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Ouch! Mag disses tutu of woman battling cancer

  • NEW: Self magazine tells HLN: 'We deeply apologize... we have donated to her charity'
  • Runner offended by Self magazine's comments on her outfit
  • She founded a company that sponsors young girls to become runners
Ouch! Mag disses tutu of woman battling cancer

A San Diego runner and brain cancer survivor was featured in Self magazine's April issue, but not in the way she would have hoped.

Monika Allen told HLN she was "excited" to hear from Self when they asked to use the photo, which was of her and a friend in superhero-themed costumes with matching tutus.

"I couldn't wait to send copies of the magazine to my dad and my in-laws," Allen told HLN. 

However, the picture and its corresponding caption ran in a part of the magazine called "The BS Meter," which typically disses trends that the magazine's editors don't like.

"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 would make people run away from you faster, we might believe it," the caption read.

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Allen, who founded the nonprofit Glam Runner with Tara Mae Baize in 2012 (also pictured in the photo), tells HLN that her initial reaction was that it was "terrible." Not only was she offended by Self's approach, but the photo in question was taken during her first sessions of chemotherapy since being diagnosed with brain cancer in 2012.

After Allen contacted the Self writer who asked to use the photo to tell her she didn't like it, Self's editor-in-chief posted an apology on Glam Runner's Facebook page and e-mailed Allen in an effort to "make things right."

"I think Self's biggest fault was to ask for a picture to make fun of us without giving indication with how it was to be used. It's snarky, and that's not what we represent," Allen told HLN.

Self responded to HLN's request for comment, saying, "In our attempt to be humorous, we were inadvertently insensitive and we deeply apologize.  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."

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Glam Runner raises money for SoleMates, the charity running program for Girls on the Run, an organization that pushes girls to train and stay active. The program offers a 12-week experience for girls 8-13 that trains them for a 5K while encouraging positive development. It welcomes sponsors at all levels, from buying a girl's running shoes to paying her race entry fee.

The response to the Self spot was so intense on Glam Runner's Facebook page that it seems that the magazine could have earned themselves quite a few boycotters. But Allen says she won't be one of them. 

"I'd rather turn this into something positive," she told HLN.

Since the picture ran, orders for Glam Runner's signature tutus have been flooding in, Allen says.

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