Here we go:
My initial, emotion-driven evaluation, when I started seeing the ad (over and over and over and over, watching NFL football), was negative. I think I was responding to the woman seeming sort of unsure of herself, maybe weak in some way — and her husband “saving her” by getting her the machine. I think this got my feminist hackles up. However, upon reflection, I don’t think the commercial is sexist. I don’t think it is about a husband wanting his “116 lb wife to be a 112 lb wife.” It is about an unsure or insecure or unhappy person find strength in accomplishment — and being helped to this by a loved one, by her partner (and, somewhat oddly to my tastes, documenting the whole adventure via selfie). I suspect that the woman playing this role (unsure, insecure, needing support) made me uncomfortable (even though I bring no simple egalitarian ideals to the table). For the images and story of the commercial, in addition to capturing a conventional gender reality (but perhaps also non-conventional psycho-sexual reality) that is not, in itself, obviously objectionable, also easily fits into or slides into representations of gender and marriage roles that are unjust and oppressive. Danger, Will Robinson, danger! My emotional reaction, but not my considered judgment, more or less line up with the negative evaluation of the commercial as sexist. Thoughts?