Shopper ‘fat shamed’ by Lululemon staff
A woman was body-shamed by Lululemon staff in viral facebook post
Lululemon has a history of body-shaming customers.
The INSIDER Summary:
- A woman was body-shamed by employees at a Lululemon store who insisted that she needed a bigger size.
- She posted about her experience on Facebook on June 20.
- In the post she advocated for body positivity and accused Lululemon of body discrimination.
- The post has gone viral since with hundreds of likes.
Most shoppers want above-average customer service when they go shopping.
But for one Ohio woman, the service she received from employees at an athletic store crossed the line from helpful to hateful.
Jamie Kraig had an unsettling experience last month, when she was trying on leggings at a Lululemon store and was body-shamed by employees, according to the Vancouver Sun.
The 21-year-old woman shared the details of a shopping trip gone wrong in an emotional Facebook post on June 20.
"A few days ago, I walked into the athletic clothing store Lululemon to buy leggings. This sounds like a rather insignificant event, and that's because it should be, but for me it was monumental," the post began.
After losing a substantial amount of weight over the course of a year and half, Kraig went from a size 18 to a size 8 and had a newfound sense of self-confidence, she wrote on Facebook. She added that she decided to reward herself with a brand new pair of Lululemon leggings.
But when she tried on a pair in the store, things went wrong.
"Although I was pretty content with the pair I had on, several employees gave me unwarranted suggestions on different styles better suited for my body based on assumptions they drew from looking at me," Kraig said.She wrote that she had never expressed concern over how the leggings looked on her. Kraig even asked the employees to help her find a pair of the same leggings a size down, but they had other plans.
"I had leggings dropped into my hands that were of styles for more stomach control, for minimizing friction between the legs, and some of which were not down a size like I had asked for," she continued.
"I never stated that I had issues with friction between my legs, or felt concerned about the amount of stomach control that the pants provided. Unwanted comments were made to me about finding leggings that would cater to these problems that I didn't even know I had," Kraig said. "It was clear that the employees assumed that I had these concerns based on my size."
She said that the ordeal negatively impacted her self-confidence.
Lululemon sizes go up to 12, meanwhile the average American woman is a size 16.
Lululemon has since sent her "apologetic emails" and a free pair of leggings in the correct size. However, Kraig said this did not make up for the way the employees treated her. She felt she had to take a stand for body-positivity, leading her to share her story on Facebook.
"The unfortunate fact is that a lot of people can't wear these leggings," she said, noting that Lululemon carries sizes 2 - 12, but that the average American woman wears a size 16.
"Restricted sizing comes across as discouraging for anyone above a size 12 seeking athletic wear to get in shape," Kraig added. "My hope is that this post provoked some thought, created some body positivity for anyone that needed it, and shows that you don't need to be a size 2 to be beautiful."
Her post has sparked a dialogue about body-positivity and the often judgmental culture of athletic retailers like Lululemon, with many people sharing their thoughts and experiences in the comments.
"I am a size 8-10 and I have always felt awkward and embarrassed in Lululemon stores. A lot of the workers there do feel like they can make comments on whatever you are trying on, usually unsolicited and always making me feel 'less than,'" one commenter wrote. "I am also frustrated how the larger sizes are way down by the floor like we should be ashamed if we are bigger than a size 6."
"Do not feel ashamed or despondent," another said. "You look great and are a fantastic example to others."
Maybe athletic apparel companies should start to think more carefully about the messages they're sending to their customers — especially when they are unable to serve people with diverse body types.
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