28 August 2010

you're too fat and not sexy -- so buy my book!

Do you want to be slim, calm, and sexy in just 15 minutes a day? Get rid of your "bra fat" and go from size 8 to a size 00 IN JUST 15 MINUTES A DAY?

"Bra fat"? What a loser you are to have BRA FAT!

Click here for full marketing piece.

I don't care if Tara Stiles is nice person. I don't care if she has done legitimate yoga videos in the past. This is a complete sell out for the almighty dollar. Don't even try to sell me on the "yoga for the masses" excuse. It's pathetic, and frankly, she should be ashamed for allowing herself to be talked into shilling for this trash. That is, if any convincing was really necessary -- somehow I doubt it. But if asked about it, I am sure we would hear the typical higher-lighter-brighter-peace-love-dove-I'm-just-bringing-yoga-to-the-people crap.

We've come such a long way since yoga was brought to America.

Watch this video. And then decide which images you want your daughters to see.


Anonymous said...

I'm so with you!

Let's see - women already have body issues. I see my three year old niece already caring about whether or not she's pretty.

Tara's shitty marketing (which I'm sure she must have signed off on) leaves no room for different body types (everyone should aspire to being 'calmer, slimmer and sexier' right?). Using the same messages we see on ads for weight loss drugs and meal replacements. Tara is utterly bastardising yoga and it is appalling.

There's no excuse for this. None. If there were yoga was an army, I'd like to see her dishonourably discharged for this blatant sell out of women in the name of money.

*leaves the room to vomit*

This isn't yoga. And this isn't good. In ANY way.

Unknown said...

great post! bravo!

Anonymous said...

The part of that I find most disgusting is the example testimonial -- from an EIGHT to a DOUBLE ZERO!?

That makes me so sad and angry.

As if an 8 were bad to begin with and as if we should all desire to DISAPPEAR.

Linda-Sama said...

great comments, y'all!

and I REALLY want to see Tara Stiles come here to defend herself for this.

I'm ready.

Medea said...

Hi Linda,

I'm a long time lurker and LOVE your blog. This one was too thought provoking so here are my two cents;

Yoga can mean a lot of thing to a lot of people but it sure ain't about 'losing belly fat in just 15 mins a day', and 'achieving that size double zero'. Tara wants to help people lose weight and she probably designed an effective exercise and diet program to help them achieve that. So why not call it just that? Why call it yoga? Why is it presented in a way that prays on the insecurities people have regarding their body?

Yoga is a comprehensive system for spiritual development. Reducing it to a weight loss fitness program that thrives on the insecurities of men and women is offensive and in contradiction with some of the core values, including ahimsa and arjava.


Linda-Sama said...

thanks for the comment, Medea, and thanks for coming out of lurker-hood!

"So why not call it just that? Why call it yoga?"

well, don't ya know, honey? in America, we can call anything we want to "yoga" and that just makes it "yoga"!! didn't you know that? and if you disagree with me in any way, well, you're just a nasty ol' HATER!!

I'm just bringing "yoga" to the PEOPLE!!


Medea said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Linda-Sama said...

Medea, I posted your first comment, as the second seemed a duplicate of the first....I think sometimes people post more than once when they don't see it pop up right away -- I have to approve it....

thanks for reading!

Medea said...

Yep, sorry for that, I had the impression that my first post was 'double zeroed' so to speak:) Thanks for deleting it.

Regarding your response; bringing yoga to the people; Yay! Contributing to the endless stream of negative media targeted at emphasizing that your current body is wrong (but it can be fixed of course if you buy product X): Nay!

Linda-Sama said...

someone please comment on the video! I think it says it all!

Ejiro O. said...

All I can say is wow!!! The problem I have with such advertising is that it associates 3 words that have absolutely nothing to do with each other, slim calm and sexy. Who says you can't be a raving band be slim and sexy, or have to be slim to be calm and sexy. There are so many iterations, but the premise that you have to change something to be happy is flawed. Isn't the point of yoga to be happy with who you are and where you are now, and that you have all you need within you? I guess she is marketing to a different set of people, because the cover doesn't make me want to look inside too hard.

Andrea said...

Thank you for this honest post, Linda, and for saying what so many of us are thinking. I'm so sick of the word "Yoga" being abused in this manner, and tired of the lame "at least people are being exposed to Yoga" excuse.

I watched the Dove video, and it is powerful. Though I wish I could forget that there has been some question as to whether Dove has airbrushed its models in the past...

Linda-Sama said...

however, I don't think they were airbrushed into a size 00!

Yogadawg said...

I'm disappointed she wasn't naked...what's up with that??? :) Woof-woof, I need my art!!

Linda-Sama said...

Down, Dawg....I'll throw ya a big pillow, how's that? ;)

Anonymous said...

