Cancer Survivor Upset After Magazine Mocks Her for Running Race in Tutu

Running tutuA cancer survivor who wore a tutu during a race was made fun of in the April issue of Self and was extremely offended, to say the least.

The magazine writer declared war on tutus worn during races in a column called "The BS Meter." Underneath a photo of two women wearing superhero T-shirts and tutus -- one of whom was Monika Allen, who was undergoing chemo for brain cancer -- the caption read: ”A racing tutu epidemic has struck NYC’s Central Park, and it’s all because people think these froufrou skirts make you run faster. Now, if you told us they made people run from you faster, maybe we would believe it.”

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, especially when it comes to fashion, but this Self writer was totally off-base and ill-informed.


Allen was not only in the midst of chemo treatments for brain cancer when the photo was taken, but she also owns a company called Glam Runners that makes tutus and donates the money to Girls on the Run -- a charity that funds exercise and confidence-building programs for young girls.

And, get this: Self actually contacted her for permission to use the photo but didn't inform her that it was going to be used for mocking the tutu trend.

Allen was, of course, very upset.

"I feel like we were misled in providing the picture," she said. "Had I known how the picture was going to be used, I wouldn't have wanted to send it."

The tutu has become a huge fashion statement for some runners, especially those running for a cause. Many wear similar tutus to show they are part of a team. Others wear them to send a message of whimsy in a time of struggle and sadness. These "froufrou skirts" are not worn, as Self claimed, to "run faster." They are worn as a sign of hope, joy, and unity.

After word got out about the magazine's tutu shaming, editor Lucy Danziger apologized, saying she was "personally mortified."

"I had no idea that Monika had been through cancer," she told USA Today. "It was an error. It was a stupid mistake. We shouldn't have run the item."

Self also issued a formal apology "for the association of her picture in any way other than to support her efforts to be healthy."

"Of course if tutus make you run with a smile on your face or with a sense of purpose or community, then they are indeed worth wearing, for any race," the statement said.

And really, anything that makes you smile is okay in my book!

What do you think about the controversy?

Image via Sangugo/Flickr

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