Glam running

Here’s a thought – don’t be mean. Radical, I know, but it’s a thought.

In particular, don’t be mean by leading people to think you’re doing something they will like when in fact you’re doing something they won’t like. Don’t ask someone if you can use a photo of her in your magazine without telling her you want to use it for the purpose of mocking her, if that is what you’re planning. No, don’t do that. That’s a mean trick. That’s a mean shitty trick. Don’t play mean shitty tricks. Don’t be mean.

SELF magazine ignored this thought (which is not original to me and not new at this moment, I should point out) when it asked Monika Allen if it could publish a photo of her running a marathon in a tutu. She was excited to be asked, and said yes. SELF didn’t tell her the purpose was to mock the whole idea of running a marathon in a tutu.

The photo of Allen was featured in the issue’s “BS Meter,” which denigrated the trend of runners racing in tutus, and placed the fad in the “lame” column.

“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 column reads. “Now, if you told us they made people run from you faster, maybe we would believe it.”

Except that isn’t why. That isn’t why Monika Allen wore a tutu to run that marathon. From the Glam Runner Facebook page:

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.

What’s Glam Runner?

Since starting Glam Runner in 2011, Allen has produced about 2,000 tutus and has donated $5,600 to Girls on the Run — a nonprofit that has a 12-week training program for girls ages 8-13 to prepare for a 5K race.

So there you go: don’t be mean.

The Huffington Post concludes:

To support Allen’s efforts to brighten up the race track, and inspire young girls to get moving, find out more information about Glam Runner here and Girls on the Run here.


  1. says

    The worst part was the response from the magazine’s editor:

    “I am personally mortified,” Lucy Danziger, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, told USA Today. “I had no idea that Monika had been through cancer. It was an error. It was a stupid mistake. We shouldn’t have run the item.”

    So if she didn’t have cancer, she’d have been okay making fun of her? Seriously?

  2. jenniferphillips says

    Aside from their total failure to recognize the significant non-trivial purpose of this particular tutu, SELF really doesn’t have a clue about running culture in general. Some runners are VERY SERIOUS with all the techiest attire and instruments and sacred, sober pre-race rituals and no smiling or talking. Other runners are living their bliss, having fun doing a sport that they enjoy as much for the personal fitness goals as for the social aspects. Running in various costumes and wacky attire is a part of the fun, and a way to show that, regardless of how elite your speed is, you still don’t take yourself too seriously. Nothing remotely “lame” about it.

  3. says

    Really. I mean it seems blindingly obvious that it’s jokey – because what else would it be?? And what the hell is wrong with being playful and jokey while also running a fucking marathon?

  4. moarscienceplz says

    I know nothing about this magazine, but it does seem one would have to be a bit of a narcissist to want to subscribe to something called “Self”.

  5. rnilsson says

    I know nothing about this magazine, but it does seem one would have to be a bit of a narcissist to want to subscribe to something called “Self”.

    And also a little bit deluded. After a peek in the Answers section it seems too obvious that the ” ” “SELF Magazine” ” ” is at the top of Narziss. Blame goes to SELF (the MAGAZINE!! doh)

  6. stephaniezierenberg says

    Tara is the sister of a friend of mine, and we’ve all had a front-row seat to the unfolding drama surrounding this. My friend has been an absolute bulldog in defense of her sister, of Monika, and of the young girls that Glam Runner has inspired. Thanks for posting!

  7. Jenora Feuer says

    I know nothing about this magazine, but it does seem one would have to be a bit of a narcissist to want to subscribe to something called “Self”.

    I am reminded of a stand-up rant about magazines, which I think was by one of the male members of Peter, Paul and Mary, of all people, at a concert. (Don’t recall which one.) It went something like this:

    Once there was a magazine called ‘Life’. And this was well and good, because it was all about life in its various forms.

    Then, many years later, there was a magazine called ‘People’. And this was all right, because people are a great part of life.

    Some years ago, I saw a magazine called ‘Us’. Not ‘Them’ anymore… just ‘Us.’

    Then, not long ago, while standing in a grocery store checkout aisle, I saw a magazine called ‘Self’. (Pause to look over the audience.)

    Any day now, I expect to walk into a store and see a magazine called ‘ME!!’ Just thirty-two pages of reflective foil.

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