Dear Lululemon: An Open Letter From Someone Grateful (And Ashamed) For You

Jamie Silverstein
Dear Lululemon: An Open Letter From Someone Grateful (And Ashamed) For You

You need to stop. You are distancing your customers, by berating us with prescriptive ideals and body-shame. You are better than this. Please practice it.

I know you are better because I have served as an ambassador for your company. I have had the great honor of working with your Seattle, WA (University Village) team. Together with your team, I have become a better teacher and have been able to positively impact my community, specifically by providing yoga interventions for people struggling with eating disorders. With Lululemon's support, generosity, and guidance, I have been able to hold space for women to better love their bodies.

I Am Endlessly Grateful For This Opportunity

That being said, the recent revelations made by Chip Wilson about women's bodies and thigh size have made me feel ashamed. As a woman and a recovered anorexic / bulimic and eating disorder recovery advocate I can emphatically say that the current comments like: "women's bodies just actually don't work for it" [!lululemon!] are not acceptable. Period. This language is not only demeaning and maladaptive, but that it also reinforces a dangerous ideal.

Our Bodies Are NOT The Problem. Shame On You, Mr. Wilson

Prescriptive messages from a company that boasts empowerment like this are damaging. I’ve privately struggled to see how this type of communication serves anyone. At best, I feel that these commentaries are cheap motivators designed to push product. Sadly, I fear that perpetuating a narrow physical ideal like this is actually a type of passive violence. Any issues that manifest on our bodies are ours to understand and love. Shaming us about yoga pants does not help.

For the health and happiness of our spirits (and your bottom-line), you need to make a change. I sincerely  love the team I've encountered that makes up Lululemon WA. As a corporation, please love us back!

Thank you.