lululemon, the new diet

lululemon is like a drug here in Orange County.

it’s the dress of choice whether you’re an active marathoner, have an aggro (aggressive, gnarly, hard-core) yoga practice, or are a busy mom who calls tag at the park her sport of choice.

lululemon as a modern day corset

so i walk into the store, and am greeted with gorgeous pictures of fit local women of all ages doing incredibly difficult yoga poses against backdrops of beach sunsets, grand canyon precipices, and volcano summits.

then i spot the aggro mom buying $5,700. worth of leggings and tops along with the pantyline-free undies b/c with pants that snug, it’s not just the panties we’re trying to hide.  not wanting to be seen or judged by this good friend, i hide behind a rack of fluorescent gear.

once aggro mom leaves with her 3 pair of leggings and non-eco friendly plastic receipt-holder-pouch, i’m accosted by a beautiful size 00, early 20-something, sales clerk with a 26.2 tattoo on her wrist.  let’s call her Sassy.  Sassy asks what my exercise of choice is.  when “chasing kids at the park” doesn’t impress her, she points me in the right direction and leaves me to fend for myself.

as i sort through the pants, i realize that either Banana Republic has been lying to me all these years, or that lululemon is the liar.  as a marketer, i’m not sure which marketing tactic is better.  is lululemon using the carrot or the stick tactic?

let me clarify for those unfamiliar with the lululemon dressing room humiliation.  as i attempt to pull on what i believe to be my true size, i’m writhing and contorting to stretch these very stretchy pants over my legs.

then a meek “Sassy??  Can you please get me a larger size?”

moments later, Sassy drapes the larger size over the door and asks how i’m doing.

and though i’m thinking “well, i just asked for a larger size and am bummed that i haven’t done yoga in 5 years, how do you think i’m doing?” i answer politely “great, thanks, Sassy!”

now, while doing the Elaine Benis wonky dance, i do my best try to squeeze into the next size.

to no avail.


by the time i sulk out of the store, i’ve got a pair of pants which, in my mind, are two sizes larger than i think i am (stick or carrot?).  i’m angry that i’m about to forego lunch to not only cut calories, but also b/c i can’t afford lunch….for several weeks.

but, i’ve got a cute plastic carrying pouch to hold any coins that come my way in the next few days.  ka-ching!

i wear the pants proudly at the park, to school pick-up, soccer practice, taekwon-do practice.  you know the drill.

by the time bedtime rolls around, i realize that i haven’t eaten all day maybe b/c the pants have constricted my stomach much like the lap band would.

i’ve got permanent marks around my midriff that last until daybreak.

but i don’t want to cave.  my future as a true OC mom depends on this.  so i give it a few more days.

then i come to my senses and realize i’ve got to return these pants.  who’m i kidding?  i’m pragmatic and sensible that way.  i can’t starve myself to fit into uncomfortable pants!  i can’t starve myself for any reason. period.

so i return to the store. “Hi Sassy.  I’d like to return these. They don’t fit well.”

“Do you have your receipt?”

“Why? Can I buy lululemon anywhere else besides your store?”

“No, but it’s store policy.”  I unzip my precious plastic pouch hand her the receipt.  “Oh, I see it’s been 14 days and 1 minute.  We can’t take this back.” and her eyes basically say “Go starve yourself or get on a treadmill, Mom.”

hmph.  i tried giving (yes, i’m that nice) my pants to two aggro yoga friends, both of whom are size 0, truly.  both of whom returned the size 6 pants to me b/c they were too small.

i pray that someday Sassy’s future kids will teach her the true meaning of 26.2


About meesh

Meesh has a passion for people, creative projects, and technology. She enjoys painting furniture back to life, gardening, playing with her kids, and connecting people.