Lotta chatter online today about the problematic problematic-ness of this one. I confess, I find it weird too. Watch — twice if necessary, to really get the feel — then we’ll discuss.
The first reaction everyone has is “Why is this guy buying his gorgeous, rail-thin wife an exercise bike for Christmas? Does he think this goddess is overweight?” No. That’s why they cast the actress they did. They knew that if the wife had as much as an ounce of visible fat on her, the takeaway would have been that Peloton is encouraging dudes to pressure their significant others to drop a few. There would have been sit-ins at Peloton HQ to protest a crime against body-positivity of that magnitude. Only by casting a woman who *obviously* didn’t need to lose weight could the company semi-plausibly say, “He gave her the bike for fun and for cardiovascular fitness and for no other reason.”
Any other interpretation of the ad is unthinkable. “Peloton. Because no matter how thin she is, she can stand to lose 10.”
The actress’s weight isn’t the weird part. The weird part is the … eagerness with which she shows her gratitude. It’s lovely to be grateful for an expensive gift, but she’s *really* grateful and *really, really* wants her husband to know it. It’s not just that she feels compelled to record herself using the bike repeatedly over a span of many months. She looks curiously anxious doing it, even when smiling into the camera. At the end of the clip, when she finally shows him the footage, her eyes are trained on his reaction, seemingly desperate for his approval.
Is, um… How do I put this?
Is everything okay between these two?
I feel like there’s a lost scene here right after he gives her the bike where he grabs her by the throat and growls, “And you’d better use it.” Real “Sleeping With the Enemy” vibe in her excessive need to please.
Next year’s present is going to be a Dyson, followed by nightly white-glove inspections of the carpet by hubby to make sure that gift’s being used too.
I don’t mean to read too much into it. All I mean is that there’s a 1,000 percent chance this guy is abusive.
She should sell the bike and use the money to buy a gun, a shovel, and a couple of fake IDs and bus tickets for her and her daughter. By the time anyone notices he’s missing, the two of them will be in Mexico.
All of which makes me wonder: Maybe he did buy her the bike because he thought she needed to slim down further. For this sick bastard, nothing less than perfection will do. “All you need to do to make me love you again, honey, is bring your hotness up from a 9.5 to a 10. It just takes a little effort. You … do care enough about me to make that effort, don’t you?”
I’ll stop now, except to say that I’m very much looking to this commercial being expanded into a full-length Lifetime movie, “Ride or Die: A Very Sweaty Christmas.”