An Open Letter to SELF Magazine

I woke up this morning intending to enjoy my birthday with smiles and laughter, but found this article popping up everywhere. Now, I make no secret to my enjoyment of running in tutus and have been on the receiving end of some pretty heavy ridicule and praise both. But seeing this story infuriated me.

SELF magazine decided to request a photo of Monika to use for the shaming of runners wearing tutus to races. What they clearly didn’t do was any research of the sort. If they had spent just 5 minutes doing a Google search, they would have learned that Monika is a brain cancer survivor. That she started Glam Runner as a way to raise money to donate to Girls on the Run San Diego. That she was an inspiration to runners and cancer survivors everywhere.

Not only that, SELF Magazine decided to take it upon themselves to shame women who are out there running in tutus. They talked about it in their “BS Meter” and made it sound like runners out there in tutus shouldn’t bother to be there. In fact, this is exactly what they said:



Can you understand my fury? Not only did SELF Magazine slam an amazing and inspirational runner for running in a tutu, is slammed ALL runners who run in tutus. What SELF doesn’t seem to realize is that tulle skirt that we wear when we run makes the event fun, exciting, and motivating. When I tell my friends that I will run their first race with them, know what they ask me? Can they wear a tutu as well. They ask me to show them how to make a tutu. My tutu tutorial post is my most popular post on this blog, which means there are a lot of people out there who want to run in a tutu.

I wrote up this story on our station website about the whole situation, and when I posted it on our station facebook page it blew up. Just like I hoped it would. It wasn’t until almost 6 hours later that SELF decided to post an apology on their Facebook page. Myself, including about 3000 others, find the apology half assed, and way too late, because everyone in the fitness world has made sure to spread the word of this magazine’s shaming of women instead of motivating them.

So this is my open letter to SELF Magazine. I know they will never see it and that’s fine. But truth is, I’ll feel better after writing it, so here goes. Mind you, I wrote this before the apology was posted, but it still stands as is.

Dear SELF Magazine,

Your public shaming of runners in tutus is shameful in itself, but using a photo from a marathoner who was running in a tutu mid chemo treatment in order to bring awareness to brain cancer as your mocking photo is appalling and unforgivable. You lack of journalistic integrity and professional ethics is speaking loud and clear as you still remain tight lipped, giving the appearance of ambivalence to your misstep.

I refuse to renew my subscription, and hope many others follow. In fact, there are other fitness magazines that have proven to be honest and more reliable than your publication – they don’t Photoshop their models, they don’t promote shaming of others for what they are doing, and they welcome all kinds of fitness levels and abilities and offer support. Something you used to offer before you decided to become a sell out.

As a publication that has failed to inspire and motivate, you deserve every failure coming to you.

No love, Jamie










3 thoughts on “An Open Letter to SELF Magazine

  1. danichalmers says:

    Well said. It should be noted that your tutu tortorial is how I found you! I’ve gotten compliments on mine and a few of my friends asked for the tutorial. I’ve only made one so far, but I have the itch to make more now……

  2. Run With Rabbits says:

    I love all your tutu pictures, especially the last one with all the colors!

    I’ve never worn a tutu during a race, and I probably never will (not my style), but I’ll be damned if I’m going to ridicule anyone who does. Maybe they don’t like the colored shorts I wear, or the sparkly headbands I wear – but no one rips on me (at least not yet…I hope they don’t haha).

    I also didn’t really believe their apology, and it annoyed me even more that they only apologized because of the cancer aspect. Shouldn’t they apologize over the fact that they were bullies?

    • jljohnson says:

      Exactly! What they did to Monika and Tara is bad enough, but the fact that they alienated and bullied a group of people out there actually doing something other than sitting on the couch is beyond forgivable.

      They have become everything that real fitness professionals despise. I have no hope for them.

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