Not to beat around the lulu pants, but this perspective on the Ayn Rand/Tea Party/Lulu ideology pushing is rather fascinating and worth your time as practicing yogis and/or consumers. While some lulu customers have taken it personally, having “Who is John Galt?” a phrase from what is being called the Tea Party bible, handed to them with their stretchy pants purchase, we now have the outer-yoga, bad business perspective from columnist, and (former) lulu customer Todd Essig at Forbes.com.
Essig posits that the message on the bags is not only bad practice as a company, having not been quite blatantly bold and crusading to date, but also extremely disrespectful and kinda dumb.
“The company has shown a genuine disrespect towards customers by remaining irony-free and proudly defiant in their effort to promulgate an ideology many find repugnant, dangerous in its popularity, inconsistent with the company’s mission to date, and just plain dumb and wrong.”
It’s America (and Canada for that matter) you say, land of capitalism and freedom of speech, why can’t they co-exist? We can disagree with what a company, or its ideology peddling captain Chip has to say, right? But Essig believes it runs deeper than that, and is about disrespect and subtle manipulation.
“…disrespect is not disagreement. And Lululemon crossed the line. Feeling disrespected should not be a price any customer gets asked to pay for a piece of clothing, no matter how useful and stylish.
Lululemon is also asking customers to signal a preference for ideology over reason, for politics over science. But to present ideology as excellence is just insulting. It diminishes everyone who does strive.”
If you think none of this applies to you and you’re free to agree or disagree with the message on your tote bag, Essig brings up scary words like subtle psychological manipulation and cognitive dissonance. It’s like this: if you didn’t agree with the message per se, but really want your cute yoga pants, it opens the door to opinion shift, having already made your purchase and the tote already in hand, in order to reduce conflict. Unless you really feel like marching around defending the ideology you’re promoting that you previously didn’t actually agree with.
Overall, it’s your choice, and that’s awesome. We find this a fascinating lesson in consciousness, which can be applied to either side. Just as Che Guevara is an icon of a certain revolutionary belief system, and rightwing folks wouldn’t be happy having his face plastered on tees at Wal-Mart, as Essig points out, so is the Ayn Rand quote, not just a quote, but a message.
Ultimately we maintain it is about respect. To yourself and to your truth. Besides, we think your butt looks totally amazing in those flannel pajama bottoms promoting cute cartoon tea cups and sushi. Occupy those babies. Mediocre, our ass.
- NPR: Lululemon’s ‘John Galt’ Un-Yoga Like Criticism, Our Sad Mediocrity and Tea Party’s Ron Paul
- Bikram Will Now Make You Sweat AND Sell You Vedic Vitamins
- Lululemon Goes Ayn Rand Ideology to ‘Conquer Epidemic of Mediocrity’
- Top 10 Yoga Cue Translations: Flutter My What?