Monday, June 24, 2024

A Little Perspective

by Cristina

I used to post a lot more fit reviews on this blog with pictures of myself but for the past several months I’ve posted very few of these because of a few negative comments left in the past that really hurt my feelings and just left me feeling like ‘why bother sharing’.  Over time I’ve come around and on occasion have posted a few more fit reviews but I did lose the desire to share because honestly, it only takes a few brutal anon comments to send a person into a tail spin of self doubt. I don’t have tough skin and I know I’m a work in progress, I work hard to be fit (and I am pretty fit) but lets face it, I have a long way to go and I’m ok with where I’m at (when I’m not reminded of my shortcomings) 

Some of you may know that I try and moderate with a heavy hand any comments that are left that are derogatory, mean spirited or overtly judgemental towards the pictures of educators. I rely on the pictures posted by the stores educators for image content and when comments are left that are disrespectful towards them it really gets under my skin. My blog would be extremely boring without the participation of store educators agreeing to have their images shared on the web. I think sometimes these types of comments are left because the sender feels they are just harmless snark, and also because when you see the model you don’t think of them as a real person that will read and react to what is said about themselves and internalize it. A few months ago I was told by an educator I’m friendly with that a comment was left on my blog about one of her co workers and it had her in tears. The store held a group meeting to discuss this and several of the educators cried that day and felt really discouraged. It really breaks my heart that I in a way contributed to those hurt feelings by publishing their photos and providing a place where comments can be left anonymously. I try hard to moderate quickly but I’m not always fast enough. 

Last week, I posted about Lululemons latest ad featuring the Lululemon model and ambassador Jenn Thiel posing just like Ryan Kesler. She looked amazing and athletic and truly something to aspire to. Comments where left (around the interwebs, not necessarily here and not something I saw specifically) that were offensive to Jenn. In response to that she wrote a post on her blog about it over here. I wanted to bring her post to your attention so that we can all see that the people we are commenting on are actually reading what is written and they are affected by what we say and how we say it. It’s too easy to blurt out something that feels snarky and witty at the time (I guess to put out to the world the negativity we sometimes feel inside) and move about our day from there like we didn’t just use our words as bullets. These barbed comments happen in all of the Lulu forums and I saw one recently that was along the lines of “this is the first photo I’ve seen of this top where it actually looks good on someone“. Seems harmless enough except that it was posted to an audience full of people that posted images of themselves in the very same top. It’s too easy to chalk comments like that up to ignorance. I think were all capable and guilty at one time or another making offhand statements like this. I think we can do better and be more mindful of what it is we are actually saying. 

Anyways, have a look at her lovely blog and see the person behind our product alert images. She seems like a really nice and very interesting person with more to her than just product shots. 

Also, thank you to the commenter that left me a link to her blog post. 

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Anonymous October 14, 2011 - 11:52 pm

I posted a "that's the first time I've thought that top looked good" comment meaning it as a compliment to the girl wearing it. I realized a few minutes later how rude that was toward a lot of other people and felt terrible and erased it as fast as I could :/ Jenn looked phenomenal on the lulu site and I really hate to think that anyone made disparaging comments about her 🙁

Anonymous October 14, 2011 - 11:53 pm

I love your post Lulumum. There is another unmentionable blog out there where comments are easily posted by its owner, where they tend to always positively comment on taller & slimmer models and then bluntly say "This where I don't prefer how the clothes hang on her" or "Not loving it here" on shorter, less slimmer, older models. If my picture was up there and it was commented on, I would probably email the blog owner and give her a piece of my mind. Of course this is a very thin line and everybody is entitled to their opinions so this is my humble opinion.

I wanted to praise you Lulumum cause you're always very honest with your blog posts and not in a hurtful way. Keep up the great work!

and Jenn Theil LOOKED GREAT!!

PhxRnr October 15, 2011 - 12:10 am

Great post lulumum! I was so inspired by her blog today I started my own 40 day challenge list today. She seems to be a truly beautiful person, inside and out.

I hope everyone can keep up the positive spirit – I love you and luluaddict and appreciate all the hard work you put in and the courage you both have in putting yourself out there.

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 12:11 am

If there is only one thing that keeps everything in perspective for me, it's that life is too short to be anything but thankful- for our health, our abilities, our bodies, loved ones… All of it will be gone someday. I pity people who take pleasure in saying hurtful things behind the safety of their computers- what kind of sad, sorry person does that? I admire you, lulumum, for working so hard at being fit while taking care of busy children! Don't let pitiful people get you down 🙂

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 12:19 am

I saw that same "first photo I've seen of this top where it actually looks good on someone" post and I have to say that it definitely left a sour taste in my mouth.

