Burger Babes : Sexualizing Women in Food Advertisment

by Tulips123 on February 27, 2017 - 2:31pm

For years’ women have been represented in one way, the looks may vary, but themessage remains the same, “Women will not be desirable to, or loved by men unless they are physically perfect.” (Cortes 10)

Through every medium; entertainment, sports and even foodwomen are fed messages on what they must look, how they must dress and how to pleasemen. The ultimate representation of these messages is

in a series of advertisements released bythe American fast food company Carl’s junior and Hardy’s. The Ad I am focusing on featuresCharlotte McKinney an actress and model who is being portrayed as all

natural even through it isobvious that her body has been heavily retouched. She walks through a super market as differentfood items represent areas of her body that are often sexualized. This advertisement

tries create a parallel between the hamburger they are trying to sell and McKinney’s’ body. Throughout theduration of the ad we are made to think she is completely nude, only to find out at the end she

isdressed in a skimpy bikini top and a pair of very short shorts.


The messages that are present in Ads are harmful to young women and young men,they create a false sense of reality of what the female body should look like. This ad objectifies the female body by placing

it on the same level as a piece of meat, a commercial like this diminishes the worth of women and creates a culture where the female body exist to beconsumed just like a hamburger. The marketing is

directed at heterosexual males who are oftenthe consumer of these types of fast food. Basic psychology shows us by pairing the hamburgerwith the attractive woman it evokes emotions of attraction which

ultimately drives men to buythese products. For the company that sells these hamburgers this is marketing genius but they failto consider all these young and impressionable people who cannot avoid ads like

this. Girls are forced to view their bodies as commodities in media and Advertising ,which has been related toobsession with diet and thinness. (12) It has also been shown that body shame is

tentativelyrelated to body esteem. (11) How can young girls expect to live up to these overly retouchedmodels, who often do not look the way they are represented in ads, in real life? (10) Like I said before

men and boys are strongly being influenced by content like this as well. The most strikingmanifestation of normalizing this attitude toward the female body comes from the CEO of Carl’s junior and Hardy’s

Andrew Puzder, who at one point was Donald Trump’s nominee forsecretary of labor. He was quoted saying, “I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgersin bikinis. I think it’s very American,” (Salon,

Guarnieri) when high powered men accept thistype of objectification as normal, the same message is sent out to the public, the fact thatsomeone as powerful as the president of the United States is okay with

this behavior from someone in his inner circle further reinforces status quo of women again being treated like ahamburger, tomato or a pair of melons.


            It is hard to think of a solution to combat these types of image in media when the culture of objectification goes all the way to the top of management we must change the narrative on a

smaller scale and create a new normal. The company must also make an effort to rebrand to show different types of women enjoying these hamburgers. If they focused on how good theburger is and

highlighting how their product is superior to their competitor they would still beable to sell at the same rate. By taking the sexualizing of women out of their advertisement theywould be able to reach a whole

new set of customers, who felt they could not get a behind abrand that markets its whole product around sex. They could also modify the Ad furtherby portraying restaurants as family friendly by including kids

and different types of relationshipsto further include different kinds of customers.


I am not saying sexuality is something we should shy away from or censor, my chief complaint is the default setting that currently characterizes the ideal female in media and advertising?Anthony Cortes

refers to this as the “perfect provocateur”, She is not human, but she is rather ahollow shell representing a female figure. (10) We must work towards women being represented

as much more than one dimensional pieces of meat. 


Work Cited