Friendly Reminder: Be Nice

If you’ve participated in any type of community race, you’ve run amongst tutus. They’re everywhere. They’re silly, they’re festive, they mask imperfect butts and thighs. A little childish?  Sure. A bit stupid? Perhaps. But deserving of nationwide ridicule? Of course not. A good reason to mock someone who has cancer and runs a nonprofit? Hellllllllll no.

If any of you read SELF magazine, you may want reconsider that subscription. SELF recently published a story on their “BS Meter” about the tutu trend, and they used a picture of Monika Allen wearing a tutu in the LA marathon. What SELF didn’t learn until after publication was that the photo was taken while Allen was undergoing chemotherapy for brain cancer.

SELF’s facebook and twitter pages have been understandably flooded with people posting complaints and criticism. The editor has apologized, but it may be too little too late. Even if Allen didn’t have cancer, SELF — a magazine intended to empower women — published a photo with no other purpose than to make fun of a woman who was currently running a marathon.

Hating tutus is fine, but it doesn’t matter. None of it matters. The runner next to me could be wearing a bikini, an animal costume, or a suit of armor and it wouldn’t affect me one bit. We are all running our own race, literally and figuratively.

Running a marathon is hard enough, and tearing another runner down won’t make you any faster. Just be nice.

Originally published 3/27/14

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