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Lululemon Doesn’t Cater to Certain Women and I Offer a Hearty Eye Roll

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 9.32.32 AMIn a shock to absolutely no one, Lululemon, the overpriced yoga retailer, has managed to piss off consumers once again. And once again the company says sorry, not sorry about making yoga clothing for a very specific subset of women: the skinny kind. While everyone posted and reposted to Facebook all I could muster was a half-hearted sigh because what else is new?

I love yoga. LOVE. Begin a conversation with me about yoga and I will assume that you will want to hear about my struggles with perfecting a downward facing dog. Do you want to hear how it took me years of sporadic practice to finally get to a place where being inverted actually feels like a resting position? Do you want to hear about how I crave Bikram yoga? Come watch me tuck my tailbone in while I breathe into my left ribcage. It will be fun! Because that is what you will get. I love all of it. The strain to face inward and to focus only on what is happening on your mat. I feel alive once I enter that room because I’m not worrying about what others are thinking and it has taken me three decades to get to this place.

My love for deep breathing and balancing should make me upset about Lululemon’s practices but it doesn’t. It’s a company that has long perpetuated the stereotype that yoga is only for the pretty, primped and svelte blonde woman. A woman with perfectly toned arms thanks to her perfect chatarangas. Her yoga outfits are put together and there is nary a drop of sweat as she moves through a warrior series. She also wears $98 pants because it’s imperative for those behind her to know just how great her ass is thanks to all of that yoga. All of this *waves hand* with Lululemon is the antithesis of what yoga is about. It’s their selling of the perfect lifestyle that turns so many women off of yoga because they are not reflected in ad campaigns and window designs. In fact I am looking at their website right now and I see nary a woman of color whose weight goes straight to her mid-section and while frustrating that not all women are represented I have gotten to a place where I think that’s OK. I am not for Lululemon and Lululemon is not for me. They can go on with their faux-yogi branding that says only certain (pretty, skinny) women can do yoga and the rest of us with the thighs and the large chest cannot. To which I say go for it.

They can have their thin, white women only attitude and I can tell them to shove it which isn’t particularly ‘yogi’ of me but neither is what they’re selling. It’s all about image you see. Lululemon’s image as a successful company who sells what they see as the pinnacle of perfection and my realizing that I am fine and don’t need their stupid pants. I’ll just take my size 18 butt and disposable income elsewhere.

*walks off in a huff*

Do you wear Lululemon? What do you think of their latest controversy?

Keep the conversation going with Heather Barmore at Poliogue: The Art of Political Dialogue, Twitter and Facebook.

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