Dear Lululemon

Dear Lululemon,

Three years ago I walked into your store. The bold colors and creative designs pulled me in. As I walked around the store I imagined myself in those outfits and how great I would look and feel in them.

As a plus size woman, I looked towards the back of each rack for the size 16. Although I was used to stores only carrying one or two garments in my size, I was surprised to fine that they were all sold out.

After a while of searching, a store employee asked if I could use any help. I quickly asked the employee if she had any size 16 tights or tanks in the back, but before I knew it, I was transformed into Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Out of place, embarrassed, and enraged all at the same time. “Oh, we don’t sell size 16 here”, she proclaimed. I stood there for a second, trying to process what had just happened. Was I really standing in a fitness store that considered a size 12 to be an extra large?

From the outside looking in, I perceived Lululemon to be a store for all women. A store that supported women’s health and fitness goals by clothing them in bright, bold, and comfortable designs. I found it hard to believe that you (Lululemon) could support a sport that “can be modified to suit all levels of fitness” and yet blatantly decide to only clothe those who fit inside your mold.  I mean, have you ever seen the diversity of body sizes in a yoga class?

I’ve struggled over the years to hate you for what you are. I’ve bought the only thing that fits me in your store, your headbands, but I hate seeing myself in your logo. Who you are and what you stand for far outweighs the designs and patterns that first pulled me in.

ashley

As much as I want to love you Lululemon, you are a disgrace. Women buy your clothes because they are adorable, and although I don’t blame them, I wish all of those women would take a second to realize how many strong, powerful, and beautiful women are being turned away because you don’t want to spend the extra money on fabric.

The sick thing is, I’ve made you a goal in the past. I’ve wanted to lose enough weight in order to be able to wear your clothes, and while I am still working hard to reach my health and fitness goals, I’ve realized how disgusting it was to want to be like you.

How can I support a company that doesn’t support all women? How can I support a company that doesn’t help women of all sizes to live a happy and healthy life? How can I support a brand that continues to show its hypocritical face (and a lot of women’s rear ends at the same time)?

I quit you Lululemon. No longer will I hope to be like you some day. Instead, I will clothe myself with honor, strength, agility, and power. I will define myself, not by the label on my tights, but by the message I spread to all women: Love yourself, love your body, and never let anyone tell you you’re not good enough.

Sincerely,

Ashley
coffeecakeandcardio.com

Comments

  1. says

    You’re amazing. Tell ‘em, GIRRRRL ;).

    Screw them, and their ultra see through pants. Apparently my booty is too big for them. I’m all torn up about it… Until I realize how FAB my butt looks in tight black pants.

  2. says

    That is an amazing, and honest post. :) I read the article a few days ago on what he said. After reading your post, I feel guilty I bought their “Mat,” but my yoga teacher told me it was the best one for hot yoga. You GO GIRL. xoxo.

  3. Lauren says

    Great post! At my thinnest, I had some of their clothes because I was going to yoga 3-5 times a week (they used to sell 14′s and now even 12′s are hard to find) and my sister is an ambassador for them, but after this latest scandal, no way am I ever buying their stuff. I quit Lululemon, too.

  4. Lindsay says

    This is one of the best things I have read. I have two pairs if lululemon oants and a headband. I want to burn them, but damn they were expensive. But I will never shop there again as a woman the owner’s behaviour offends me. I lost 60 pounds last year and yes I can fit into their stuff now but don’t want to.
    Thanks again that was awesome!

  5. says

    This is amazing. Thank you for sharing this. Society gets so wrapped up into what’s cool or fashionable or hot at the moment that we forget to take a step back to understand what a company or a statement really stands for. <3

  6. says

    Great post! I found it via Twitter. I’ve been steering away from Lululemon clothes lately, because I feel like their clothing quality has declined significantly in the past few years, esp. for their price! And the fact they aren’t plus size friendly is even more of a reason to dislike them.

  7. says

    Wow! I’ve never shopped there, but I didn’t realize they don’t have size 16. That is such a shame. I’m surprised they are not catering to people who actually want and need to loose weight.

  8. Anastasia says

    Bravo! The statements of the company’s executives in the last couple of weeks and months have been elitist and shallow. I do own two of their run skirts but will not shop there again after the recent comments.

