazine, but if I did, I would write a nasty email when I cancelled my subscription. Think I might have to mention it on Twitter, hash-tagging them though... :: hugs ::

  2. ... I see this really is making the rounds (and making waves). I does make you wonder ... didn't anyone at Self think about how people might react. Even without the exact circumstances here (cancer survivor, profits from the tutus going to charity), if it was just a generic picture, faces blurred, it would still be wrong to make fun.


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