Have you heard about the tutus? By now, many of you may have seen a post or two in your news feed related to Self Magazine’s tasteless mocking of two women runners wearing tutus. (Fellow runners Tara and Monika (of Glam Runner) were dressed as superheroes … because Monika was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and was running a marathon in the middle of chemo.) Badass and beautiful, indeed. But rather than focus on that lil’ slice of awesome, the magazine neglected context, and decided to focus their words on making fun of their outfits. Yes, even if you’re not the tutu type, runners don’t criticize other runners for wearing them.
Come on’ now, that’s like Runner 101 – Thou Shalt Not Put Down Another Runner. Like, Ever.
And then we started to think about it. Monika and Tara publicly voicing their disappointment created a news story. And then, the overwhelming frustration expressed in social media today by women, groups and organizations made it a national conversation. And then, after feeling the heat (and likely sincere regret), Self Magazine apologized, and plenty of media coverage has since ensued.
What happened today was significant. We moved the dial, in a very good way. We shifted the conversation and made it about something bigger. We focused on WHY these women were running…and collectively, made sure that SELF magazine recognized it as well.
And, it could most definitely and admirably end there.
But this afternoon we also scanned a few of the most popular publications directed toward women who run and aspire to live an active and healthy lifestyle. Here’s a very short list of the words we saw taking up cover space:
‘Lose’ ‘Burn’ ‘Diet’
‘Lose 5 pounds’
‘Fit and sexy’
’10 Hunger Fixes’
‘Look Great Naked’
‘Total Body Sex’
Ladies, Monika and Tara fearlessly moved the dial today, but are we totally satisfied with that? Perhaps, if we all voice our opinion just a little bit louder, we can actually change the entire conversation about the type of content and stories that we want to see…and buy…and support.
Imagine if we walked down the aisle and saw magazines with the faces and bodies of women who looked like us? Where the woman rocking a tutu who is fighting brain cancer was on the cover… not being mocked for her style.
Rarely do we dip our toes into this space – of publicly voicing our opinions on current events and issues. And yet, we’d like to challenge SELF and other leading women’s health and fitness magazines to raise their editorial game a bit. Take the inspirational segments and stories of your magazines (because you do have them, and they are wonderful) and rather than hide them in the middle section, put them on your cover.
Feature the everyday woman doing extraordinary things. SHE is wonderful. SHE is amazing. And SHE is worth reading about.
Replace ‘lose, burn and diet’ with words like ‘dream, courage and empowerment.’
See what happens. Give it a chance. Maybe you’ll be surprised that women don’t need buzzwords to buy your magazines… at least, we’d like to think so.
And one more thing. SELF… we are huge believers in a great comeback. Redemption and second chances are always welcome here.
Since the beginning, our sole purpose with Fellow Flowers has been to honor, share and celebrate the reasons behind WHY women run. Raw, real and resilient. Free of judgment and stereotypes. A community where you are free to celebrate who you are, be it with tutus, crazy socks, costumes… and yes, even flowers. So if you want the opportunity to highlight women who are the epitome of strong, resilient, beautiful and courageous, we have a few thousand you might want to talk to. Seriously.
Mel & Tori