Don't Mess with Tutus - or Cancer Fighters!

by Melissa Brunner

"We messed up."

That is how the editor-in-chief of a popular women's wellness magazine started the column she posted online Friday. It seems SELF learned a hard lesson - don't mess with cancer fighters....or tutus!

The firestorm started with this tidbit in the magazine's latest issue:


The photo features two women who founded a company called Glam Runner, which sells fun items like tutus. They donate a portion of their profits to Girls on the Run of San Diego, where they're based. The magazine contacted the women about using the photo, but apparantly did not tell them it would be used to make such a slam. It gets worse when you learn the story behind the photo. Glam Runner posted this on their Facebook page after seeing the magazine:

Excited to see our tutus in SELF Magazine ... but shocked to see that running tutus are classified as lame. 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.

 Ouch! SELF didn't just slam tutus. It slammed a woman battling BRAIN CANCER!

The Glam Runner Facebook page was flooded this week with hundreds of messages of support. The hashtag "tutusrock" on Twitter is filled with messages like this:

The initial apology statement from SELF probably didn't do much to help. It acknowledged the magazine wasn't aware Monika had cancer and added:

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.

 On the SELF website Friday night, though, editor-in-chief Lucy Danziger posted a column which included an interview with Monika. In it, Danziger not only says the magazine messed up, she also says the "BS Meter" feature in which the item appeared no longer will appear. She goes on to share Monika's story and talks about how they can move forward with a positive message. You can read it all here.

For her part, Monika is moving forward and, it seems, she has the last laugh. Check out this announcement Friday on the Glam Runner Facebook page:

We appreciate the apology from SELF Magazine. We're ready to move forward and put this all behind us. Instead of bashing Self, let's focus on the positive. This debacle has raised $4121 for Girls on the Run San Diego in the past 24 hours! That's nothing but good.

Absolutely! And let's go a step further - cancer or not, go ahead and wear something crazy when you run if you want to! I often see people in fun getups at community runs, whether it's the elf costumes at the Rescue Run or the guys in hula skirts at the Polar Plunge, getting psyched for their later plunge into Lake Shawnee. It makes me smile when I see them having fun and it reminds me that that's what running is supposed to be - FUN!

Incidentally, Girls on the Run is a national organization. If Monika's story has you fired up, you can support one of our area chapters by visiting

 Tutus Rock!

Photos courtesy:


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