I know it wasn't intended to be cruel or disrespectful to everyone else (including me) who had posted pictures of themselves in the same shirt, but that doesn't take the sting out of it. I've had self-confidence issues my whole life (in spite of being one of those "blessed" people who are naturally thin) and while I've felt much better about myself lately, that comment brought back all those old feelings.

It takes courage to post pictures of yourself for the world (or the 1000+ members of TJI) to see and to have someone (intentionally or not) insult you, makes it seem as though it's not worth sharing your excitement and love of Lulu with the world.

I realize that I'm the only one who can determine my worth and that it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks, but knowing that on an intellectual level and being able to read insensitive, ill thought out or outright cruel comments without feeling that stab of pain are two entirely different things.

We all need to consider what we're saying before we say it. Yes, I've unintentionally put my foot in my mouth, too. We all have. So let this be a reminder to us all that your off-hand remark may not seem so off-hand to the person it hurts.

Stephanie October 15, 2011 - 12:20 am

This is why I love your Blog Lulumum. You are a person with heart, a mother, a wife and a Lulu-lover that I can relate to. I respect your opinions and the way you share information on your blog. I'm not religious per se but I do agree with the old bible excerpt of "he who is without sin cast the the first stone"…I'm sure there is more to that quote but you get the idea. None of us are perfect, if you are the ideal specimen without flaw then I guess lucky you. Nasty words are used to make the sayer feel better about their own short comings. I took your words to heart and I hope others will too, putting out bad energy will only make it come back to you in some way or another. I will think long and hard before I ever criticize another Lululemon photo, I have done it in the past. Thank-you for your words of wisdom Lulumum!

Mémé October 15, 2011 - 12:33 am

same this for me… this is WHY I love you blog…. Thank you lulumum!!!!

Breianna October 15, 2011 - 12:37 am

I am also guilty of the "this is the first time I've seen this look good" comment but I usually mean that it's such a weird garment that lulu has produced and it basically doesn't look good on anybody because it's such an ugly item of clothing.

kait2122 October 15, 2011 - 12:37 am

I love your fit reviews!!! It's so hard to push aside some of the negative comments but just remember that those who are sending mean feedback are probably feeling low about themselves and that's the only way that makes them feel better…by putting others down! It's a sad reality but its true. Keep on posting!!!

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 12:58 am

I think that your fit reviews and photos are wonderful, and a genuine service to all of us women with our various shapes and sizes. At the end of the day, we do not know the journey of any photo model at hand, and need to appreciate that she has been brave enough to put herself out there. A curvier woman may have worked hard to lose weight and be in the best shape of her life. A rounder woman may have just had a baby and her body is the beautiful product of a giving and sustaining a young life. A tiny woman who might look "perfect" might have had to work hard to be at a healthy weight after years of battling an eating disorder. Healthy is beautiful, strong is beautiful, and real, honest images of women are beautiful. Thank you Lulumum for sharing with our daughters, sisters, and friends authentic images of female beauty in all forms. <3

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 1:09 am

But are you really saying that we should only leave positive comments? No one seems to be worried about the feelings of the Lululemon designers when they cut up the look of a garment… right? Do you think it hurts their feelings to say a GW looks like a potato sack?

I'm sorry but don't you want someone to tell you when you look bad?? Don't you want someone to tell you when you should size up in a top or chose a different style of pants for your body shape? If not, don't put yourself out there in photos on the WORLD WIDE web.

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 1:16 am

Amen. Words can be hurtful and it's important to remember exactly that.

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 1:18 am

Jenn looked so beautiful in her picture–pretty, fit and feminine. I don't get why people had such a reaction, but I am guessing it has more to do with how they feel about themselves than anything else. You don't post a negative comment unless you have issues with yourself. We women need to work on not being so jealous and/or catty. Imagine what we could accomplish!

I also want to say thank you to lulumum for having such a great blog to read! It is definitely one of the highlights of my day. Your fit reviews are wonderful and so helpful!

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 1:21 am

Thank you for posting about all of this LuluMum it has been on my mind a great deal lately as everyone seem so darn negative lately! For starters I LOVE your fit reviews and I admire your bravery of posting the photos for us to view as there always seems to be someone whom want to make that smirk remark just to be difficult.

