Hi all- I haven’t been active on tumblr lately but I feel the need to take to this social media platform to express my views on the infamous, notorious company Lululemon Athletica.
First of all- I am a 21 year old, size 2, 120 pound female. I am also a fitness instructor teaching barre and Zumba®- usually between 10 and 13 classes per week. Given this description, I am pretty much Lululemon’s ideal customer. I am the traditional version of “fit,” I am young, and I do spend quite a bit of money on athletic wear, as I wear it every single day. Furthermore, my many students (over 300) always seek my advice for the best clothes to buy for class.
And I have never owned, and will never own, a Lululemon item. Why? It originally wasn’t because of the horrible and unfair comments by higher ups in the company. Before many of these egregious statements were highly publicized, I did venture into a Lululemon store to try on a pair of these pants I had heard so much about.
And I hated them. Why? They were totally see-through. (And before you ask, this was months, maybe even a year before their big recall of the pants.) Now, any smart fitness instructor will do the “bend over test” in the dressing room, which is exactly what it sounds like: back side facing the mirror, bend over as far as you possibly can, and test if you can see your butt through the pants in the mirror. (It sounds crazy, but this is very important for someone in my job, as my students are literally forced to look at my backside for the hour that they take my class.) & there, through the pair of $92.00 “Wunder Unders” (which I tried on in 2 sizes to be sure it was the right fit) was a faint black outline of my thong. Now, it wasn’t as horrible as last spring when Lululemon had to recall for being ultra-sheer, but they were still, undoubtedly, see-through. Absolutely not usable for me. I walked out of the store empty-handed, and not too upset about it.
Since then, Lululemon has been in the media receiving mostly negative attention including a recall for see-through pants, making insensitive comments about a charity that raises money for battered women, being accused of hiding their largest sizes (only up to a 12, may I add) in the back of the store, among many other issues.
This is all, obviously, totally outrageous and unacceptable. And now, the Founder of Lululemon, Chip Wilson, is saying that some women are just too fat to wear their pants.
This is my biggest problem with Lululemon. As a fitness instructor, I want absolutely everyone, (everyone: of all shapes, sizes, and levels of fitness ability) to feel absolutely welcome and successful in my class. Lululemon’s attitude towards women above a certain (tiny) size has absolutely no place in the fitness industry, which is about making everyone feel happy, healthy, and good about themselves.
I would also like to say to Lululemon, that I am a size 2, with 20% body fat. I work out 3 times per day, and yes, my thighs touch when I walk. Most in the fitness industry will tell you that this coveted “thigh gap” has more to do with placement of the hip bones than it does body fat, and when girls develop into women, it is typical for this gap to close. But, if Lululemon wants to be known for promoting unrealistic expectations of women’s bodies…to encourage women to strive for the bodies of little girls…to value thinness over fitness…that’s up to them. There is nothing I can do about it. I will simply recommend that my (over 300) students spend their money elsewhere, at places that to my knowledge, celebrate women’s bodies and welcome everyone into their stores.
Ladies with thigh gaps- you are awesome. Ladies without thigh gaps- you are also awesome. Please, please, please be smart enough, confident enough, and educated enough to know that the thigh gap doesn’t make the woman, & everyone can rock yogas.
Don’t criticize these men for coming up with a product to attempt to help keep women safe.
Though you may feel that their efforts are misplaced, (and I don’t totally disagree with that statement,) their efforts are noble. I’m seeing a TON of backlash towards these men for creating a “victim-blaming” situation, but I do not see it that way at all. I have not read anything from this company saying that all women SHOULD wear this, that this will DEFINITELY prevent all date rape, or that if a woman does NOT swirl her finger in her drink, it is her fault that she was attacked. Anyone who does see it that way should take a step back.
4 young men decided that they would try to create a tool that may, in some situations, potentially, alert a female that she is in danger. Should we need to do that? No, absolutely not. It is deplorable. I find it extremely upsetting that when I am walking into my parking garage at night, I walk with my keys in my hand, because I can use them as a weapon should I be attacked. It definitely sucks that when I am at a party, even among very close friends, I still feel the need to keep my mixers separate from everyone else’s, in order to protect myself from a potential drugging.
But I do these things. Does taking these precautions against a potential attack make me a victim-blamer? I think not. You may disagree, but I feel that these steps are necessary to make me feel better. I am always thinking about and looking for tools to protect myself against a potential assault. And I personally would be very pleased to have more options to do that.
These men are not making any grand claims about creating the “solution” for rape. The most obvious and necessary “solution” would be to teach rapists/assaulters/the general population that sexual violence is not okay. If a product such as this prevents even ONE assault, for me, that is worth it.
Take a step back and see it for what it is- 4 young adult men made a decision to create a product that may protect women.
I feel that we’re getting dangerously close to being SO critical and so judgmental about how individuals talk about rape and assault, that we risk eliminating the potential for discussion altogether. We can’t alienate people from trying to help, even if their efforts are somewhat uninformed.
Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Announcing my temporary return to tumblr
Summer is boring.