Call it a fashion faux pas. Self magazine has issued an apology to cancer survivor Monika Allen after making fun of her marathon racing outfit in its April issue.
"In our attempt to be humorous, we were inadvertently insensitive and we deeply apologize," Self Editor-in-Chief Lucy Danziger said in a statement to Yahoo Shine. "I have sincerely apologized both directly to Monika and her supporters online. 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 would like to cover her good work in a future issue. We wish her all the best in her road to good health."
A few months ago, the magazine had reached out to Allen after spotting a Facebook photo of her running the 2013 Los Angeles Marathon dressed as Wonder Woman and wearing a tutu. Allen makes the tutus for her company, Glam Runner, which donates money to various charities, including ones that research brain cancer — a disease Allen was diagnosed with in 2012. The day she ran that marathon "was an important day, because it was the first time I raced after being diagnosed with cancer,” Allen, 35, a marketing manager in San Diego, Calif., tells Yahoo Shine. She ran the race in between rounds of chemotherapy.
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The Self photo editor who emailed her had explained that the magazine was doing a write-up on the trend of women running marathons while wearing tutus. “I emailed her the photo, but I was shocked when the issue came out,” says Allen.
The image ran in a section of the magazine called “The BS Meter” with the following 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. Now, if you told us they made people run from you faster, maybe we would believe it.”
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“It was super offensive,” says Allen. “We donate a portion of our company’s proceeds to a charity called Girls on the Run, which sponsors exercise and self-confidence to fight bullying — which is exactly what it felt like to see my photo in Self. It was also snarky and implied that we looked lame.”
On Thursday, Self reached out to Allen, who says she does plan to return the call. "I appreciate their apology, but I would also like to hear them apologize for misleading me about their intent to use my photo and for speaking down to women," says Allen.
The silver lining: Allen has been swamped with tutu orders faster than she can fill them. In lieu of a tutu, supporters can also make a tax-deductible donation to Girls on the Run of San Diego.
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