Fury erupts over Lululemon's discriminatory treatment of this woman

2 min read
Heather Albert Lululemon

The mother was left in tears after her trip to the store

After losing 36kg, Heather Albert decided to treat herself to some expensive yoga pants. So, she made her first trip to Lululemon in Park City, Utah - a trip which left her in tears.

Ms. Albert had weight loss surgery last year, and was extremely proud of the 36kg weight loss it resulted in. Her fiancée found out she was heading to Park City on a business trip, and encouraged Albert to treat herself to some fancy pants in the retail outlet there.

"I dropped my co-workers off at our hotel and ran over to the store to see what they had," she wrote on Facebook.​

While she was looking through the racks, Albert says she heard two staff members whispering loudly. One was heard saying to her colleague: "Do we even have anything in her size?" before bursting into laughter.

"I was the only customer in the store," wrote Albert. "I knew it was directed at me. I was mortified. I quickly bought the two things I had in my hand that I had found and left the store.

"I was so embarrassed! I had a work function to go to that night, when I got back to my hotel I cried in the shower."

Heather Albert Lululemon

Lululemon is now being slammed for their staff's bullying treatment of the American mother. Sadly, though, it's not the first time this has happened. In fact, this hostility towards plus-sized women seems to be becoming an integral part of the brand's identity.

In 2015, Lululemon's founder, Chip Wilson, resigned after a similar issue. The surfer-cum-entrepreneur blamed a design defect, which resulted in a lot of see-through pants, on women's "fat thighs."

"Quite frankly, some women's bodies just don't work [in our yoga pants]," he said to explain the defect.​

After his statement caused outrage, Wilson issued an apology that was impressive for its lack of any of the characteristics usually associated with being sorry.

Earlier, in 2013, a former Lululemon employee came forward and called the brand out for their sales strategy. This strategy, she said, included discriminating against larger sizes.

"All the other merchandise in the store was kind of sacred, but [the larger sizes] were thrown in a heap," revealed Elizabeth Licorish.

"It was definitely discriminatory to those that wear larger sizes."

Ms. Albert, who is at the centre of the brand's most recent controversy, said she won't be boycotting Lululemon after her treatment. Rather, she says she will "stick to the outlets and online shopping from now on."

Or, instead of driving plus-sized customers out of society and into their living rooms, it might be better if shoppers of all shapes and sizes were treated with respect. Surely, that's not too much to ask in 2017.

Written By Kirsty Sier

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