A little over a year after Zara said it could careless if fat women shopped at its stores, the Huffington Post reported that the uber-popular Canadian brand Lululemon Athletica displays the same prejudice towards its larger customers.
A cursory glance at Lululemon’s popular social media hub, there is not many pictures of larger women wearing its products. Most look what Lululemon most likely considers its demographic — well-to-do yoginis and fitness mavens.
And according to report, a employee admitted that Lululemon showed callous disregard for its larger merchandise:
“All the other merchandise in the store was kind of sacred, but these were thrown in a heap. It was definitely discriminatory to those who wear larger sizes.”
Lululemon’s defense of this practice is that since they carry fewer items in larger sizes (apparently 10 and 12 are “large,” who knew?), the displays would look sparse if large sizes were included. They carry fewer of these items because larger clothing costs more to make, as items require more fabric. They also do not sell as many items in larger sizes, so the clothing just ends up collecting dust.
Over on The Frisky, an important point was made concerning how retail space can cause silence a full-figured customer by placing larger sizes on the periphery:
“It is awkward for a customer to have to ask a clerk to go search for a larger size in the back of the store, if the customer feels comfortable asking at all”
Both Zara and Lululemon are international companies, both of whom profit primarily from the American market, which has a sizable plus size demographic. But its not that full-figured women are clamoring to have their demo exploited by these companies, it’s a call to be treated like a human when entering spaces where your weight informs how folks perceive your health and happiness.