Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tattoos on the Lululemon Models - What Do You Think?



A few of you have pointed out some of the new models have lower back tattoos. I know tattoos are hugely popular right now, particularly with people under age 40. I live in Southern California where lots of people have lots of large tattoos covering significant portions of their body. When our family went back east to New York City and Boston, we saw far fewer and smaller tattoos on people. Certainly a lot less of the sleeve type so I think the popularity is certainly regional.

I found a couple of different groups of statistics on the demographics of tattoos from Wikipedia:

In September 2006, the Pew Research Center conducted a telephone survey which found that 36% of Americans ages 18–25, 40% of those 26-40 and 10% of those 41-64 had a tattoo.[10] In January 2008, a survey conducted online by Harris Interactive estimated that 14% of all adults in the United States have a tattoo, just slightly down from 2003, when 16% had a tattoo. Among age groups, 9% of those ages 18–24, 32% of those 25-29, 25% of those 30-39 and 12% of those 40-49 have tattoos, as do 8% of those 50-64. Men are just slightly more likely to have a tattoo than women (15% versus 13%)[11]

I'm in my forties so I missed out on getting a tattoo but I'm sure if I was in my twenties today I'd most likely have one. Do you think the Lululemon models with visible tattoos makes a difference to their customers, especially the new ones? Do you think it makes the company seem more contemporary or more downscale or maybe both? I am interested in hearing your opinion. I'm a huge fan of the design and function of the clothes so I guess I don't care too much as long as the tattoos the models are sporting are somewhat discreet. If they start looking like Michelle McGee (the "other woman" in Sandra Bullock's marriage) then I guess I might be a little turned off.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't mind the fact that lulu leave the tattoos on their models. but i think someone new to the brand may find it a little unprofessional. I did not like the cut that was shown on last weeks upload i thought that took it a little to far but tattoo and belly button rings dont bother me. I am only in my 20's but personallly would never get a tattoo but most of my friends have them.

Becky said...

I think it makes the models 'real' people. I don't mind tattoo's or the belly rings either.

ojodeazul said...

I think it makes the pictures look unprofessional, but they don't offend me.

Glow said...

I'm not turned off by the Lulu models' tattoos. I think it's maybe slightly unprofessional, but so are their photos in general (scabs, dirty feet, hair obstructing clothing etc.), so what's new? Out of all the unprofessional details I notice in the product photos, the tattoos are the least negative to me.

momof5 said...

I like the tattoos a lot better than the dirty feet, nails and visible wounds!

Anonymous said...

Interesting take...the tattoos seemed to upset you and a fair number of people a few days ago. How discrete they were was never called into question.

I believe the phrase "tramp stamp" was used several times.

Anonymous said...

nit picking about dirty feet and nails? that's just too much.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about what changed your opinion too...you were pretty set against it last week.

danadcbc said...

I was actually surprised to see the tattoos on the models. In October I was on the phone with my GEC crush Graham as seen in this lululemon facebook album: http://www.facebook.com/lululemon?ref=ts#!/album.php?aid=185983&id=33693527731
At the time there was a job posting on lululemon for a 'Male Fitness Model' I suggested he would be perfect but he said lululemon wouldn't go for that because he has tattoos! Interesting.

Anonymous said...

They are models. Clean hair and nails should be par for the course. I don't think models, regardless of their status as "real" educators (isn't everyone a "real" person??), have cause to be offended by someone pointing out basic hygiene issues.

Tattoos don't bother me. They aren't my personal taste, but they don't offend me.

Christy Nickerson said...

We all have our own bodies to do what we wish with.. I think it's silly to even discuss something like this. Who cares?? Ya know..?

Anonymous said...

i think the tattoos are fine! let's get with the times people. they used to be so taboo but now everyone pretty much has at least one. i have my many tattoos including one on my right ring finger tattooed with my sisier's birth month signs and my left index finger has my wedding date. i get compliments on them all the time and have only one person make a stupid comment. they said they thought that i was in a gang...ya right the gang of motherhood? anyway i think it makes the models more real....all the power to them!

Neph said...

I would prefer models without adornments, because I think all these little details distract from the purpose of these pictures--to showcase the clothing.

I don't really want these models to be more 'real' to me. Real people also have flab, varicose veins, cellulite, body hair, birthmarks, but I'm not seeing Lululemon incorporating any of this into their pictures, so why the tats and piercings? And this is coming from a person who as multiple piercings.

Piper said...

I love her tattoo, it looks like a Haida Raven or Thunderbird or Eagle? Very west-coast, very tasteful. I love the Lululemon models, they are real and absolutely beautiful! Keep up the great work Lulu. I have never wanted to buy more clothes since you introduced the new gals. Real is so refreshing!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Neph. I think selling clothes is a bit like selling a house, neutral. Remove personal effects and showcase the clothes. I don't like tats myself, so I think I get turned off by seeing them (not offended), but definately turned off. I disagree with the person who said get with the times, there are plenty of people that don't have tats. Nothing worse than a faded tat on wrinked skin.