Also if it were not for all those educator photos how the heck would we know the fit of items on different body types and get all those sneak peaks! And last but not least Jenn is amazing and the fact she has such courage should be looked at as inspiration and nothing less!

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 1:30 am

1. you rock
2. you look amazing in lululemon product
3. keep posting amazing blogs


Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 1:42 am

My 8 yr old daughter came home last week saying one of her friends said her bottom is a "funny shape" and now she asks everyday if that is true and is much more particular about what she wears. I also saw a billboard for gastric bypass advertising to go from a "size 8 to a size 2"…really? Why can't we be proud of our bodies and be grateful to have the health to enjoy what they can give us. You never know what tomorrow will bring. Mine gave be three beautiful daughters. And yes, that 10 lbs that has slowly reemerged sucks, but my message to my girls is strong and healthy. They make different sizes for different folks. Let's embrace it and move on…. Thank you for your blog. I can tell if we were in the same city (or even country) we'd be friends. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 2:28 am

Thanks for posting this – I couldn't agree more! Since Jenn is taking some time off from her own blog, I will say it here: I thought she looked phenomenal! AND, actually, so did my boyfriend, who walked by and then walked back behind me AGAIN to take a second look. I appreciate that she and others are willing to model Lulu pieces – without them, we might not know what they look like on a "real person," and we are all DIFFERENT! I have a curvy, athletic body with muscles, and I like to see women of a similar type model clothing I'm interested in – just as my best friend, who is shaped like a bean pole and runs like the wind, appreciates seeing other models. The variety and strength of the educators, ambassadors, and models should be applauded, and not used as a platform for negativity and judgement. KUDOS, ladies (and men), I enjoy all of your photos!

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 2:50 am

Right on, you go girl!!

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 3:04 am

Hello Lulumum:

I love your blog. I think you're very brave for posting your pics on the web. I am not brave enough to post pics of me modeling anything on my blog!

I love all the photos you post, because it reminds me that we are all different sizes and shapes. I have a long history of eating disorders. I have been fine, and healthy for many years now, but the disordered thinking hasn't entirely gone away-I just know how to control it, instead of it controlling me. Anyway, my point is, seeing all of the women pictured makes me feel good. I love seeing the clothing on real people. I'd rather see the clothing on real people than on a tall, skinny model.

I couldn't believe the negative comments about Jenn. I thought, and think, she looks beautiful. She looks amazing: fit, healthy, and strong.

I am also working on my PhD in general psychology. My research topic/dissertation is regarding social media-how people will often say things that they wouldn't normally say to others, face-to-face. There's more to it than that, but my point is, the Kessler thing, and subsequent backlash, as well as your post sadden me. It saddens me that people aren't more tactful in the wording of their posts. We've all written things, and later realized that it can be taken out of context: that's the danger of virtual communication. Hopefully, your post will serve as a reminder that we should take a step back, breathe, and re-read what we've written to ensure it's tactful.

Susan (TJI) October 15, 2011 - 3:40 am

Thanks so much for this post Lulumum. I truly believe that most people aren't aware that their comments are hurtful. While I think there are some "mean spirited" people that have issues… I think most of us mean well, just don't say it right. Maybe we can move forward from today and take a few extra seconds of contemplation before we hit that enter key. It will be time well spent. Love you blog!

Olivia October 15, 2011 - 12:07 am

I really love that you've taken the time to post this. We all have our reasons for being active, healthy, and falling in love with Lululemon as a side effect! I certainly know first hand that it is EXTREMELY hurtful for anyone to say anything negative about the way I look or how my body is. I have always had a great self confidence no matter what weight, even if there are sometimes doubts, but recently I was hurt very badly by someone close to me who told me I should lose weight.

It pissed me off. It depressed me. I looked at that person like they were suddenly revealing that they were a UFO.

In the end it became a positive thing, and I have lost weight since, but not because of superficial reasons personally, but to feel strong, sexy and confident.

We women need to empower ourselves and have a strong self confidence, and anyone who wants to say anything to our faces or via blog comments needs to realize the toxicity of their actions, and stop.

Lulumum October 15, 2011 - 12:10 am

Anon 4:52, thank you for clarifying. I too have had foot in mouth disease before too and know you didn't mean it the way it sounded.

