Exercise company Peloton found itself at the center of the Twitter outrage machine this week after they dropped a new Christmas advertisement, ‘The Gift that Gives Back.’
The commercial kicks off when a husband gifts his young, attractive (and thin!) wife with a Peloton bike on Christmas morning. The wife proceeds to take videos of her workouts over the next year, finally surprising her husband with a progress video the following Christmas to thank him for the Peloton.
Critics slammed the ad as sexist, declaring that a man should never give his wife exercise equipment as a gift because it implies she needs to lose weight.
But don’t be fooled by the outrage mob. Watch a bit more closely, and you’ll come to realize that the husband is actually the hero of this story. This man spent nearly $3,000 on the Instagram-worthy exercise machine of the bourgeoisie and was rewarded with a shitty thank you video made up of selfies that cost exactly zero dollars and very little time to make.
It’s critically important that we don’t know the circumstances surrounding the husband’s decision to gift his wife a Peloton. Maybe she asked for it. Perhaps she was complaining that she hadn’t been able to get back into a normal exercise routine because she couldn’t leave the kids at home while she went to the gym.
Based on the woman’s aesthetic — perfectly matched athleisure sets and, at the end of the video, a Melania Trump-worthy turtleneck and coat combo — and her skills at taking selfies, she probably wasn’t happy that her modern glass house with an open-floor plan didn’t already feature a Peloton like those of her friends. I mean, these bikes are specifically marketed to women exactly like her!
Even if the wife wasn’t sure if she wanted an exercise bike, is it really so bad to encourage your spouse to pick up healthy habits? While the woman in the ad does appear to already be fit, I fully reject the notion that men have an obligation to keep their mouths shut if they notice their wife going down an unhealthy path. Sometimes people don’t realize just how out of control their self-destructive behavior has gotten, and they need a gentle nudge — or a very expensive one — from someone who loves them.
The wife clearly ends up loving the gift, as she gets excited when her trainer notices she is riding well during a workout, and then pumps herself up over her year of progress. It’s not the husband’s fault that his wife has crazy eyes that make her look like she’s being held hostage for the duration of the commercial.
Indeed, this is the tale of a thoughtful husband whose intentions have been taken totally out of context and who deserved a much better thank you from his ungrateful wife.
That being said, the parenting skills in the commercial are atrocious. The couple’s poor young daughter has to open her Christmas gifts alone at the edge of the camera frame while her parents watch a progress video. That’s where the outrage should be.