Caution: This material contains some judgment.
The CEO of Lululemon sportswear attire aligned his company with the yoga community years ago in a successful effort to corner the yoga apparel market. The society of yogis fell prey to the promise of promotion, free swag and membership to an elite community; their own, as re-gifted to them by the long arm of a clothing chain with Mafioso chutzpah.
Lululemon has been cited for one questionable act after another but if the yoga public flinched it didn’t show in sales records; not until the company made a pair of yoga pants that woman complained were too sheer. And CEO/founder Chip Wilson countered that their fat thighs were responsible for burning those threads bare. Not his fault; they were not his targeted clientele. You know, not everyone looks good in his yoga pants.
He’s right and not every company caters to every body. It’s the only thing I’ve heard him be right about since his company starting getting bad press but that’s what took him down. Don’t fuck with women’s self image. We are too insecure to handle that. Take advantage of Chinese workers. Brainwash and manipulate your employees. Just don’t say that our asses are too fat. That is our moral breaking point. That is our moral outrage.
I’ve said my piece about this company long ago. I don’t give a rat’s ass what they do with their bad luck upside down horseshoe branded clothing. That’s how this country’s commerce works. You do what you can to make a buck and let the buyer beware. Lulu was deep in the drink by the time they came to Nashville. I’d never heard of them but it didn’t take long to see they weren’t “yoga people” (whatever that means now) but people selling pants; period. And they knew how to work a system that was increasingly commercialized and dependent on its own sales.
I was under the impression that most folks don’t know anything about Lululemon’s policies although it’s probable that anyone on the yoga blogosphere does. I didn’t see the company’s stock plummet when the internet was alive and aghast with the underpinnings of the company’s philosophy; survival of the fittest and no tears for the losers, the CEO’s outspoken defense of employing Asian children at a pittance or his delight in creating a name for a company that would sound funny when Asians tried to pronounce it. How many folks quit wearing the clothes or detached themselves as ambassadors when they discovered that the company’s staff training extended into their personal lives? And will the yogis aligned with the company bail because of a fat ass attack where a manipulative people baiting money making machine was not reason before?
The attempt to blame shoddy workmanship on the consumer was stupid. Chip Wilson is smart enough to be a millionaire entrepreneur but it took a clueless pot shot at women’s bodies to show that he is nothing more than a guy with an opinion that most guys know not to share. Any guy who’s known a woman knows if a woman asks: “Do these pants make my ass look fat?” the answer is no.
Is it possible that people who knew the company was un-cool turned their heads until insulted by the implication that their bodies weren’t hot enough to turn someone else’s?
Why are we undone by some pants maker’s opinion? Surely clothing designers everywhere have these conversations behind closed doors. Did Lululemon so successfully run a clothing sale campaign that we believed they were an entity interested in our well being, not just our attire? And why the indignation when it comes to our looks more than indignation about a company that inserts itself into the local chapters of our business?