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 9:00 am

Thank you so much for sharing this introspective post. As I read it I got sucked into this mIndset of the overly sensitive self-conscious new age feminist train of thought and I had to snap out of it QUICKLY otherwise I'd be walking around with a sad face and a chip on my shoulder. Look if you post a photo on the web you're going to get feedback. Don't read into it too much! Here's an example… I have big calves. So what? They're my calves and I'm grateful for them. I'm not going to doubt myself or lose confidence because someone pointed that out to me. I stay away from leggings, also. What I'm saying is you look great. Just let the perceived negative comments roll off your back and keep doing what you're great at. Honestly if this blog becomes a hyper sensitive crying session I'll visit the "other" blog. I hope that doesn't come off too rude because what I'm trying to tell you is you can't let others intimidate you or control you or hold you back. This is your voice! You say you don't have tough skin but if you want to really enjoy life you should develop some because there are a lot of wonderful experiences that hurt yet make us stronger, wiser, better and you have to realize 50% is hurtful and the other 50% is taking t personal. Blogs are Places of opinion and in spite of that I commend you for moderating and fostering an atmosphere of RESPECT. I hope that doesn't sound Contrary!

Julia October 15, 2011 - 3:32 am

This is a great post. I read a lot of different blogs written by women, and I am always surprised and horrified by ugly negative comments. I believe people make these types of comments because they think they can get away with it without any sort of repercussions. My mom always told me if I can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all. Thanks for reminding me to be positive and supportive.

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 11:53 am

Great post – thanks for bringing attention to this!!!

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 2:02 pm

I love any pics of anyone in Lulu clothing! Be proud and share it! The nude model also looked great. I thought she was absolutely perfect.

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 2:24 pm

Great post. Thanks you for everything you do (and put up with).

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 4:34 pm

It's so important for someone to say these things- too often we don't address them. Keep rockin' girl!

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 5:32 pm

I thought the picture of the model was a dumb ploy by Lululemon. No, I am not insecure about my physique but I thought that Lululemon took it a little too far with such exposure. If they are going to show someone with a fit body, why don't they use a woman triathlete? They have the most amazing bodies…true athleticism with muscles including high & tight glutes, chiseled abs, being toned and feminity.

Becky October 15, 2011 - 5:37 pm

I was hoping you would post about the comments that were made over Jenn's beautiful photo.

I hope that many will take this post as exactly what it is intended as – to think before you speak. I find, however, some people just have that 'bully' persona, and won't or don't even realize how what they say is hurtful.

I will never understand why some women want to tear each other down rather than build each other up. I suspect it has a lot to do with their own insecurities.

Andie October 15, 2011 - 1:28 pm

I love your fit reviews – partially because we have a very similar body type, so it's helpful for me to see the clothes on a non-model body. Ladies, we can raise each other up – or we can keep each other down…it's a simple as that. Your level of fitness, size of your booty or how you look in clothing tells me nothing about your heart. Keep up what you are doing, be brave and when you get the odd mean comment – just remember that it is a reflection of the person who posted it and their own perspective of self-value, body image, etc – the rest of us love you the way you are and celebrate all the hard work you bring both to the blog and your own fitness goals!

houndlvr67 October 15, 2011 - 8:50 pm

A negative comment by my then manager at the Lululemon Oak Brook store (when it first opened she was the store manager) actually lead me to quit my job. It was holiday time, and the Educator goal shirts were being passed around-they were all smalls and mediums. Being a tall size 10/12, this size was NOT going to work. This particular manager made a comment to me, to the tone of, "Oh, we don't have a shirt in YOUR size and I DON'T think I can get one " looking me up and down while she spoke.After being a successful equestrian competitor as well as a collegiate rower, I knew what my STRONG body could do and I didn't need this negative image reinforcement from a person that was in charge of my "career" (although it was part-time, it was still important to me). Like a previous posted said, it never ceases to amaze me either, how women are so quick to bring each other down rather than build each other up. It even happens within Lululemon…

