When Self magazine asked cancer survivor Monika Allen for permission to use her photo from last year’s LA Marathon, she was excited for the opportunity. Allen wore a tutu and Wonder Woman shirt during the race, which fell in the midst of her chemotherapy, because she said it gave her motivation.
Allen didn’t expect to be mocked by the magazine, though. Self published her photo on the lame side of its “BS Meter” and wrote, “People think these froufrou skirts make you run faster. Now, if you told us they made people run away from you faster, maybe we would believe it.”
Self editor-in-chief Lucy Danziger later apologized, saying “I am personally mortified. I had no idea that Monika had been through cancer… It was a stupid mistake.”
This is why, when asking for permission for photos, you don’t use those photos to mock the subject.