Re: the Dove video, I found it very alarming to watch so many of those images one after the other. Seeing one or two at a time might seem innocuous BUT all together, they create a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

A familiar sinking feeling. The one I'd get as a kid whenever I see someone impossibly gorgeous on TV and realise I'd never look like them.

My body type means that no matter what I do, I'll never be a size 6 let alone a size 00 (which sounds positively awful!). So what should I do? No point in me doing Tara Stiles' yoga because I'll never be as slim as the people giving testimonials. Not unless I get an eating disorder, and perhaps not even then!

Luckily for me, I don't want to kill myself because I'm not a size 00 or even a size 6. I have a healthier relationship to my body image than that, even if it's taken years to get there. No thanks to marketing like the stuff shown in the video and no thanks to people like Tara who take something sacred and amazing and reduce it to "get skinny and sexy". *blech*

BTW, Tara Stiles found this tweet I wrote: "Tara Stiles ought to be ashamed of herself. And she calls herself a yogi? Yoga is NOT done for weight loss!"

And she replied with the following"ridiculous message: "regular yoga practice teaches mindfulness = the most effective & lasting method 4 weight loss & mental health.

My follow on reply: "Is that REALLY the most profound thing you have to say about a regular yoga practice? Open your anahata chakra & look deeper!"

And then I went on a bit of a Twitter rant! ;P

Linda-Sama said...

I see a rainbeau/it's all yoga, baby scenario coming up....;)

Angela said...

Agree with the post - just read the ad - it's horrible and contributes to the yoga mis-information industry as well as doing nothing for women's self esteem. The Fat Nutritionist has 2 videos on this page here which might be of interest to you:
And for those wondering what normal eating is here's some guidance here:
I guess given Tara's insect stick thin figure "fat,sexy and calm" just does not have the same marketing ring to it ...
BTW I know that last remark is not yogic but then neither is this ad!

Linda-Sama said...

I'm still reeling about possibly having BRA FAT!!

starving people, genocide, homeless children living on the street & now I have to worry about BRA FAT?

oh, the shame of it all.....

Medea said...

Actually, I find the 'yoga-slim body' statement the most appalling. As if 'yoga' and 'slim body' are synonymous. I don't like the term, but this is certainly as unyogic as it gets.

Linda-Sama said...

email from a yoga teacher friend, with permission to post:

" much I appreciate [this] particular post. I do not want my very active 9-year old granddaughter worrying about her body image. And it's happening!

Do Americans make good food choices? No. Are Americans obese? Yes. Do ads like this help anything except destroy women's self esteem? No. How about some education about healthy eating (read: not diet) and one size does NOT fit all bodies.

When we opened our studio the first thing that came in the mail was a big thick magazine, I think
it was Elle, but can't remember. No great articles. Pages and pages of skinny women modeling ridiculous fashion. I didn't subscribe to this magazine. Yet, every month there it was. I guess the advertisers can afford to give yoga studios free subscriptions. Maybe they think American women who can afford yoga can afford to buy their useless magazine and stupid looking clothes that won't fit a "real" woman.

This whole issue infuriates me. I have so many women come to me
and ask if yoga will help them lose weight. They are women who need to lose some weight for health reasons. They are carrying too much weight for their heart and bones. I tell them, yoga is not something to do for weight loss. Will you lose weight? You might. Yoga may help you lose weight because you will connect into who you are. Yoga helps you
find that connection to your inner self and because of that you may make different choices in your lifestyle. But don't do yoga to lose weight. Practice yoga for your whole self.

Also, yoga teachers, I feel, should be conscious of how they dress when they have a class of larger students. Don't wear your tight little lululemon outfits. It doesn't make you a better teacher."

Anonymous said...

This ad is why I have never "joined in" the yoga circle in the Chicago suburbs. I left teaching, for many reasons, but all 'n all....I was tired of the branding, the ego, the fake bullshit from other teachers, and overall shallowness of the people in the Yoga community. Of course there are many, many wonderful, authentic people I know and you, Lindia, but meanwhile I have checked out to seep myself in nature and carry my yoga internally.


Anna Guest-Jelley said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I love the Dove film you linked to; I also think this one is powerful:

In my experience as a curvy yoga teacher, I know that students who are carrying extra weight need more emphasis on acceptance and presence, not more emphasis on why they need to lose weight. They have already internalized that message well enough from friends, family, the media, etc., and all it has done is make them feel bad.

Rachel @ Suburban Yogini said...

WTF is bra fat now? Are people just making shit up now to make other people feel bad. Heavens help us all for the end is surely nigh...

So with you Linda, so with you!

Angela said...

You might also appreciate this great slam poem (warning: it does use the F-word once if you're offended by swearing) - to me it encapsulates the crap that young girls/women are subject to by societal pressures:

Linda-Sama said...

posted on my facebook wall!

Anonymous said...

@Angela, that YouTube video rocks!