Last week, in Vanity Fair, an article was released that looks at how Peloton’s instructors have gone from fitness instructors to Internet celebrities.
One day in early 2019, Robin Arzón returned home from a Whole Foods run to find that someone had Instagrammed a photo of the contents of her cart. “It was like a ‘what I eat in a day’ without my permission,” she said with a laugh during a recent phone call. “It was like, ‘This is…Robin’s cart.’ And I was like, Oh, shit, that really is my cart. I wasn’t even in the photo. That is a moment where I thought, Oh, okay, so, like, the details? People want to know all of it.”
Still, it’s hard to trace an exact celebrity cognate for them. Like influencers, they share glimpses of their lives and their tastes with those who opt to hear them. Like professional athletes, their bodies are built for performance. Like talk show hosts, they produce a running stream of commentary, so a viewer’s own thoughts don’t have to fill the void. Like DJs, they anticipate a group’s mood. Like reality stars, they live largely unscripted but still play to camera. Like performers on that MSG stage, they have incredible lung capacity. They are a new class of celebrities, beamed into the homes we can’t really leave. And they are captivating a captive audience.
Thanks to social media, Peloton instructors can build up an audience away from their classes, leading to more people taking their classes. As their popularity grows, they are then able to expand their career opportunities with fitness-related sponsorships.