Apparently, Peloton is French for Rorschach Test

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From our American Correspondent:

If you watch much TV you’ve seen the commercial where a man gets his wife-or-live-in-girlfriend a Peloton as a surprise gift (if not, go click on it and come back). While there are a few things about the commercial that I found curious, the really interesting part is the controversy it has stoked.

When the woman opens her eyes and the gift is revealed her reaction is enigmatic, and this is where the fun starts. In all the commercials where someone gets a car for Christmas the reaction is clearly “hot Damn!”, however when our heroine gasps “a Peloton!” it isn’t clear if she is:

A) Thrilled “I can’t believe you got me the dream bike”

B) Disappointed “I wanted a tennis bracelet”

C) Dismayed “Why are you giving me this?”

As countless people have noted the woman is thin and looks fit, certainly not in need of shedding weight. So, what are we to make of her reaction and the underlying messages that must be contained in these 30 seconds? Freud may have said that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”, but not when you have millions of people just itching to be outraged with access to the internet.

The internet has had a mini-explosion of people outraged at the apparent fat-shaming hubbie/BF – clearly he’s telling her to get off her “not quite toned enough for me” ass. Given that we don’t know the backstory and her reaction is enigmatic perhaps it’s natural for people to guess at what she meant. But, seriously, outrage? At a fictional character’s reaction? When we don’t actually know why he gave her a Peloton?

Some people are just walking around waiting for something to piss and whine about. Personally I prefer Sondra K’s observation: “if you’re not outraged…maybe you just don’t feel like spending your life outraged”.

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Gavin Longmuir
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Gavin Longmuir

In reality, the actress is thinking — “In my next commercial, I get to drink alcohol”.

The marketing is intriguing. Did Peleton find that their main market was thin women who are afraid of getting fat? Or did they find that fat women buyers already imagine themselves to be slim?

Spike
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Spike

In my experience, her reaction might be any of the above, and the giver is required to know her well enough to guess her mood correctly. Every time, or there is hell to pay.

Closer to your point, yes, that every advertisement have a socially constructive message, about helping the differently somethinged but never dissing them for being so, is something they teach you in Grievance Studies.

Mr Yan
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Mr Yan

Sounds like it falls foul of the ASAs new rules on gender stereotypes.

John B
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John B

Energetic excise is really only going to be effective to prevent weight increase, not weight loss. Diets too. With exercise/diets the body first burns muscle tissue keeping all that nice fat for survival in Winter or if the hunt is not so successful. Exercise also increases hunger, so people eat afterwards (Preferably protein rich) or collapse from hypoglycaemia.

So buying a Pelaton could have pleased ‘Er-indoors as a more convenient way of keeping her figure rather than jogging round the park come rain, hail or shine or doing other stuff like push-ups, sit-ups, skipping, etc.

Chester Draws
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Chester Draws

As countless people have noted the woman is thin and looks fit, certainly not in need of shedding weight.

When I sometimes tell people that I am adjusting my diet to help lose weight I am almost always met with “but you don’t need to lose weight”. I am reasonably trim.

To which I have to reply: “I don’t need to lose much weight because I watch my diet.”

Too many people think you stay slim by magic.