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.

"WHY!?"

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?”

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

The Normalization Thesis and a new musical invention. (5)

Normalization in the context of market ideology is the draw for people to retain the status quo by buying into capitalism its and bottomless-pit purchase, get bored, purchase more cycle. Its about being a good consumer and not asking subversive or analytical, (god-forbid critical!) questions.

C’mon! Just be normal! Why shouldn’t you love watching the same hockey game over and over again? Don’t fall in love! Love doesn’t exist. We have something that will take the edge off your hormones. What’ll it be? Booze or porn? Why not both!

Woody Norris has invented hyper-sonic sound. People usually tell him “Cool, but what’s it good for?”

Hyper-sonic sound is to the speaker what the laser is to the lightbulb. Hypersonic sound doesn’t dissipate in all directions, but is focused in a straight line.

For the first time people will be able to listen to true stereo sound. The speakers you’re used to let sound from the left channel into your right ear. With these new puppies you’ll be able to aim the separate channels at each ear and neither will interfere with the other.

Nevermind the long term effects of aiming what is effectively an ultrasound at your cerebellum.

Or nevermind that this new invention has already been appropriated into capitalism’s value system. Not much escapes the normalization thesis these days.

Nevermind the non-economic uses for this invention. The U.S. military is already using it to communicate with its troops on the ground to better annihilate the enemy, er… human beings.

Norris says pretty soon you’ll see it in malls, grocery marts and big box stores. Waiting in line to pay you’ll suddenly step into the sound zone without knowing it. The speakers will lock onto you and you won’t have a chance. Who doesn’t want to be entertained while waiting in a long line? And nobody else can hear what you’re watching.

Norris claims he’s creating silence at the same time as advertising foofaraw, as anyone can take another step and they’ll be free of the hyper-sonic soundwaves.

But lets not kid ourselves. All Norris is selling is one more new way to grab people and shake a few more coins out of their pants pockets. He’s in it for the money. He says so himself.

Published in: on January 31, 2009 at 6:28 am  Leave a Comment