By: Tracie Knabe Snowder, KSL
SAN DIEGO - When Monika Allen was contacted by officials at SELF Magazine for permission to post her LA Marathon photo in their magazine, she was excited to be featured in the popular women's magazine.
But it wasn't until the photo was published that she realized that they weren't celebrating her accomplishment - they were mocking her outfit.
"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 read
. "Now, if you told us they made people run from you faster, maybe we would believe it."
She went to her Facebook page to post her frustrations.
“Excited to see our tutus in SELF Magazine," Allen posted on her company's Facebook page
. “But shocked to see that running tutus are classified as lame.”
, a company that Allen helped start with her friend Tara, makes cute tutus for race runners and in turn, donates the money to Girls on the Run San Diego
, a program that helps build confidence and love of exercise for young girls.
Allen told NBC 7 News
in San Diego she had no idea how the magazine was going to use her photo and never would have given permission if she knew they were going to make fun of race tutus. She finds the photo in SELF particularly offensive because at the time she ran the LA Marathon, she was undergoing chemotherapy, and told NBC 7 the outfit gave her motivation to run the race.
“The reason we were wearing those outfits is because this was my first marathon running with brain cancer,” Allen said.
As of Wednesday night, Allen had not heard back from officials at the magazine, but they were quick to issue a statement to NBC 7.
"(We apologize) for the association of her picture in any way other than to support her efforts to be healthy,” the statement said
. "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.”
Allen is trying to turn this unexpected publicity into a movement of support and encouraged others not to bash the magazine online.
“Do something awesome and dedicate it to Glam Runner - post an encouraging quote on Facebook, go for a run in your neighborhood, shout encouragement to runners on the street, or wear a tutu in your next race,” Glam Runner's Facebook post read. “Help us share why #tutusrock!”
Supporters have flooded Glam Runner's page with messages of encouragement and dozens more have sent letters to SELF.
SELF's Editor-in-Chief Lucy Danziger released a statement on the magazine's Facebook page Thursday, apologizing to Allen for its "insensitivity."
"I have personally reached out to Monika and her supporters online to apologize for the misstep and tell them we are trying to remedy the situation," her statement said
. "At SELF we support women such as Monika; she is an inspiration and embodies the qualities we admire. We have donated to her charity and have offered to cover her good work in a future issue."
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