Now YOU can be sexy is just 15 minutes a day! Whoa, hold the twinkies, are you talking about yoga? This is the marketing message of Tara Stiles’ new book Slim, Calm, Sexy, three little words that unlock a whole smorgasbord of emotions, connotations and a motherload of self-consciousness, maybe even worse than camel toe.
Eat, Pray, Love; Slim, Calm, Sexy; mind, body, spirit – we’re on a 3-word roll! This, friends, is the new frontier of the Incredible, Edible, Yoga: bite sized munchkins of a practice formed from the whole of the yoga donut, downsized and palatable enough for women’s magazine splash ads, and 3-minute morning show bits. Is this bad? Does it matter? Whether we like it or not Tara Stiles is the “new face of fitness” deemed so by ‘Workout’ Queen herself, Madame Jane Fonda. It’s true. (The women’s magazines are a whole other glob of dough to fry).
So Tara has seen her share of the spotlight, as a model, yoga teacher, American Apparel yoga ad-maker, Nissan yoga ad-maker, Deepak Chopra ‘Authentic Yoga’ iPhone app collaborator, and now author. She has done all of this with an impossibly thin physique! Something we assume she was born with, so we can’t really fault her on that, right? (though we can certainly look on begrudgingly).
But WHAT about the message? Responses to the hyper-pinked marketing have ranged from “We love Tara! but…” to vehement and passionately dissenting, aghast at the way yoga is whittled down to a disposable diet fad to tackle the “epidemic of bra fat!“. Stop the insanity! One commenter said it looks like something out of Cosmo, but we’re thinking it’s borderline late-night infomercial. We actually totally get the yoga every day thing. Great! Yoga to “give you the body of your dreams”? Ack. Yoga for the masses? WHO are the masses? Intention is there, but the message all wrong. Although, really, it’s not that far off point as far as thi “mass” marketing is concerned. See the comparison of book covers between T. Stiles and Tracy Anderson, fitness expert to the stars! (Madonna, Gwyneth, etc) below.
In a society where obsession over “no pain, no gain” fitness is routine, a yoga community that is already tossing cookies over too-sexy/naked yoga ads, and the billion dollar industry where there are moguls, large-scale mass-produced corporate sponsored events, Hollywood movie franchising and yoga “talent” representatives, would we really be surprised to find that 1-800 number on the screen at 3 in the morning badgering us to ‘act fast! feel the yoga burn with 4 easy payments of $19.99!’ ? And should we be shocked if the bandwagon of merry yogsters pisses off the hardcore home team? Something is certainly shifting, but it’s undeniable yoga is a hot commodity. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Want to know our reaction? It defaults to: what would Gabourey Sidibe have to say about this?