The seasons change, our down dog evolves (always…what is the deal?) and yet Lululemon just downright refuses to cease in their mission of ruckus-causing and awkward affirmation-making. Tis the quest for greatness. Goals do not die easy! This time, with a literal attack on the antagonistic of mediocrity, Lulu has launched another controversial ship into the sea with the new “Who Is John Galt?” shopping bags. They’re based on Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged, oh and creating “vacuums of brilliance” and “conquering the epidemic of mediocrity,” according to lulu lollies.
Why are they promoting this on shopping bags? Says the lulu blog:
“Who Is John Galt?”
This question appears many times in Ayn Rand’s classic 1957 novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” and, curiously, it also appears on the side of our shopping bags currently in our stores.
You might be wondering why a company that makes yoga clothing has chosen a legendary literary character’s name to adorn the side of our bags. lululemon’s founder, Chip Wilson, first read this book when he was eighteen years old working away from home. Only later, looking back, did he realize the impact the book’s ideology had on his quest to elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness (it is not coincidental that this is lululemon’s company vision).
Oh boy. To elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness is a pretty steep feat even if you are making women feel they need to spend $90+ to vacuum-suck their asses into stretchy pants in order to feel such ‘greatness.’
Anyway, it’s spurred curious headlines from Gawker’s Lululemon Run by Ayn Rand-Obsessed Ideologue to the Globe and Mail’s Lululemon’s Ayn Rand bag irks some (Others shrugged), besides ruffling a few bakasana feathers.
Sarah Kurchak, a 29-year-old fitness instructor (former lulu lemming?) in Toronto says, “it’s a clash with yoga values,” and refuses to add another piece of luon to her already extensive lulu wardrobe as long as those bags are being handed out. Take a stand, Sarah.
When the Lulu connection to Werner Erhard’s controversial Landmark Forum is already leaving folks disenchanted totally freaked out, it doesn’t help to add more ideology-pushing to the company line.
If unfamiliar, Ayn Rand is known for her thoughts on Objectivism, a “philosophy for living on earth.” Your wikipedia definition:
Objectivism is a philosophy created by the Russian-American philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand (1905–1982). Objectivism holds that reality exists independent of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic, that the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness or rational self-interest, that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights, embodied in laissez faire capitalism, and that the role of art in human life is to transform man’s widest metaphysical ideas, by selective reproduction of reality, into a physical form—a work of art—that one can comprehend and to which he can respond emotionally.
Meditate on that.
Should a yoga-inspired clothing company push ideologies with their marketing campaigns? Of course, we’ve seen it done before (and the response).
“Our bags are visual reminders for ourselves to live a life we love and conquer the epidemic of mediocrity.” lululemon
Let’s reflect: Who the eff is mediocre anyway? If you ask is us, a company calling us mediocre because we prefer to make up our own minds instead of being indoctrinated by philosophy-pushing yoga pants-manufacturers making a gazillion dollars on our lifestyle choices can sit on their greatness…and you know the rest.
Whether you’re an Ayn Rand/lulu fan or not, we just encourage you to be conscious, to question where you spend your dough, your energy and to be present of who and what you’re representing when you slither into those stretchy bum-shaper, sip down your chosen coco water or whatever. YOU can make up your mind.
The book is now being sold in stores and is on the company’s reading list.
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