Dear SELF Magazine,
I am disappointed on you on two counts right now. The first, when you called horseback yoga “lame” on your March issue “BS Meter”, it simply annoyed me. As a therapeutic horseback riding professional, it is apparent to me you have no knowledge on this topic. In our industry, we routinely use yoga breathing to calm riders and horses and use yoga stretches for physical health. You know, like one would do in yoga? For many of our riders who cannot walk, doing these things on a horse simulates the feeling of walking. Not to mention that the warmth of the horse is good for muscles. Ever heard of hot yoga? Same basic concept. I challenge you to visit a therapeutic riding facility and tell me it’s not beneficial. But, I was willing to forgive this as ignorance.
However, contacting Glam Runner‘s Monika Allen, asking to use a picture of her in your magazine under false pretenses is inexcusable. You called this woman “lame” for running in tutu – a woman who operates a business making and selling tutus for CHARITY. A woman who ran her first marathon AFTER a brain cancer diagnosis. A woman who has survived cancer and should be a poster woman for magazines such as yours.
In fact, your very mission, according to your media kit is as follows:
SELF is the magazine that makes living healthy easy and fun.SELF‘s motto: Being fit, strong and active means feeling great, being happy and looking your most beautiful. SELF speaks to women about three key areas of her being: her body, her looks and her life. With trademark authority, SELF delivers the latest, greatest, most efficient ways to get fit and healthy—offering breakthrough moves, food and science, plus inspiring images and coaching that keep her drive alive. SELF gives her beauty and fashion advice customized for her active lifestyle, so she looks as great as she feels. SELF makes it fun and fulfilling to be your happiest, healthiest, best self. Reaching a total audience of 12 million each month, SELF is the founder of the Pink Ribbon for breast cancer awareness and an ASME National Magazine Award winner for excellence in journalistic achievement in print and digital.
Way to contradict yourself, SELF Magazine. When I look at the picture of Monika in her tutu, I see BEAUTIFUL woman being stronger than I hope I’ll ever have to be, living an ACTIVE and FUN life. Actually, I see two beautiful, active, fun women…though I don’t know her friend’s name!
I’m sorry, but back-peddling and issuing this apology on your Facebook after you’ve been called out by your readers is just “lame.” I call BS.
On behalf of SELF, we sincerely apologize for our inadvertent insensitivity. I have personally reached out to Monika and her supporters online to apologize for the misstep and tell them we are trying to remedy the situation. 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 have offered to cover her good work in a future issue. We wish her all the best on her road to good health.
I can’t help but wonder how much insulting her and using her picture for something other than originally stated is worth as far as a donation goes. Also, how nice of you to “offer” to cover her good work in a future issue.
Putting other women down and making fun of them, regardless of the circumstances, goes against your very mission statement. It makes your staff look like a bunch of “mean girls.” It hurts the strides women are taking into making this a better world where women support and cheer FOR and WITH each other.
What I can tell you is that I won’t be renewing my subscription because I’d rather spend that time reading magazines and blogs that truly are about health and empowering women. And running in tutus.
A Former Self Magazine Reader
I will be purchasing a tutu from Glam Runner in the near future because personally, I LOVE running in costume, including tutus. If you do, too, hop over to Twitter and post your tutu pic in support of Monika and all of the other beautiful, amazing, fit, active, and strong women out there. #tutusrock #getoveryourSELFmagazine