Lululemon pant-demic at Ottawa U and the myth of mass customization. (7)

You wouldn’t believe the number of girls that do Yoga at the University of Ottawa these days. And you’d be right not to, because they don’t. They just pretend to with their Lululemon yoga pants.

Most guys would think it odd to complain that these figure-clinging pants are the latest fad to stick to young women’s butts everywhere. But here I am doing it, because part of me doesn’t understand it.


One frustrated word: "WHY!?"

What’s interesting about Lululemon’s yoga pants is that they are advertised in such an ironic way that matches Strangelove’s criticism of similar products beautifully.

Lululemon’s website advertising literature attempts to give their pants an aura of liberation through personal meditation by riding on the back of Yoga mythology which preaches such empty promises as to “integrate the various aspects of the body-mind through a combination of postures, breathing techniques, deep relaxation, and meditation.”

Strangelove’s argument that “it is intensely ironic that this latest trend in highly customized marketing is celebrated as liberating” (p. 39) fits the Lululemon booty conspiracy perfectly.

Additionally, pants with titles like “hook my eye” and “groove” play right into the male gaze. It is curious that women would find such themes “liberating.” You can see why I am so confused.

But Strangelove’s analysis with the help of Hannah Tavares does make things a bit clearer. “What looks like diversity and freedom of choice turns out to be stereotypical constructions of feminity and race” (p. 147).

The only question left is “When will the booty pants fad end?”

Published in: on February 4, 2009 at 2:54 am  Comments (26)