You're Too Fat to Wear That, But I'll Still Take Your Money...
December 15, 2013
Our Economist, Alan Gunty ponders the fortunes made by wealthy men telling us all how insecure we ought to be...
Uncle Karl dishes it out cold while Monsier Lululemon exclaims
like a warning label "use only if you look like picture on box."
The fashion industry is at it again! I mean, who do these guys think buy their clothes? The average North American woman's size is 14 (say it in your best Buffalo Bill voice). But wait... Isn't that the point? I mean, that is why their companies exist in the first place. People want (not necessarily need) their products.
The discontinuity between these corporate assholes and reality is staggering. Similar to McDonalds' upper management preaching conservative money management to people they employ, the Lululemon ex-CEO trying to explain who should wear his clothes (and how they should wear them) is a bizarre non sequitur if not just an arrogant viewpoint. The CEO of any company trying to take credit for dictating his customer-base is akin to squirrels taking credit for inventing nuts.
It's the ultimate "have your cake and eat it too" situation whereby a business makes money off a customer, and then complains about the customer's appearance/beliefs/waist size as if it has any impact on profit. The customer is always right, as they say. And they are your customer; you're not their distributor.
"Sorry, no fat chicks."
And if Lululemon's business is selling women's insecurities back to them with $120 tights, then I'm eagerly awaiting an inevitable confession from a male-centric spandex peddler: Under Armour. Under Armour never tells me that I'm too much of a scrawny, girly man to wear their clothes, that my biceps aren't swollen up enough, or that because I haven't conquered another man on a battlefield that I'm too weak or impotent to attempt holstering my equipment in a pair of skin-tight boxer shorts.
But even though they don't challenge my manhood or sense of masculinity in any overt way, one could draw conclusions based on their aggressive, twenty to thirty-something demographic advertising campaigns.
I imagine that somewhere in the Under Armour headquarters is a group of level-headed higher ups who believe in their product, and are realistic about who their primary customer is: Young, out-of-shape men looking to achieve Arnold Schwarzenegger-sized gains. But somewhere lurking is some corporate douche, the one who can't stand this concept. Just seeing skinny, or worse, OVERWEIGHT men parading around in a decidedly alpha-male uniform makes him sick because his product should only be used by football players, fitness experts, and professional alligator wrestlers.
Real men. Manly men. Men in possession of phallic objects.
And that's the real embarrassment: Not that these CEO's say stupid, offensive, sexist things, but that they became CEO's thanks to the people they've offended.