An online petition is demanding that Lululemon founder Chip Wilson apologize for his comments on women’s body sizes and that his company should start making clothes for plus size bodies.
To date, the Change.org petition has clocked more than 5,500 signatures in response to Wilson’s highly controversial comments on an live interview with Bloomberg TV’s Street Smart that has riled much of its female following.
“Frankly, some women’s bodies just don’t actually work for it,” said Chip Wilson. “They don’t work for some women’s bodies… it’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it.”
Shortly after the interview, Wilson issued a video statement apologizing for his remarks. However, the apology was more geared towards the company’s employees rather than its customers.
“I’m sad for the repercussions of my actions. I’m sad for the people of Lululemon who I care so much about and I’ve really had to face the brunt of my actions,” said Wilson apologetically in the YouTube video. “I take responsibility for all that has occurred and the impact it has had on you. I’m sorry to have put you all through this.”
Full text of the petition:
Lululemon founder Chip Wilson: Stop shaming women’s bodies. Apologize and make clothes for women of all sizes!
Does Lululemon want women to be comfortable in their clothing, or uncomfortable in our own bodies? Lululemon founder Chip Wilson claims that when Lululemon pants wear out too quickly, it’s because the wearers’ bodies aren’t built right for the brand. The problem is that their thighs rub together.
We’ve got news for Wilson: even though the “thigh gap” has become trendy and desirable among girls and young women, for the vast majority of us, it is absolutely unattainable in a healthy way. Those who chase the thigh gap are at increased risk of eating disorders.
Furthermore, Lululemon clothing is only available up to a size 12. But a size 12 is average for women in the US and Canada, and women who wear a size 12 and larger can be just as healthy as their thinner sisters. Size is not a sound measure of fitness!If Lululemon is really a brand for women who are pursuing health and wellness, shouldn’t Lululemon clothes be made in sizes larger than the average, too?
By only producing clothes up to a size 12 and by making comments to the media that shame women’s bodies, the Lululemon brand and its founder, Chip Wilson, are treating thinness as a status symbol. Only those who are “thin” are “in” when it comes to the upscale Lululemon brand.
Sadly, antics such as these are making the world smaller and smaller for women and girls. We are constantly being told we’re not small enough–and there are ever fewer clothing stores that feel safe for women who just want to be comfortable in their own skin. We started this petition because we know firsthand how harmful this can be.
I’m Marci Warhaft-Nadler and I survived an eating disorder and now specialize in body image issues. Healthy bodies are being shamed so they can glorify skinny ones. We need to love our bodies into health, not hate them into being skinny. Lulelemon should be about getting all women IN the game, not banishing most of them to the sidelines.
I’m Rebecca Hains, a media studies researcher and author of books on how body image impacts girls. During my field research, I have witnessed girls as young as eight, full of self-loathing, blame their bodies when they didn’t quite fit into trendy clothing. These negative feelings can last a lifetime. The last thing we need is for major clothing retailers to actively foster this harmful thinking.
Mr. Wilson: You owe women and girls an apology. If Lululemon pants wear out quickly with normal use, please acknowledge that there is a problem with your pants without blaming women. And to show your sincerity, make clothing for a wider range of body sizes than those found in Lululemon shops. Stop acting like only the thinnest of women have value.