I’ve seen and heard a lot of commentary on the new Peloton commercial. I’m sure, by now, you know the one: A thin, attractive woman receives a Peloton bike from her husband. She documents her use of it. After one year, she shows her husband her documentation and says she “didn’t know how much it would change her.”
Let America’s freak out ensue!
But wait. Before you freak out, hear me out about this.
From everything I had read online, it seems like the following aspects of the Peloton ad are what irritate people the most:
- The woman’s husband buys her the Peloton bike, and that’s somehow offensive and sexist.
- She didn’t experience a dramatic weightless transformation, and that’s…also offensive.
- She says the workout equipment and year-long use of it changed her, and…yep, you guess it, that’s offensive.
Can I be real with y’all and tell you that none of this make sense to me? Let me just put it out there: I’m a naturally thin person. Regardless of whether or not I workout, I don’t really gain weight. Part of that has to do with my eating (I don’t eat crap). So, I am coming at this from the perspective of someone who, while I gained 50+ lbs with both of my pregnancies, has otherwise never in my life had to go on a diet or workout.
With that in mind, let me give you a little bit of perspective.
First, most people are complaining about this ad simply because it’s an easy one to criticize. Internet attention-mongers love this because they can get up on a soap box and call someone or something out. This is pretty much the main function of social media. A comedian even made a parody of the commercial on YouTube and stated that, “…my husband bought me an exercise bike and that’s rude.”
Hold up — if I walked downstairs on Christmas morning and saw that Steve bought me a Peloton bike, do you know how damn happy I would be? How is this rude? Just because my husband buys me exercise equipment for Christmas doesn’t mean he wants me to lose weight. It means he spent a lot of fucking money and gave me something I MAY HAVE EVEN ASKED FOR OR HINTED TOWARD (does anyone care to acknowledge that the woman in the commercial may have asked for this damn thing? No? Just assuming she wants to be thinner than she already is? K carry on)!
The other issue is that everyone assumes her “change” has to do with weight loss or being “thinner.” Someone commented that her journey was going from 116 lbs to 112. Um…believe it or not, thin people workout too and sometimes it has nothing to do with losing weight.
Exercise is a powerful antidepressant and mood booster. In my best Ron Burgundy voice: It’s science. But really, it is. When I began running, I did so to lose baby weight. That was in 2015. Since then, I have kept on running and have tackled the 26.2 mile beast of a distance. My “transformation” to becoming a marathoner absolutely changed me, and in no way does that change have anything to do with scales, fitting into smaller clothing, or melting inches off of any part of my body.
No, it’s deeper than that. You know what, girl-in-the-commercial? I feel you. You have kids running around in the background. Maybe your husband doesn’t take the trash out like you ask and you want to light your house on fire by the end of the day. Maybe your transformation over the last year has been becoming a happier mom, a more patient wife, and a more confident woman — which is exactly what exercise does for me at this stage in my life.
It bothers me that so many people are critical of this because they assume that the only transformation from exercise is weight loss. It isn’t. Exercise is so much more than that for so many people. So, while Ms. Soapbox is trying to make herself look like a stoic portrait of the “typical” American woman by using the woman in the commercial as a foil and throwing around big words like “sexism,” she fails.
Please. Go find a new way to bah-humbug and let this woman workout. And if someone gets you a Peloton for Christmas, you better one-day air that shit back to the warehouse after this.