Lisalisa October 15, 2011 - 11:18 pm

Lulumum, I have been reading your blog since spring and I want to thank you so much for your posts! I LOVE to see the clothes on people that are under 6' tall and over 100 lbs. Of course most items look great on the paid models, but before I take that money out of my account, I want to see where that tank is going to hit on my torso or where the crops fall on a normal leg. I thank you and all the gec's and other women that put themselves out there in order to give us readers a preview of the clothing. I am truly grateful. And really, you should be getting paid a commission/giant discount from LLL because your personal photos posts have sold me on several jackets this year. 🙂
I see those posts sometimes and I am floored that someone can be so judgmental to feel they are entitled to lash out and make their snarky (snotty) comments.
As I get older I realize that there are a lot of people out in the world that need to put other people down to falsely build themselves up. It's really sad when it's other women doing that to each other.
If you are reading this blog and checking out LLL clothing, you are obviously interested somewhat in fashion and fitness and in my world, you are welcome at whatever level you are at right now; comtemplating, recovery, beginning, intermediate, master. I can learn something from each one of you, because I have been at each level and still bounce around at those levels as I try new sports. This blog has me contemplating cross-fit at the moment.
Thank you again for this blog and you look great!

Anonymous October 15, 2011 - 11:37 pm

Just wanted to let you know that I love your blog and check it just about every day. It is nice to know that there are others out there that love lululemon products as much as I do. Keep up the good work and try to ignore the haters. Their comments say more about themselves than what they are actually commenting on.

Lulumum October 15, 2011 - 4:43 pm

Anon 2am:
Although I agree with a lot of what you said I have to tell you I take great offence to the term feminist used in a disdainful and derogatory way. 1. This is not a feminist issue in the least. This is a matter of simply stopping before you write something and asking yourself if what you are saying is truly in the 'constructive' spirit or if it's in a destructive spirit. Are you telling someone that what they are wearing is not fitting them properly because the design doesn't suit them or are you saying 'you are too fat/thin for my liking, please wear a mumu instead?'. This is simply a be nice to other people issue.

Back to my point though, I have to tell you that I am a proud wearer of the badge 'feminist and stay at home mom'. Thats the way it is over here on this blog. My feelings wont be hurt if you decide you can't take it. I grew up in a spanish catholic household and I gotta tell you, the issue of men/church undermining of feminist issues rolls off my back but when a woman undermines feminist issues by using the term with such a disdainful tone it ticks me off right off.

RunItMyWay October 15, 2011 - 5:54 pm

I'm so, so glad to see this post. You're 100% right – and I wonder sometimes if some of the comments left by some people are just ignorant, or if it's be people who are self-conscious about their own bodies and feel better when they're bashing someone else, but I think people really don't understand the impact that these comments can have. It's great that you drew attention to it, and made it clear that those comments aren't going to be tolerated. I hope that some of those responsible for the negative comments see your post and the link, and what impact their hurtful words have had. Thanks Lulumum 🙂

Lynne Anne Murphy October 16, 2011 - 5:50 pm

isn't Jenn also a model on the online store???!!!! if so, (i swear it looks just like her!) she represents my body type more than the other girls (now now now i am not saying anything about the other ladies on the website) and i tend to buy the clothes that she is wearing!!!

thanks for posting this!


Janet in TO October 16, 2011 - 6:01 pm

I just want to add my 2 cents. I love your blog, I check it pretty much daily, and I truly appreciate your fit reviews and the photos of educators and "real" women wearing lulu. I think they are all beautiful, as is Jenn Thiel. I agree with many of the commenters that the negative comments typically stem from the poster's own self-doubt and personal issues, which manifest in jealousy and malicious behaviour. This doesn't excuse their mean comments, especially since we know they result in the people pictured feeling hurt, upset, and wanting to give up sharing. For the most part, we don't know each other in the real world, and even if we did, we may never know the extent of someone's self image, their feelings and sensitivities, and their issues. We should all keep that in mind; let us conduct ourselves with kindness, as in the golden rule: do unto others as you would have done unto you….unless of course you like being told you're fat, that even gorgeous lulu clothing looks like crap on you, or that you shouldn't wear lulu — well, then do us all a favour and say nothing.

Erin Marie October 17, 2011 - 2:26 pm

Thanks for posting this lulumum – it needed to be said. I know I have the same issue on my blog and I have to face the same nasty comments from time to time. If my opinion is of any consolation I love seeing the photos you post of yourself – you are a beautiful woman who looks great in lulu. I know first hand that the mean spirited comments hurt, but sometimes it can make us better. You do a great job moderating, though I'm sad to hear that the opinions of someone hurt one of your educators. I know you and lulu addict use photos of my local eds quite a lot and if I saw anything mean said about them I would be very upset. I can take barbs directed at myself in more stride then I can take them when they are targeted at the wonderful people that I know. In any case – thanks for posting this and I hope we can keep things positive – Namaste.


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