Tag Archives: sandwich

Cultural Pressures of Thinness and Disorderly Eating

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNBdU0PwWKU

The above video shows a mildly clothed thin woman on the beach eating a large sandwich. This video is from a Hardees television commercial that depicts Nina Agdalin in provocative poses in comparison to the sandwich. When I first viewed the commercial I noticed the way she devoured the food in a sexual manner. After viewing a second time I noticed how this commercial has the potential to promote disorderly eating. As Biber mentions “The media bombards us with images of every imaginable food…at the same time women are subjected to an onslaught of sources devoted to dieting and maintenance of a sleek and supple figures” (67).   Physical perfection is displayed in advertisements of thin women eating immense portions of food. Physical perfection is often associated with thinness but yet foods that are harmful to the heath and have the possibility to make people fat are promoted along side skinny women. The representation of a skinny woman eating unhealthy food is damaging to a society that polices body conformity. Many people try to control their body weight by not eating fast food in order to obtain a similar body to ones viewed in commercials such as Hardees. These kinds of advertisements promote disorderly eating in an environment that juxtaposes unhealthy eating habits with unattainable figures.

Source: The Cult of Thinness by Sharlene Nagy Hesse- Biber

 

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The Sandwich That Makes Men Cry

This commercial was released by fast-food restaurant Carl’s Jr. to promote their new Jalapeño Chicken Sandwich.  The ad portrayed sexist, stereotypical analysis of both men and women’s societal normative behaviors, as well as objectification of the female body in order to sell their product.

A white male is seen eating his sandwich as a solitary tear drops down his face, a result of the sandwich’s spiciness.  When his skinny, bikini-clad girlfriend begins to chastise him for only wanting to “watch the game,” she notices that he is crying and her face immediately twists into a look of disgust before letting him off the hook.

This ad is overflowing with harsh, gender specific stereotypes.  The woman’s positioning in the commercial allows for the man (and the audience) to shamelessly stare at her from behind as she leaves the patio, an illustration of John Berger’s notion that “woman is naked as the spectator sees her” therefore “turning herself into an object of vision- a sight.”  This uses a sexualized female body as an attention-grabbing method to sell an (unrelated?) burger, as well as enforcing the negative stereotype that women are “nags.”  The men watching this commercial are offered the perspective that it is sometimes okay for a man to cry, but only if they are eating this macho burger.

I believe that the woman’s fleeting look of disgust is a silent yet sharp reminder to the male audience that, as Bell Hooks points out, the “patriarchal macho image” is expected from all men, so they must constantly defend their masculinity.  This disappointing commercial rejects man’s natural right to show emotion, only allowing it if there is a manly reason or prize behind the tears, such as a spicy burger or a newly a compliant girlfriend.  It makes me wonder: how long will it be until masculinity itself is defined by no emotion at all?

Berger, John. “From Ways of Seeing.” Trans. Array The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader. New York: Routledge, 2003. 37-39. Print.

Hooks, Bell. “Seduced by Violence No More.” Outlaw Culture. New York: Routledge, 1994.