This is a snippet of a post that I published on Medium.
It seems we’re living at a time at which people want to get offended. Society is feeling scrappy. I keep seeing instances of public figures getting in trouble for statements when they’ve said much worse in the past. We’re living in this weird age of outrage.
What bothers me about the Peloton backlash: The public seems only now to be waking up to the sort of marketing that they are interpreting this way. The public seems unaware that fitness marketing — far more offensive than this — existed before Peloton released this campaign. Why now? Is it because of the cultural time we’re in? Is it because everyone’s become more sensitive or critical?
Fitness industry marketing EXISTS to convince people (especially women) that they’re fat and need to exercise so that the industry can sell a solution to a problem that they’re creating through narrative. The ad industry manipulates insecurities through storytelling and messaging. It’s how advertising works.
Every year around the beginning of November (this year it began in early October), I rant about the “new year, new you” messaging. The other element of this is the holiday food shaming, the message of, “You will get fat, so you must exercise and eat this GUILT-FREE food instead.”
I’m on a mission to point out that “guilt-free” has no place in food marketing as often as I can. (But I’m not Jameela Jamil & don’t have the audience.)