Santa Barbara Yoga Studio Gives Out Do-Rags at ‘Ghetto Fabulous’ Class (Participation)

Santa Barbara Yoga Studio Gives Out Do-Rags at ‘Ghetto Fabulous’ Class

A lily white yoga studio in idyllic Santa Barbara, California recently held a “Ghetto Fabulous” yoga class. In preparation, students were instructed to wear cornrows, snapback caps and heavy lipliner along with their lululemon leggings. Who knew gang signs could be so cute?! The invite promised to provide “various costumes” — there was a do-rag giveaway, attendees said — and “guaranteed belly laughs.”

Santa Barbara Yoga Studio Gives Out Do-Rags at 'Ghetto Fabulous' Class

Power of Your Om Yoga Studio caters to the tony area’s elite: a flashing announcement above the website’s class listings announces that they “sell lululemon mats and mat carriers, Manduka mats, blocks and straps, Yogitoes towels, China Gel, Tanya-B Clothing and Power Yoga DVDs.” Last week, the studio decided to mix it up and invite patrons to “come dressed in your favorite ghetto fabulous outfit, snap-back caps, corn rows, heavy lip liner or whatever you can dream up.” For inspiration, they literally linked to a “How to Be Ghetto Fabulous” article from WikiHow, because no one at Power of Your Om Yoga Studio has ever met a black person in real life.

Santa Barbara Yoga Studio Gives Out Do-Rags at 'Ghetto Fabulous' ClassExpand

Outrage is brewing on the studio’s Facebook page. One commenter repasted the original copy, which was even more tone-deaf, if you can believe it: “‘Each month we will be featuring a new funky class…this month let’s get ghetto fabulous! You sport the white tank, roll up one leg of your tight black pants, and we’ll make sure to have a rockin’ playlist bring the bling, lip liner and bandanas….seriously. This class has no extra charge. Just a chance to do something a little whacky.'”

Santa Barbara Yoga Studio Gives Out Do-Rags at 'Ghetto Fabulous' Class1Expand

There are public photos all over Facebook of girls in yoga gear excitedly primping with their grills and flashing gang signs. Whacky!

Santa Barbara Yoga Studio Gives Out Do-Rags at 'Ghetto Fabulous' ClassExpand

” You should cancel this class and issue a public apology,” one commenter wrote. “Or use the class time to have a discussion about racism. Changing the name is, pardon the pun, a form of white-washing. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves.”

Another expanded: “The main reason this problem is even arising is because we have white people teaching an art form that originated in the Middle East/India. Like Miley Cyrus twerking, and minstrelsy (yes, you better believe it) they think that doing something ‘ghetto fabulous’ which is mocking and horribly racist, is supposed to be fun. The white mentality hasn’t changed that much, it’s just more subtle and acceptable. I’ll be sure to tell my friends in that area to steer clear of this place for sure.”

Here’s owner Adrienne Hengels’ response:

Thank you all for the eye-opening discussion and I do apologize for offending anyone – those of you that commented, emailed, and anyone else for that matter. The class happened and we are doing other themed classes in the future that may include various types of music/genres and we have made note to focus on the music versus singling out any group of human beings that has the potential to offend others as that was not the intention. I can see how it could be offensive and we do apologize for offending you or anyone.

It didn’t go over well. “Wont be going to this studio. Looking for a good class. Any recommendations for non racist ones?” someone asked.

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6 thoughts on “Santa Barbara Yoga Studio Gives Out Do-Rags at ‘Ghetto Fabulous’ Class (Participation)

  1. Putting it lightly, the people of this yoga studio are ignorant of their choices to make a “ghetto” themed yoga. They go so far as to say that they have never met a black person in real life, as if saying only black people live in the Ghetto. To live in a metropolitan city and claim to have never met a black person does seem a bit unlikely in my opinion. There were at least a couple of African American attendees at this event which shows that they are trying to use their lack of African American friends as an excuse as to why they can do it. Each one of them had their own stereotype of someone in the ghetto: Doo rags, grills, cornrows, etc.so to immediately associate these with ghettos is taking it too far. Along with the ignorance they displayed, they also assumed that every ghetto hosts a gang or gang sign. They even took it far enough to use the “blood” sign in one of the pictures. I suppose it has become evident that each individual’s stereotype has evolved into the institute’s apparent racism, especially when everyone is involved.

