The dominant narrative surrounding the pieces that I am analyzing, which are fast food commercials meant to appeal to a gendered target audience, re-inscribes and reinforces dominant gendered narrative ideology. Certain aspects of these commercials might instead suggest that they challenge this dominant gendered narrative, although by examining the advertiser’s reasons for doing this, it becomes clear that this is not the case.
One of my texts, the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. commercial featuring two country girls in a barbecue cook-off with strong sexual undertones, reinforces the concept of a dominant gender because their purpose in the video is to be displayed as sexual symbols, rather than individuals simply participating in a good-natured cooking contest. This is intentionally done to appeal to the male viewers, who would therefore be considered the “dominant” gender in this situation. One might argue instead that the commercial actually challenges this dominant gendered narrative, however, because of the unconventional aesthetics of the females in the video: they are tough, stubborn, and the sweat on their bodies is emphasized multiple times. These things imply a more dominant portrayal of women, rather than their stereotypical submissive portrayal. Despite this, though, the women in the advertisement are still present simply for the indulgence of men, which is even more explicitly clarified by the ending, which features two men, also attending the cook-off, watching the women lustfully and taking photos with their phones.