Petition cross-posted from Change.org
Lululemon Founder Chip Wilson: Stop Shaming Women’s Bodies. It’s time to apologize and de-segregate your stores!
In August, insiders reported that Lululemon stores keep their largest items—sizes 10 and 12—segregated from smaller sizes. Shunning larger women is part of their brand strategy–a shameful thing to do.
Now, founder Chip Wilson is making matters worse: he claims that when Lululemon pants wear out too quickly, it’s because the wearers’ bodies aren’t built right for the brand: The problem is that their thighs rub together.
We’ve got news for Wilson: even though the “thigh gap” has become trendy and desirable among girls and young women, for the vast majority of us, it is absolutely unattainable in a healthy way. Those who chase the thigh gap are at increased risk of eating disorders.
Branding strategies like Lululemon’s are making the world smaller and smaller for women and girls. We are constantly being told we’re not small enough–and with these antics from brands like Lululemon and Abercrombie, there are ever fewer clothing stores that feel safe for women who just want to be comfortable in their own skin.
“Healthy bodies are being shamed so they can glorify skinny ones,” notes body image expert Marci Warhaft-Nadler. “We need to love our bodies into health, not hate them into being skinny. Lulelemon should be about getting all women IN the game, not banishing most of them to the sidelines.”
Media studies researcher and author Rebecca Hains agrees. “During my field research, I have witnessed girls as young as eight, full of self-loathing, blame their bodies when they didn’t quite fit into trendy clothing,” Hains explains. “These negative feelings can last a lifetime. The last thing we need is for major clothing retailers to actively this harmful thinking.”
Mr. Wilson: You owe women and girls an apology. If Lululemon pants wear out quickly with normal use, please acknowledge that there is a problem with your pants without blaming women. And to show your sincerity, desegregate the clothing found in Lululemon shops. Stop acting like only the thinnest of women have value: Keep sizes 10 and 12 with the rest of the clothing.
Readers: Please sign our petition here.