Monday, June 29, 2009

For Carl Jr’s Women Are More Than A Piece Of Meat Until It’s Burger Selling Time

To look this hot in a bikini, I gotta eat alot of fruit.   Especially when it is on a big juicy burger.

Voiceover: The teriyaki burger, with grilled pineapple back at Carls JR

Commercial 2

To look this hot in a bikini I gotta give up like everything.  But there is no way I’m giving up that teriyaki burger.  I’m totally obsessed.  I have to be a little bad.  I call it my bikini burger. 

Voiceover: Carl Jr’s teriyaki burger with grilled pineapple. More than just a piece of meat.

Carl Jr’s clearly thinks that their burgers are more than a piece of meat but unfortunately the same does not hold true on their opinion of women.  Is there any reason to have a woman putting on suntan lotion and rolling around on a beach to sell a burger?  Carl Jr’s isn’t using sex to sell, it is specifically using women's bodies.

The tag line, “more than a piece of meat”, belies the advertising strategy they are using.  Clearly by using this woman’s body as a prop the advertisers are reducing women to mere slabs of meat that may be easily consumed. 

The naysayers will point to the fact that a woman willing participated in this commercial, without acknowledging that it is possible to make decisions that are not in ones best interest.  Simply because patriarchy has managed to find a few women who are willing to collude, does not mean that advertising like this is not sexist at its root.

Sexism in advertising is one of the ways in which the gender imbalance is maintained.   It must be remembered that the media is an agent of socialization and therefore these ideas are quite often internalized and become reflective of our larger discourse. 

Sexism leads to rape, silencing, violence, unequal pay and unequal opportunities.  Commercials like this dehumanize women and by so doing make it possible to justify the patriarchal world that we have created.  There is no dismissing the accuracy of this or the results of such characterizations.  If Carl Jr’s wanted to talk about meat, it should have focused the conversation on their burger; the only real meat shown in that 10 sec ad.