Today while scrolling through Facebook a headline caught my eye: See The Awful way a magazine Mocked a Cancer survivor. Of course I clicked on the article and read a recount of how Self Magazine used a picture of Glam Runner founders Monika and Tara running in superhero get-up and, of course, their signature tutus.
Unfortunately Self Magazine used the picture in a section of the magazine titled BS, in which they mocked the donning of tutus in races. They did this without doing any research. If the magazine had taken a minute to ask about the ladies in the photo they would’ve found out that Monika is in chemotherapy. And that is what brings me to what I feel we need to learn from this despicable oversight, and unfortunate trend.
Magazines, fitness professionals, people; please stop judging people! Just quit it. If you do not know someone’s story, if you haven’t run a mile in their shoes, do not comment on their journey. It is that simple! It doesn’t have to be complicated. If we all just took the time to admit that we are not able to immediately figure someone out just by looking at a picture of them, we could rid the world of some of the injustice. Oh and we might keep from putting our feet in our mouths, like this national magazine did. See because I happen to admire runners in tutus, especially Monika. I know a guy who runs in a tutu who qualified for Boston, twice, in the same week.
So magazines, fitness professionals,and people, stop it!
Lead From the Front
This is a call to anyone in the fitness industry, anyone with a fitness page, anyone with a heart; let’s start and push the movement forward. Let’s have #pinkwednesday everyday. We need to stand up and say that we will no longer participate in or allow people to bully, judge, or mock others. Not just for runners but for anyone that is marginalized. It stinks that we live in a culture that is desensitized to this type of behavior. Be aware of what we say, what we type, and how we look at others. It is our job to lead the way in ending this nonsense.
PS Runners are crazy
The coolest thing I saw from all this is the tenacity of the running community. I have seen this community come together with compassion, in support, and now with ferocity. After this story went viral, not only did the online community come to the support of Monika by “liking” the Glam Runner page, but they relentlessly attacked the Self Magazine Facebook page. This is not a community that you want to mess with. They will come at you. This is a group of people who decided 26.2 miles wasn’t enough. Why not make it 31, 50, 100? Why confine our races to miles, why not run as far as we can in 24 hours? These are not the people you want to pick a fight with over their choice of attire.
Lastly before I climb down off my soapbox, I want to say I am not perfect. This was in no way a “holier than thou” look at Self Magazine or the fitness industry. Instead it is a concerned father of a daughter and significant other to a great woman.
I want to protect them and all women from the type of ridicule and enormous pressure they face to look, dress, and act a certain way. I refuse to raise my daughter in an environment that tells her how to dress, how to talk, how to act. So I might have gotten a touch defensive on this subject. But it more than ever hits home with me. I hope this silly little website reaches Monika some how, and she knows that this is a virtual fist bump from a guy who never had the guts to wear a tutu in a race. But he will now, and it will be from Glam Runner.