Photograph by Jason Michael | Republished with Creative Commons license
Fitness junkies worldwide pay big bucks to rock the stylized “A” that is synonymous with lululemon on their athletic wear. However, this year lululemon’s logo may be recognizable for all the wrong reasons. Most recently, founder Chip Wilson appeared on Bloomberg Television’s Street Smart and added to the public relations headache by saying:
“Quite frankly, some women’s bodies just actually don’t work” in Lululemon’s pants. … “It’s about the rubbing through the thighs,” and “how much pressure is there.”
NPR was one of the first to break this story yesterday, and a simple Google search will reveal that many outlets have jumped on the brand for implying that if you lack a thigh gap, lululemon pants aren’t for you. Is this what Wilson really meant? We can’t be sure, but he does seem to stick his foot in his mouth quite often.
These comments came as a response to one of lululemon’s previous PR nightmares, where customers complained of pilling and torn seams. But we can’t forget earlier this year, when insiders reported that lululemon stores consciously hide its larger sizes, and kicking off the controversy was the recall of its see-through yoga pants in March.
While I have admitted in previous posts to loving certain lululemon products, I cannot support the founder’s comments and the brand’s recent news presence that seem to intentionally shame plus-sized customers. And after looking at the pattern of occurrence, it seems as if this poor attitude is a larger issue of company culture, and not just that of the founder. It’s sad that such a large population of women are being marginalized, when in an ideal world everyone would be encouraged to wear clothes that make them feel good and that encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle.
What do you guys think about the intense criticism of lululemon in the news this year, and specifically this week?
And on a slightly unrelated note, if you’re still interested in reading more, check out the New York Times‘ recent article on body image in Venezuela.
This past week has fitness gear junkies, like myself, excited about recent product announcements from major industry players. On Tuesday, October 15, Nike announced the new Nike+ Fuelband SE. The following day, rival Adidas announced its own smartwatch, a potential competitor for the Nike+ Sportswatch GPS.
Amidst all this product buzz, I would like to share with you my favorite fitness gear that has truly motivated me to get moving and helped me reach my fitness goals. I think it’s important to note that I am in no way affiliated with any of these companies, and my brand loyalty is simply derived from years of trial and error.
- Brooks Ghost 6 running shoes: Since my first road race over a year ago, Brooks Ghost running shoes have provided support and durability in a variety of fun colors. I bought these in blue and yellow shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing to show my support for Boston runners. I highly recommend Marathon Sports for finding your perfect running shoe.
- Nike Pro Essential 2.5″ compression shorts: Appropriate for lifting, running or cross-training, I’m on my way to acquiring more colors to add to my grey and black pairs.
- Nike Element Half-Zip (currently on sale!): A long-sleeve top made with Dri-FIT material that is perfect for those cool fall days, equipped with thumbholes.
- lululemon Swiftly Headband and Ultimate Padded Run Sock: Small investments can make a big difference.
- iPod Shuffle: I’m not a huge fan of arm bands, which often slip or need readjusting mid-workout, This clippable and colorful iPod features Voiceover, playlists and 15-hour battery life, with storage for hundred of songs.
- Foam roller: One of these (any brand) is necessary for those days you are too sore to make it to the gym.
Also, this October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you are interested in purchasing products that will help fund breast-cancer-related research, support, and education, be sure to check out this pink-ribbon product guide.
Did I miss any of your favorite fitness products?