Cancer survivor puts positive spin on Self Magazine's published slam

Tutus Rock Beach Run supports women labeled 'lame'

SAN DIEGO - As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. For Monika Allen and Tara Baize, one word was powerful enough: lame.

That is what Self Magazine labeled the women under their article “Our Self-y guide to what’s legit and what’s lame this month.” It was next to a photo of Allen and Baize wearing superhero shirts and tutus while running in the L.A. Marathon. 

“I was shocked, and I was really offended,” Allen said. “The photo editor didn’t disclose how the photo was going to be used.”

A few days later, about 100 people rallied at Torrey Pines State Beach to run in tutus to show support for the women. Allen did not expect so many people to stand behind them.

“It’s really overwhelming,” she said. “It’s really amazing that everyone is so supportive … that this has turned into something really positive, just seeing everybody out here running in tutus. It’s just great.”

She was so touched, she got choked up.

Steve Vail said he wanted to run because he was touched by the story.

“I think that’s a horrible thing to do,” he said. “I think we all need to come together as a group and a community.”

They were smiling and having fun in brightly-colored tutus, and that was a big part of the event because Allen knows happiness is something you have to fight for at times.

“I have an inoperable tumor,” she explained. “It’s in my brain stem.”

She was diagnosed in 2012 and has been through testing, radiation and chemotherapy. Now, she is just living her life the way she wants to.

It is why she wore a tutu during that L.A. Marathon while she was undergoing chemotherapy and it is why she and Baize were promoting the tutus they make to raise money for their nonprofit.

“A lot of what Girls on the Run stands for is being confident in who you are, being a friend, and not being a bully,” said Allen.

It is a lesson she seems to be teaching just by being herself.

The editor received a lot of criticism but apologized and wrote an article about how Allen deserved nothing but respect. Read their online post here.

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