My topic focuses on the portrayal of gender in food advertising, or more particularly, in the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. commercial linked here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIsfwztXIb0
This commercial is interesting when compared to other examples of gendered food advertising that we’ve studied in class, because the two women that the video focuses on are strongly associated with meat, rather than with salads or raw vegetables. However, despite this, gender roles are very clearly prominent; both of the women are thin and represent the stereotypical ideal of “beauty.” The meat that they are grilling is intended to appeal to male viewers, rather than female ones, just as the female actors are meant to appeal to them in a similar way. This shows how the idea of “femininity” or “masculinity” can be shaped to be whatever somebody intends them to be, which is what Emma White describes in her article, “Starved by Society,” explaining that gender is simply imitation.
“When we perform our genders we do so by strictly adhering to our society’s idealizations of what it means to fully embody femininity (and masculinity) at any given time” (White 319).
“For Butler, drag illuminates the fictitious nature of gender performativity and it is from this revealing that the subversive repetition of acts can take its form. A repetition can be subversive if it exposes what is taken to be natural or authentic to a particular sex, when it compels us to question what is real. In so doing, these norms cannot only be resisted but also re-worked” (White 320).
“Alongside these pressures we are bombarded with images in the media of computer enhanced size 0 models who are airbrushed to perfection, as it seems to have become an unspoken rule that you must adhere to these standards of beauty if you are to be classified as beautiful, successful and desired” (White 320).