"We messed up." Those are the first words in an article recently posted on SELF magazine's website by the editor in chief who is now promising a big change.
The article is referring to what's become known as #tutugate on Twitter. It all started with a photograph of two San Diego women and a story first reported by NBC 7 in San Diego on March 26.
The photograph was taken at the Los Angeles marathon. In it, friends Monika Allen and Tara Baize are shown running in costumes, wearing tutus.
Allen says in February, someone from SELF magazine emailed her asking if they could use the photo for an upcoming feature on running in tutus. Allen said, "yes."
However, when the April issue of SELF came out, the picture appeared in a section titled the "B-S Meter" and made fun of people who run in tutus.
"You know, I was just kind of stunned and offended," Allen told NBC 7.
What the article did not mention is that Allen makes the tutus and sells them to benefit the Girls on the Run charity in San Diego. Further, Allen has brain cancer and ran that L.A. marathon, dressed up as Wonder Woman, while going through chemotherapy treatments.
The story spread more quickly than anyone expected, generating thousands of comments on social media and criticism of SELF.
By Thursday, March 27, Allen's tutu company Glam Runner was overwhelmed with messages of support and orders for tutus. They have had to temporarily stop taking orders until they can catch up.
SELF has issued multiple apologies. Most recently, the magazine has now featured Allen's story on the SELF website. In that article, editor-in-chief Lucy Danziger says the photo should never have run.
"Today, I spent some time talking with Monika Allen about her charity work, her disease and, yes, her tutus, but most importantly about how we could work together to create a positive message as a result of this negative incident," Danziger said.
Danziger says SELF magazine is going to get rid of the "B-S Meter" section altogether. She says it will no longer appear after the May issue.
On Saturday, people were encouraged on social media to go for a run in their tutu. At Torrey Pines in San Diego, dozens of runners showed up. Monika Allen had tears in her eyes when she gave an emotional thank you at the event.
"And just to see the outpouring of love from everybody, it's just really touching," she said.
Allen also talked about the positive impact her story is now having. Girls on the Run has received thousands of dollars in donations since the original NBC 7 story. The Glam Runners facebook page has gone from a little more than 1,000 likes before the story to now more than 35,000.