Okay, I have to admit that I stole this title from a Business Insider article. I couldn’t resist!
But really, it doesn’t matter if you spend wads of money on Lululemon clothing and do yoga or not. Nor does it matter if you do yoga and don’t wear Lululemon (for economic or political reasons). This odd news item is interesting for other, more subtle reasons.
So who is “this woman”? As Business Insider reports, Carolyn Beauchesne is a mother of three in Orange County, CA who loves her lulus. More interesting than her total spending on workout gear is her blog, Lululemon Addict, which is dedicated entirely to photos of new products. As she explains on the blog:
I discovered Lululemon five years ago and rarely buy another brand for the gym. I visit the local Orange County (South Coast Plaza, Newport Beach, Irvine) stores about once a week. Every couple of months I make a trip to one of the other SoCal stores in El Segundo, Santa Monica, Pasadena, or Glendale.
Beauchesne makes daily posts on Lululemon Addict, and some days will post as many as 11 entries. According to Business Insider, the blog receives 50,000 unique monthly visitors. Her blog posts, recent ones titled “Today’s Shopping Trip” and “Spotted in Stores – New Purple Check Speeds,” are slightly more interesting than a product catalogue. The comments sections are full of enthusiastic discussion about the colours of racing back shirts and the fit of stretchy pants.
Business Insider goes on tell us, “She keeps a spreadsheet of her purchases and estimated she has spent $13,000 to $15,000 on the clothes she has kept. That number doesn’t include the purchases she has sold on eBay or her headbands, which account for another $1,000.” Emphasis added because I’m shocked that anyone would keep a spreadsheet of their purchases or spend $1,000 on headbands.
Beauchesne offered clarification in the comments section of the BI article, saying “The $15K number was spent over a period of five years. Spending $3K a year on clothes isn’t outrageous at all, particularly in the demographic lululemon caters to.”
Lululemon Addict could either be read as a testament to the power of branding and “quality” products, or evidence of the vacuousness of consumer culture. Take your pick.