Do These Pants Make My Ass Look Fat?

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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?



Filed under American culture, social action, social commentary, yoga, yoga and politics, yoga practice, yoga teaching, yoga wisdom

9 responses to “Do These Pants Make My Ass Look Fat?

  1. “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?”
    Great question!

  2. Sherry

    Great commentary, Hilary!

  3. you are a wise powerhouse!!!! well said!

    • Today my Lulu clad students apologized for their attire. But they know I don’t care. I realize most folks don’t know a thing about the company’s business practices. What bothers me is that the people who did know were greedy enough to take whatever the company handed them when it was convenient and when it looks bad to be involved they run away like they are innocent urging others to do the same like they have some moral highground. This is antithetical to the practice of yoga. It breaks most of tenants of the ethical restraints. I just call it how I see it.

  4. Pingback: top 15 yoga blog posts of 2013

  5. I suppose one could argue that if the pants weren’t intended to look good on certain body types then the pants probably shouldn’t have been made in sizes larger than 4. See there, problem solved.

    You know what this situation reminds me of is the national outrage that occurred when the CEO of Chick Filet said he was not in support of gay marriage. Holy f&*king shit, mother of god, the horrors!!!! And then, to stand their proper moral ground, many people bought their chicken sandwiches at McDonald’s instead. For the record, I fully support marriage equality, but that’s not the point. The point is, if you’re gonna ride around on your little moral, or health conscious, high horse, then you shouldn’t be buying fast food chicken sandwiches in the first place. In no conceivable way is someone a “better person” for purchasing a shitty chicken sandwich from one bad place as opposed to another.

    I’m with you in that I don’t much care what peeps wear to class. I do feel, however, that the appeal of lululemon has nothing to do with any kind of “yoga lifestyle” but absolutely serves as a subtle way of telling the world that one can afford $100 stretchy pants.

    • We all have our moral outrage boundaries eh? I don’t know why people buy clothes there except it’s designated for yoga and there’s not alot of that. They don’t know the difference and it’s easy and looks good I guess but if you have dealt with the company on a personal level and you know what they’re about and you look the other way calling yourself a yogi then you might have to rethink your priorities.

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