  2. I think the worst part of this story is that when people responded negatively and explained to the woman that it was an inappropriate yoga class theme she responded by saying they were going to continue to have “culturally” themed classes. The fact that she thought that bandanas and “grillz” defined the culture was an ignorant belief. This woman does not seem like she was sorry for hosting the class and it doesn’t appear that she understands that what she did was not appropriate. They apologize for offending people but do not apologize for their inappropriate class or actions. She also starts the “apology” by saying “it happened” which starts in a negative and unapologetic light. This instructor is both ignorant to the fact that “dark lip liner”, white tanks, and leggings don’t define a very diverse and complicated culture. This yoga studio is obviously not exposed to cultures other than their own and don’t know what it means to be accepting of other cultures.

    • I completely agree with your assessment. I believe that this article is basically the perfect example of why race is seen as a social construct in our society today. The culture at the yoga studio, which obviously was not very diverse and accepting of other cultures in truth, based a social perception of the ‘ghetto’ by wearing grillz, bandanas, and other forms of relativity to this so-called “ghetto fabulous” culture. I find it sad that the lady didn’t even recognize that she committed a fault. When she realizes that the yoga studio is getting awful publicity for this racial manner, hopefully she comes to realize that not only is she committing something that is obviously wrong morally, but also she is losing money from her business for making ignorant, inappropriate choices about how to conduct her business

  3. This is a good example of social construct and a good example of discrimination. The lady is just discriminating the public who were ghetto and mocking their appearance. She doesn’t realize that her yoga business will lose money for having evidence of her racial activity in social media. No diversity in this article, just discrimination to the ghetto. She apologized to the public but she didn’t apologized for the inappropriate yoga class. She deserves to have negative comments since she doesn’t know the consequences for stereotyping. The yoga members assumed the ghetto was all about gangs and that’s why they mocked the ghetto by dressing up as gangsters. They should realize consequences and end the inappropriate yoga class for the future.

  4. I take this to be very disrespectful and ignorant. I don’t see the reason for them to have a “Ghetto Fabulous Class” and not expect the response they received. I can see if they dressed up but, they went to far with the gang signs, lip stick, snap-backs, bandanas and cornrows. The audience at the studio had no diversity at all and was all whites so, we knew they weren’t accepting any other race. The worst part was that the owner of the studio didn’t see anything wrong with the things they did. When she seen the remarks that her studio was getting she then took it into consideration to apologize for what they did. They then took the N.W.A which was a rap group out of Compton, Ca and stands for “Niggas With Attitudes” and she changed it to “Namaste With Attitude”. It’s just certain things you shouldn’t do when it comes to things like this. Anybody with common sense would’ve known this is a bad thing to do. The gang sign picture is what really did it because we know who they are referring to. Race is still alive in today’s time and some people don’t realize they are being racist when they are doing ignorant things such as this. They say nobody at that studio has ever has never met a black person in person but, there’s a black lady in the picture with them. This is upsetting to know grown men and women are still living in the past.

  5. Just the fact that this class happened and that people actually attended shows just how ignorant and how uncaring people still are. You would think that since race and stereotypes are such sensitive topics in this country that these kinds of things would be avoided. The statement made about “no one in the studio ever having met a black person in real life” completely blows my mind. What this statement says to me is that they believe all black people live in the ghetto and they have never encountered them because they all aren’t. Another thing they are doing here is making fun of the black community and places them all under the same stereotype. Because multiple attendees said that they “guarantee belly laughs” shows that not inly the people of this studio are ignorant but also the community around them that agrees with this kind of event are no better than they are. I have little hope for people of this generation to change and stop what I see to be the biggest problem in this country today. All we can do is hope the next generation is somewhat intelligent and be respectful enough to not do things like these.

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