Erin said...

Okay so I have two takes on this. Firstly I have several back tattoos myself, one of which being on my lower back. So I obviously don't take issue with seeing other people's tattoos. That being said, I actually consider my tattoo's very personal and I don't like sharing them with tons of people (not that they are gross or weird), let alone the world. So if I were a model (which I'm sadly not) I would request that they be removed from the photo. Seeing them doesn't bother me so much - though I do feel like I know a little too much about these models now. I do like that lulu uses real women and showing their tattoos and injuries shows that they aren't doing many photo touchups to the people or the clothing I guess. So on the flip side I'm professionally a graphic designer and photographer. So from that stand point it bothers me a great deal, when things detract from the focus of a photo or look out of place my instinct is to fix it. Removing tattoos like the ones in these photos takes very little time and no one would be the wiser and I think it looks more professional for sure, but I don't think in general it would deter sales.

RunMama said...

I'm not offended by the tats at all, but I do think they're distracting from the clothes. I have a tattoo as well, for me it is personal, and I would want it covered if I were modeling (which I am most definitely not).

jpalmac said...

I'm with Neph and RunMama too. I'm 30 and have a lower back tattoo as well and have had multiple piercings, so I'm clearing not anti, but I agree that it's distracting from the product. I quite like seeing some of the girls on the blogs or facebook sporting Lulu with tats, but when I'm looking at their website I personally prefer the old pictures and poses where you're not looking at the person, you're looking at the clothes. I just think that all the new pictures look sloppy now, but what bothers me most I guess is the slouching, bad lighting, and when the clothes are being blocked by hair. So I guess the tattoos aren't as bothersome as those issues for me.

Anonymous said...

I'm not offended, but I think they look jarringly unprofessional on a webpage that is there to sell clothes.

Not as bad as gaping wounds, however.

Anonymous said...

Ladies...you all seems to focus more on the body than the actual clothes.
Who cares about tattoos as long as the merchandise is well oosted.
I dont point out that many models are gross wearing Lulu wear n seems to wear a size too small for their real size..which make you to dislike the products.Then when you see a better body proportion the same item look 100% far better.
I think Lulu try to accomodate thin,medium and big person size..so be more constructive and not make such big issue about tattoos which is irrevelant.
We are not here to buy the tattoos ,we are here to buy n focus on the lulu merchandise...

Anonymous said...

An 10:56:
I think thats the point that people are trying to make is having a visible tattoo is distracting from that they are actually trying to sell. We wouldnt be having this conversation if the tattoo wasnt noticable, its distracting and unprofessional. Had the tattoo not been there we would be focused on the clothes not the tattoo.
Clearly lulu is aware of the reaction they get to these photos because last weeks upload had the scrape on the arm and within a few hours it was taken down and put back up with a new picture minus the scrape - i think there seeing how the public will react to these pictures and want the feedback. I personally hate the new pictures its hard to see the clothes im fine with having faces but please put there hair in a ponytail and make them stand up straight without a rediculous pose to go along with it.

Anonymous said...

I hate the tatoos.

Anonymous said...

You all missed the point, when an company is selling clothes they are selling an image, it does not leave a good impression of this upscale retailer.

Anonymous said...

I just want to point out that the male model for the new Superhero shoppers has tattoos on his cartoon arms. At least he does on the small shopper, I haven't seen a big one. I like the tattoos, and I don't care about the "gaping" wound, which was really only a scrape.

Anonymous said...

I think it's really poor photography and/or proofing - why create unnecessary controversy that totally could be avoided?

An Inquiring Mind said...

@Anonymous 7:52 AM- You hit the nail on the head exactly. It's detracting and unprofessional for an upscale retailer. I mean, come on. They charge over $100 for a freaking hoodie and apparently they can't invest in a copy of Photoshop to take out scrapes? That's irksome.

LuluAddict said...

I'm with a lot of you, I think tattoos/scrapes/visible nips/whatever take the focus off the clothes. Like someone said - make it like when you show a home - as neutral/generic as possible because you are trying to get the customer to imagine herself wearing the clothes. You want to present the clothes in the best possible light. I wish Lululemon would work on getting the model into the most attractive size (I think the blonde haired model often wears tanks that are too large), have the model stand up straight, make sure the clothes are not blocked by hair, and use good lighting that doesn't introduce shadows into the photos. The proofing that goes into the website still leaves a lot to be desired. It took nearly a week for the Black Roses Power Y to be moved into the Tank section from the Tops section.

Anonymous said...

interesting that you delete comments that don't support your opinion. I thought you were wanting a discussion

Anonymous said...

LOL - I'm with ya 4:40!