What’s Wrong With the Peloton Bike Ad?

So I’m pretty certain that everyone has seen the controversial ad by Peloton about the husband who gifts his wife a new Peloton bike for Christmas and people are jumping on the “I’m offended” bandwagon. Now, admittedly, I decided to (finally) watch it because I saw an article of how Ryan Reynolds snagged the Peloton wife for an ad for his Aviation Gin. I decided to go watch it and see what the fuss is about.

No, seriously… what’s the problem? I honestly don’t see the misogyny or patriarchal or sexist things people are screaming about. Maybe I’m blind? Or naïve? Nope, not it. I consider myself a feminist but maybe I’m not “feminist enough” because I don’t go burning my bra in the street?

Do you know what I DO find irritating about it? The fact that the bike is so damn expensive! I’d LOVE a bike like that but it’s simply too expensive! However, when has it been wrong to cater to a specific demographic? People who can afford a bike like this would lead a certain lifestyle – as shown in the commercial! Why is it any different than a Austin Martin or Porsche? Or a Rolex watch or Jimmy Choo shoes?

So let’s look at the commercial:

First, the wife.

Yes, she’s VERY skinny and I’m certain/know a lot of people say unhealthy skinny, but I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. What if she’s recovering from an eating disorder and is looking at becoming healthier. Maybe she’s naturally that skinny but she’s looking at becoming fit. Maybe she has a poor self-esteem or lacking confidence and her husband thought this may help. Maybe she used to be an athlete and got injured and this would help with the recovery. Maybe she expressed an interest for the bike!

Second, the husband.

… I’m struggling with this one. I’d love it if my husband bought me this bike so maybe that’s why I can’t see anything wrong with it.

Third, the filming/script.

THIS is where the flaw is. Maybe they should have had the actress more excited about the bike. “I’ve always wanted one!” would have taken the steam out of all the haters sails. Her: How could you afford this?, Him: I got a raise last month and knew you’ve always wanted one. The commercial is only 30ish seconds long, and I know advertising is expensive, but adding even 5 seconds could have saved a lot of grief. From what I’ve read, some of the script was cut – would this have saved the actor and actress the backlash they’ve received?

Fourth, IT’S A FUCKING COMMERCIAL!!! Why are people attacking the actor and actress? They are reading the script and they have no say in editing. And people pissed off about the ad probably doesn’t even have anything to do with Peloton bikes – they pay an advertising agency to take care of this for them, so don’t get mad at the company! Should they have vetted the commercial better? Maybe.

Or maybe people just need to take a pill and relax and stop implying things that aren’t there. I know perception is everything, but come on!

This commercial is also a perfect example of the discrimination and body shaming skinny girls go through. The whole “body positive” movement tends to focus on the fat and not the thin. Skinny girls go through their own shit. Yes, it’s different from what fat girls go through and there’s certainly “thin privilege”, but we have to acknowledge that body shaming can happen to anyone over anything. This poor woman is just more visible and accessible than most!

I’ve spoken out about this enough – that we need to stop attacking others; we need to stop insulting others. Whenever someone doesn’t agree with another, we automatically resort to name calling. Are we in high school? Why does everyone need to agree with us – and if they don’t, we disrespect each other?! How are we supposed to come together as a nation and accomplish anything important when such trivial things send us spinning?

We can do better than this! Just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean they deserve disrespect! You CAN have a conversation with someone and have a healthy debate without name calling! There are other opinions other than yours – it doesn’t mean you’re right or wrong – but it also doesn’t mean they’re right or wrong. It is possible for you both to be right or both to be wrong.

In case you haven’t seen it….

There IS a new ad that I saw a couple weeks ago, but I couldn’t find it. It’s more inclusive and also shows healthier lifestyle and diet choices. But what fun would that be – getting mad at a commercial that’s so much more inclusive?

What are your thoughts on the ad?

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