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.
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.