  9. says

    Well put! Nobody gets to define yourself but you. I’ve boycotted them because I think their prices are ridiculous, but I will add this to my list of reasons.

  10. says

    Great post! PopFitLife.com texted it to me! I wanted to tell you about ActivewearOtlet.com, they carry amazing brands like MPG Sport whose XL is a 14/16 and Taffy Activewear that goes up to a 22-24! I posted about the Lulu controversy last week, and think they are a company who needs to rethink their mantra. It seems money is more important than friends and customers these days.

    Keep going, girl! xox

  11. tara says

    Amen!! I have never set foot in one of their stores and do not support them for several reasons. Glad I am not the only one.

  12. says

    Amen, sister! I requested a Lulu infinity scarf for my birthday a few years, and my hubby got it for me, but it remains the only piece I own of theirs. A couple of years ago when the Lulu craze first started hitting, I would walk past the store in the mall and wonder why I didn’t want to go in, even though I love fitness gear and absolutely splurge on some higher-end pieces from time to time. I just had a bad feeling about the place, even though I loved what I’d seen online. I think I knew on some level it was not a welcoming place for a size 16 (now 14) woman. I definitely hope to be a size 10 someday, but when I get there, I will be supporting one of Lululemon’s MANY competitors who embraces women of all sizes who care about their health. Well said! (And for the record, my Old Navy compression capris are amazing, and just about anyone can wear them!)

  13. says

    Well said Ashley

    I have never been able to bring myself to spend Lululemon prices on clothes I was just planning to sweat in, and I’ve never actually even been in one of their stores.

    This latest news about them makes me happy for that – There are so many more role models out there for any size woman!

  14. June says

    As a die hard Lulu lover, and yes someone who can wear their clothes, I dont like the part in your post where I feel shamed because of that. Its a double edged sword. While I think the hoopla over this has gotten WAY too much press first off, I also understand all women no matter the size should be celebrated! However in the same breath, why arent smaller women up in arms that I cant shop at Lane Bryant? Thats discriminating!!! Anyway, I felt like I had to say something because I felt like you were shaming those of us who can wear their clothes and are less senstive if we dont boycott.

  15. says

    This is such an honest post and I love it. I don’t own anything Lululemon because I think the prices are ridiculously expensive when I can find the exact same clothing at target for way less than the Lululemon price. I don’t think Lululemon realizes that women of all shapes and sizes workout and want to feel confident in the workout clothing that they wear, which really is a disgrace to see.

    xoxo,
    Brie

  16. Falon says

    Yeah, this post is a little heavy-handed and seems to come from a place of hurt feelings as opposed to general concern over discrmination. I think Lulu is way too expensive, so I don’t choose to shop there. They clearly don’t make clothing for all income levels and yet my feelings aren’t hurt. Such is the world. Letting a clothing brand illicit strong feelings like that is just giving them a ridiculous amount of power. They don’t want to cater to all shapes and sizes? Well, then you can take your money elsewhere. I don’t really think they’ve achieved the level of disgrace you’re expressing here.

  17. says

    I think the reason Lulu is getting hit so hard for this is because they’ve sold themselves on being a welcoming, accepting and encouraging store. That being said, like a few others have mentioned, no one cries discrimination that Lane Bryant doesn’t carry size 10, or that Torrid offers nothing for my size 4 body (despite having some very cute clothes that i would love).
    Chips comment was tactless, no doubt. But was also true. The larger you are, the more you will stretch your spandex. It’s just a fact. Of course they should use better quality fabric that doesn’t offer a free show every time you downward dog (especially at those prices) but to expect every company to make every size is unreasonable.

    I should add, I don’t like lulu – I don’t think their clothes are anything special. I’m Nike for pants and Flex Till Your Famous for shirts – companies that produce high quality clothes at way better prices.

  18. says

    AMEN!!!!

    I love absolutely everything about this. I am so sick of companies who purposefully make it so that only certain women can wear their clothes, because heaven forbid someone who doesn’t look like their idea of perfect is seen in their brand. It’s absolutely disgusting. I’m sad to admit that I didn’t realize that Lululemon was quite this bad.

