don’t get your yoga panties in a bunch: victoria’s secret takes it one step too far

Aug 7, 2012 by

The infamous Victoria’s Secret launched three new lingerie and body care collections with a yoga class press event in New York City this week. None of the products being launched had anything to do with yoga – although the free 45-minute class for NYC fashion and beauty editors/bloggers was also an opportunity to promote Victoria’s Secret VSX yoga line.

This event is completely not interesting (although it’s worth noting that one of the body care collections is called Love My Body, which seems to be a reference to their recent highly criticized campaign of the same name). But it did remind me of something that I’ve been thinking about for a while. Yoga panties!

Five years ago, in the documentary Yoga, Inc., Trisha Lamb commented on how yoga was being used to market things unrelated to yoga and noted “chakra panties” as a product that crossed the line for her. She prophetically asked, “What next?”

Well, Ms. Lamb, what’s next are the Victoria’s Secret line of yoga panties. They’ve bypassed the chakras pretense and the pseudo-spiritual self-empowerment babble and just went straight for what matters: ass. (Also, neons and animal prints – they matter, too!) Available in yoga bikini, boyshorts, hipster and thong styles, these saucy little pieces are “a no-show, smooth & stretchy fit, perfect for yoga pants!” Victoria’s Secret is reminding us that they are more than underwear and cheap swimwear.

They’re also emblazoned with inspiring, bold statements across the ass, which are intentionally designed to be seen through light and sheer yoga pants. In case everyone in your yoga class didn’t already know that you’re “totally hot” or “ready for anything.”

There comes a time when I just have to put up my hands and say, “You know what, dominant culture? You win. This is not worth getting my panties in a bunch.” It’s so easy to form arguments for how yoga panties appropriate and denigrate a spiritual tradition, blah blah sexualization of yoga, blah blah commidification of the body…

It’s all so obvious, it’s not even fun to critique. Much like the Playboy Yoga phenomenon a few years ago, the best response is to sit back and laugh. And wonder, “This again/still? Will it ever end? Really, what next?”

We’ll just have to wait, and marvel at the fact that we live in a beautiful and complex world where yoga magazines tell us we need to lose weight and lingerie brands tell us to love our bodies. I’m counter-appropriating “ready for anything” as my new mantra. Bring it.

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9 Comments

  1. You pretty much summed it up. It comes down to how you want to project and carry yourself: with grace (or as a dis-grace). I love your sentiment. It’s important to be ready for anything, and be tolerant of all. As my teacher Yogi Bhajan said: “You are not a teacher if you discriminate for any reason. Just stand by your right teaching, and allow the student to stand by his wrong, and communicate.” :)

  2. Wait, but ARE you ‘ready for anything’? Maybe I would know you were *serious* if I could see it written on your butt through sheer (seriously? really? SHEER?) yoga pants! :) This one is a killer line: “…we live in a beautiful and complex world where yoga magazines tell us we need to lose weight and lingerie brands tell us to love our bodies.”

    • Tina

      “Ready for anything”, huh?

      And you are wearing THAT under diaphanous yoga pants to your power yoga class?

      “Ready for anything”??????

      That could be a red flag to some yoga teachers. They could pull you straight up into an inversion, or lift your body up into the air from a floor pose, you cute little thing, on “reading” your panties.

      You don’t know who you’re dealing with: they need to schedule a private – STAT – they are starving!! (SOOOOO, you are wealthy enough to support their lifestyle, you rich little thing you)

      “Ready for anything”

      Some yoga teachers take it literally, whether or not English is their first language … just sayin’

  3. I don’t see anything wrong with it. I have to buy no show underwear to go under my yoga pants during my period. I think this is a great idea. I can just walk in the store, ask for the yoga panty and know that there will not be any panty lines and they will be comfortable. I usually get my no show underwear from Victoria Secret anyway. This just made it that much easier.

  4. When will Tampax make yoga tampons? Or will the Diva Cup “go” yoga instead?

    • Tina

      How about some old-fashioned yogic birth control, Yoginicup diaphragms anyone …

  5. hahah this is great. I’m not funny & witty – so let’s just say I enjoyed the article and all subsequent comments :)

  6. I wrote about this 5 years ago…which shows you that the modern yoga world really hasn’t changed as much as we think it has…..

  7. What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious know-how concerning unexpected emotions.

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