While watching the NCAA Championship basketball game this evening (yes that's relevant), I saw two...yes two...offensive commercials that made my jaw drop to the floor. For expensive perfumes? No. For tight jeans? No. For hair products? Absolutely not. For fast food joints. Yes...apparently the objectification of women is necessary in order to sell burgers.
Here is the first that I saw...
Oh...where to begin? First of all, the song...don't get me wrong...I, too, like big butts and I cannot lie. I also have been known in my anti-feminist past to play Sir Mix-A-Lot's *only* hit quite loudly in my car. However, never in my wildest dream could I imagine creating any type of media aimed at CHILDREN and incorporating this song. Even in the provocative 2000's...no. Secondly, as children become teenagers, we warn them of the oh-so-appalling music videos that are full of profanity, hyper-sexualized women, and drug and alcohol abuse. Parents and teachers alike shout of their disapproval with the classic, "Kids these days..." attitude. I also shout of such disapproval (with less of the latter mentioned attitude), but in addition to my rants about how horrible they are...I do something about it...that's the difference. And then...here comes Burger King replacing the profanity with Sponge Bob and the drug and alcohol abuse with Kid's meals. What remains? The hyper-sexualized women. The song is a version of, "I like big butts" obviously and replaces 'big' with 'square.' They give the back-up dancers (who are only women!) huge, square butts. At one point, the King is even measuring the angles of a dancer's ass! Now, you tell me, what message is this sending to the kids watching this commercial? More specifically, what is this communicating to the little girls watching this? I'll tell you. They see their daddies laugh at the commercial and think it's quite alright. Am I man-hating? No. Gender specificity will be explained...keep reading.
Here's the second commercial...
At first I had mixed emotions about this commercial, because they're making eating sexy. That should do *some* good for the eating disorder pandemic in our country, right? Maybe...doubt it...probably not enough to justify all of the misogynist implications this commercial has. Once again, the hyper-sexualization. Why, why, why is this necessary to sell a burger? And why, why, why are the only people being objectified in order to sell products, completely unrelated to sex, women?! Okay, maybe not all...just a humongous majority...I do remember the Diet Coke guy. It was the last line in the commercial that put the fire in my stomach, though. "Hardee's western bacon thickburger...more than just a piece of meat." Woooooow. No words. I really am just going to leave it at that.
Now...why was it relevant that I was watching the NCAA Championship basketball game? And what justifies the fact that I was not man-hating in my mention of "daddies." Did I see these commercials while watching my fav Lifetime movie? No. Did I see these horribly misogynistic commercials during The Rachel Maddow Show...during Rachel Ray? No. It was during a basketball game, and probably one of the most watched basketball games of the year. Who is likely to be your key audience here? Men. Heterosexual Men. Who is drooling over the woman eating the thickburger and who is buying the kids' meal? It's no surprise that advertisers know what they are doing. Moms, teenage girls, or even women-loving-women (like myself) are not going to pay attention to or like these commercials. In fact, this women-loving-woman is going to protest this shit no matter how hot that girl in the Hardee's commercial is! Because I want my daughter (or son) to grow up in a safe world for women...and these thirty-second tragedies aren't helping.
So, please join me in writing Burger King and Hardee's expressing your disapproval of these ads.
Burger King Corporation
5505 Blue Lagoon Drive
Miami, Florida 33126
100 N. Broadway, Ste. 1200
St. Louis, MO 63102-2706