  19. says

    Wow I am blown away. I am so with you. I have never bought from Lululemon but after the whole see-through pant thing I was even less interested. This kind of reminds me of the whole Abercrombie and Fitch thing where whatever his name is, the owner, said that and I quote “I don’t want Fat Chicks” wearing my brand.” Seriously???? Don’t even get me started with that. Being that LuluLemon is a fitness brand they should AT LEAST have the option on their website to purchase sizes beyond 12 and train their employees to guide women to their website or something like that. Well, I could never justify spending so much on tights so that is why I was never really interested in their brand, but seeing this plus see through yoga pants and price they are definitely on my naughty list. Thank you for sharing your opinions.

    I love reading all about your successes and goals you are hitting along with your before and afters. I am so proud of you (I know I have met you once but still) and I think you are amazing!

  20. says

    It seems like great minds think alike. I just posted my letter to lulu today too. I realized that part of the reason I was so drawn to them was because I was drawn to the image that they were projecting and I wanted that. But I now realize that I’ve grown so far away from wanting that image now and to align myself with a company that is down right crappy. The thing for me now is that I do have a ton of lulu clothes and I feel like a jerk when I wear it but it’s also not like I can go out and replace everything that I have either. Thanks for sharing this Ashley.

  21. Randee says

    Dear Ashley,
    I have been reading your blog and not commenting for over a year now. However, I could not silence myself when I read this post. This is a f-cking amazing letter. You rock.

    Also, Carly, LuluLemon pants are meant for tiny white girls lacking junk in the trunk. You and I don’t need no 100 dollar pair of black pants to make our booties look fine :)

  22. Cailee says

    This was an amazing letter and one that I will definitely be sharing with others. Fat shaming women in a fitness store (of all places!) is just downright disgusting. I think by sharing this message you are really empowering women to feel awesome in their own bodies, no matter the size.

  23. Sally says

    Good for you for not letting someone else bring you down. You’ve worked hard and deserve only the very best. And that doesn’t include the put downs of the fashion world towards plus sized individuals. Heck, statistics show 60% – 80% of the American public are overweight, with a trend of obesity in children. I congratulate you for being honest about your struggles with your weight/body image and taking steps to improve your overall self. Keep up the good work.

  24. says

    I’m with you on this. While I don’t feel that Lululemon should feel obligated to produce sizes that fit all women, the comments made by CEO as of late are almost inexcusable. I went to a Lululemon once and made it a goal to one day buy a cute ruffled butt skirt from them because in my mind I felt that if I could fit in their clothes then I had reached a solid level of fitness. The store I went to was very unwelcoming but that could be experienced anywhere. Yes I am sad I once made them a goal.

  25. says

    Awesome!

    I had a really bad shopping experience at Lululemon the first time I built up the nerve to walk in there. The girl who FINALLY decided to come over and assist me looked so disgusted that I had the nerve to be in their store. So rude!

    Good for you!

  26. says

    Lululemon is a shady, shady company. I admit, I have a pair of their shorts that I really like – but after reading about their practices and whatnot I decided to spend my money elsewhere. I’m all for speciality clothing and if stores don’t want to carry certain sizes (would kill people to actually sell tall sizes in the store??) that’s their loss, but their whole attitude and reaction to plus-sizes is appalling and RIDICULOUS!!

  27. says

    I adore Ashley and this post… and I do own a few Lululemon pieces, I’ve been very fortunate to not have any quality issues. I’m not sure how I feel about buying more after this whole bad press thing, there are a lot of companies whose philosophies I disagree with while I still like their products. Everyone is entitled to make decisions about how to spend their money – for example, I personally don’t see movies with Tom Cruise in them because I still feel serious anger about his views on mental illness. That’s my choice.

    But Randee, how is saying that they’re only for “tiny white girls lacking junk in the trunk” an okay thing to say when we’re talking about not weight and body shaming. I run and I have plenty of junk in my trunk, thanks. If I want to spend $100 on pants that’s my priority too. You can’t play it both ways – “wah people are rude to me” but then be rude to others. Not cool.

  28. says

    You go girl! I am also not a stick figure and I love non-stick figures giving the proverbial middle finger to these stores that we are supposed to be lusting after. Go you!

  29. julie says

    and add abercrombie and fitch to that list. their xl looks like any other store’s small. jerks!!!

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