Founded in 2012, Peloton Interactive, Inc. is an American exercise equipment and media company based in New York City worth around 2 Billion dollars. The bikes cost between $1,500 -2,500 and memberships run around 45.00 per month, which brings the yearly Peloton price tag to between $2K to $3K.
The bikes are so expensive because many of its buyers associate quality with a higher price point. When the company increased its bike price (without making any improvements or adding any extra features), it sold more units.
“motivating cardio loved by millions”
“a full body workout with immersive technology”
“world-class instructors at a tap”
“curated training programs”
Is there an ickier reflection of the lust for money in our 21st post-industrial world? The cult of the body is so alive and well. Peloton is on many of our minds because the story about the company’s plummeting shares is everywhere.
They fell to the lowest rate in 19 months after BIG (aka John Preston, who knew!?) in the SATC reboot dies after using one of the company’s devices in the first episode. P.S. there are lots of spoilers here, and full disclosure: I’ve only watched the first two episodes.
Writing this blog was an exercise -wink wink- in Peloton rabbit-holing. I find it all pretty fascinating. Under the Peloton Apparel tab, it says: “Show your Peloton pride with regularly updated apparel”, which sounds like language used to describe a computer program, not a clothesline.
When I hear people say “Peloton” feelings of peasantry immediately wash over my non-gym body. Images of expensive equipment and sweating slim white bodies come to mind. I also think of the criminally ripped, smiling instructors on screens who wear headsets and motivate the masses with their oh-so funny commentary designed to keep people plugged in.
No shade to people who use and love their Pelotons. However, for me it’s cringey, mainly because of my non-technological leanings. Wait, is that even true? I use my phone too much, I use a computer for hours a day, I stay in Airbnbs.
I’m not beyond the smart universe, but I guess I feel like I’m an entry level digital citizen. I think what makes me shudder about Peloton is what makes me feel like the SATC rebook just doesn’t work. It’s money.
It’s about how much of it we’re supposed to want to have and how we’re designed to spend it by markets that don’t give a shit about our credit, our relationships, our desires, or how many carbs we don’t eat.
As I watched Miranda, Charlotte, and Carrie stroll around in expensive clothes with beautifully coiffed hair and Music School memberships I was struck by the stain of their richness. It doesn’t feel right.
I used to relate to them when they were struggling in their careers and relationships, but now in their palatial New York City apartments with massive walk-in closets (how do Miranda- a grad student- and Steve-a bar owner- afford a place like that?), I kinda gag.
I don’t even want what they have. I used to think of them as kick ass independent working women who had sex for themselves and encountered weird and interesting situations that made me reflect on my own weird, interesting life. Now we couldn’t be further apart.
Miranda still has the best lines, but she’s framed as chronically unwoke and offensive to people across all the spectrums. How is that comedic?
However, I do find the bottlecaps they seem to be laying down for us with the AM drinks she has on more than one occasion of interest. Many middle-age women drink excessively and we either laugh about it- mummy wine memes- or ignore it. As someone who experienced much darkness inside the bottle, I hope they explore this important issue. But in the first two episodes, Miranda barely holds my attention.
Charlotte is little more than a nipped and tucked re-do of her former stuffy self. I recognize her semi-cute facial shrieks over brunch and pleading desire to be Carrie’s BFF instead of Miranda (do the reindeer games ever end?), but nothing else has changed. Her square squishy mouth and strange new nose are a little unsettling, especially when she cries, which she does quite often.
Her life seems to consist of picking out designer dresses, parenting, and being new friends with a woman who Anthony jaw-droppingly refers to as “Black Charlotte.” I’m sorry, what?
And Carrie. I like seeing her behind the computer screen because it reminds me that she has an occupation, other than being on a podcast beyond her generational reach. Honestly, the whole “white cis woman” is an important demographic too feels two decades behind.
Is her current professional challenge really about “stepping her pussy up”? If so, she seems completely unprepared to join the meaty, sexy, boundary-crossing dialogue her Podcast boss Che (who’s definitely a favourite over here) is inviting her to do. Carrie goes on and on about this request in such a pearl-clutchy way. It’s lame.
What is the show trying to do? Each character mentions that she’s 55 years old, so is this an exploration of how rich white women in the Big Apple experience getting older? How many of us have as much money as these women?
It’s so unrelatable and in many ways, it always was. I mean, who among us at the age of 30 could realistically afford $450.00 shoes? But in the past the way they talked about jobs, men, sex, and the shit they were trying to figure out felt of the moment. It not only reflected our society, but it also helped change it in a lot of ways.
So, maybe their lost focus is a mirror for the displaced state of affairs in our world today. Actually, that seems a little too bubble gum, too uncritical. There are lots of good series and movies out here that are reflecting the fragmented, excitingly messy nature of sexuality, gender, and relationships, which is what SATC has always fundamentally been about.
Will the ladies of the Upper East Side step up their Blahniks?