Lululemon founder Chip Wilson’s apology doesn’t pass the drishti test

November 12, 2013

Lululemon Athletica founder Chip Wilson is attempting to claw his way out of the downward-facing doghouse after on-air comments last week in which he blamed his yoga company’s infamous spring product recall — a botched batch of fabric resulted in see-through pants — on the freaky weirdness of women’s bodies.

“Quite frankly, some women’s bodies just actually don’t work,” he explained to Trish Regan in a loo-loo Lulu interview with Bloomberg TV, when asked about the fabric debacle. “It’s about the rubbing through the thighs.” (Related: There has been a recent uptick in aspirational “thigh gap” postings on online beauty boards, but who knew that women’s hideous leg-flesh was actually ruining the precious $98 yoga pant?)

So, an apology. Wilson has now taken to YouTube to abjectly atone for his sins. Atone-ish. Abject-esque. “I’d like to talk to you today about the last few days of media that’s occurred around the Bloomberg interview,” said a moist-eyed Wilson, directly addressing the camera, and appearing to speak to Lululemon employees as well as customers. “I’m sad. I’m really sad. I’m sad for the repercussions of my actions.”

It’s a strange apologette of a statement. Is he sad for his actions or merely for the repercussions of them? Does he want to address his buffoonery in the interview, or does he merely want to talk about what a bummer it was that the media called him on it? Perhaps he’s most distressed about the financial impact of the recall and continued complaints about product quality.

Wilson is the head of a multimillion-dollar yoga apparel company. He should be aware of the concept of drishti, which is the gaze — outward and inward — that a yogi is supposed to apply to life. Drishti is how a yogi centers and improves him or herself in practice. Wilson’s apology fails the drishti test. There’s no inward gazing, just outward flailing.

Lululemon founder Chip Wilson apologized in a video posted to the company's YouTube account. (YouTube.com/Lululemon)

And furthermore: An online search for full-body pictures of Wilson reveals several poses in which it’s apparent that his thighs rub together. One hopes that he knows better than to sully his holy workout product with his beefy man-legs.

Namaste.

Monica Hesse is a staff writer for the Post Style section. She frequently writes about culture, the Web and the intersection of the two.
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