I’m a huge Lululemon fan. I fell in love when I first tried on some of their clothes about a year ago. Their clothes are workout-functional and super stylish. I’ve easily spent a few hundred dollars there in the past year or so and their threads take up most of the space in my workout clothes drawer. I’m definitely not alone. Step into any boutique fitness studio in NYC and you’ll find at least half of your classmates wearing clothes emblazoned with a stylized “A” in a circle, their logo.
As you may know, Lululemon ran into some trouble earlier this year and ended up recalling a number of black yoga pants for being too sheer. Now it’s being reported that Lulu has started receiving complaints about their pants again in the last few weeks. Some of the complaints were the same (pants being see-through) and some were new (pants pilling after only a few wears).
No, their pants aren’t literally unraveling (as the title of this post might suggest), but it sounds like Lululemon’s business of selling yoga pants is unraveling a bit.
When Lululemon co-founder Chip Wilson was asked on Tuesday about the company’s pants, he said:
“Frankly some women’s bodies just actually don’t work for it. They don’t work for some women’s bodies. It’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it.”
In short, this misogynistic imbecile is body-shaming women with his whole “well it’s your fault the pants don’t work for you!” bullshit.
This story has already been covered all over the place so I’m not going to go into an in-depth discussion of why his comments are wrong, but my biggest problems with his comments are:
- It’s fair to say that there probably are people out there whose bodies aren’t made for yoga pants. Maybe they wear Lulus and maybe they don’t. Either way, it is not Chip’s place to shame anyone (much less a paying customer) into feeling embarrassed about her body.
Also I would really like to know what Chip Wilson knows about women’s clothing, women’s thighs, and how they work together, given that he has never been a woman with thighs wearing yoga pants.
- I can see how it could be difficult to manufacture a quality fabric for yoga pants. As Chip states in the interview, “it is almost impossible to build a quality control case for each one of those combinations.”
Okay, so clearly Lululemon missed a quality control case here. But how about some goddamn humility instead of shifting blame to the customers? He even gets halfway there with his comment on the quality control case… but then he takes a left turn into Sexism (population: Chip Wilson, Seth McFarlane, and Rush Limbaugh) and decides to blame it on the customers and their thunder thighs instead. I just can’t.
- On top of Lululemon’s obvious existing attempts to body shame bigger women, I kind of just find this the last straw. For example:
• They use a segregated stocking strategy in stores where 10 and 12 aren’t put on display and are put in a back room.
• Their sizing is ridiculous. I’m always a size 2 or 4, but can’t wear anything smaller than sometimes a 6 and usually an 8 at Lulu – which means someone who really wears a size 8 would probably have to wear a Lulu size 10 and ask store associates for clothes in the back room. Considering the average American woman is a size 14 (which Lulu’s size chart doesn’t even cover), their size inflation just makes their clothes even more accessible to women.
I’m really disappointed by Lululemon in this whole ordeal. I won’t stop wearing the clothes I already own (that would just be wasteful), but I’m going to stop giving them my business until Chip Wilson apologizes for his offensive comments. There’s also a Change.Org petition urging Chip to apologize and de-segregate Lululemon’s stores.
And with that, I’m off to see if The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is on Netflix.