This Hardee’s commercial is definitely catering to the male psyche and, at first glance, could be deemed one of the most sexist commercials on television. However, there are small nuances of parody that could be seen as more forward thinking in gender.
The commercial starts as any typical sexist ad: sex sells, and sells best by a half-naked beautiful woman.
The ad, however, does not portray men as the dominant force. The lifeguard on the beach is seen as a complete accessory to the woman, or as “the Other” in Beauvoir’s terms. Beauvoir states in The Second Sex that “woman has always been man’s dependent” and “she is often very well pleased with this role as the Other.” In this ad, however, women are completely independent and wouldn’t even consider a submissive role.
Even more so, this sexual show the model just performed during tanning and eating her sandwich was completely ignored by the man, who was much more interested in this amazing sandwich.
It seems as if the society suggested in this commercial isn’t reliant on the binary, but a new ternary society: of man, of woman, and of sandwich. And in this ternary, man is viewed as an expendable.