Burger Babes : Sexualizing Women in Food Advertisment

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

Link to original ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlUvQkW4B1k

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 is dressed 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 isdirected 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 likethis. 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 beforemen 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 withthis 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 as maller 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 andhighlighting 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 kidsand 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. 

words : 770

Work Cited

Anthony Cortese. “Constructed Bodies, Deconstructing Ads: Sexism in Advertising.” 345-102-MQ; Gendered World Views, edited by Sarah Waurechen, Eastman, 2017, p.9-25.

Guarnieri, Grace. “Andy Puzder’s burger-eating bikini babes: Trump’s Labor Secretary pick identifies with his company’s racy ads.” Salon, 8 Dec. 2016. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.

Charlotte McKinney. “Charlotte McKinney - Carls Jr Ad Commercial - Super Bowl XLIX 2015 - The All Natural Burger.” Online video clip. YouTube, 23 Jan. 2015. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.