Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dear Kate Hudson, (Epistolary Wednesday)

Dear Kate,

It used to be that we exercisers put on our grubbiest clothes, our holey-est shirts and the dirty sneakers we wouldn't ever wear if we were dressing for "regular" daily activities. But these days it's not enough that we are actually doing the work of exercising, that we are sweating and galloping on a treadmill or a cold wet sidewalk for forty minutes. No. Now we are supposed to look cute when we do it. But that's not news anymore. It's the reason Old Navy devotes a third of their women's clothing section to "activewear." And apparently the same reason why your new Fabletics line is showing up in my Facebook news feed twelve times a day. Like the next girl, I'm hooked by the promise of a good deal on running pants and sports bras, and Fabletics offers a first outfit for only $25. Better yet, join their VIP program and get an outfit at a reduced price, each and every month, for as low as $49. While I'm sure your husband, closet and budget can accommodate a new activewear outfit every month at $49 a pop, I'm not so sure about mine. Also, I'm finding on the message boards that "VIPs" get charged $49 whether they purchase an outfit or not. And most of them don't know this ahead of time. Should they want their money back because they neither need nor can afford a new outfit every month? Well, Fabletics will give them store credit to be used on a future purchase. (Ladies: beware.)

Kate Hudson, you're a genius or an opportunist depending on where one stands.  But your marketing bit is about "every woman": Every Woman Deserves to Look Cute in Affordable Activewear or some such spin. And this whole we'll-charge-you-for-nothing-and-not-give-your-money-back seems a bit disloyal of you, a bit antagonistic to the wellbeing of Every Woman, who as you ought to know, is for the most part working simply on making ends meet, acquiring winter coats for her children, paying dentist bills, or saving for retirement. You oughta know that Every Woman, by definition and common denominator, won't be purchasing that many pairs of yoga pants.

And I'm not sure how to even wrap my head around this statement, KH: "With Fabletics, we want to create a community...a movement, to help you live fit and achieve your passions in life." First off, joining the ranks of women duped by these monthly charges does not a community make. And second, working for clean drinking water in Africa is a movement. Civil rights for minorities is a movement. Feminism, the march on Wall Street, and breast cancer awareness are movements.

Wanna keep motivating women to exercise and purchase your products? Do it. But be straight up about it and treat us like we have some smarts and truly worthy causes to spend our money on. Because we do.

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