This Korean ad for a newspaper nicely illustrates the social constructedness of “breakfast” food. That is, that there is nothing inherently a.m. about eggs, bacon, or toast. But coffee, well that’s another story.
The smell of coffee? The taste of your favorite breakfast? Whatever wakes you up… have it with The Korea Times!
Ed L. sent us this British ad for McCoys crisps (chips, here in the U.S.), which reinforces gender boundaries. Not only are men not supposed to like (or perform) ballet, but even knowing a small fact about it makes a man so unmasculine that he’s no longer worthy to hang out with other men. Also, at the end we learn they’re “Man Crisps.”
Also, Rick T. and Penny R. sent in this Snickers ad, which features Mr. T mocking and shooting at an effeminate male speedwalker:
According to Mr. T, the speedwalker is “a disgrace to the man race” and “it’s time to run like a real man.” After having Snickers shot at him, the speedwalker does, indeed, run. And then the tagline: “Snickers: Get Some Nuts.”
The A.V. Club reports that the ad was pulled from the air in Britain after complaints that it was homophobic. The A.V. Club article has three other Snickers commercials starring Mr. T, including this one:
Here we learn that “It’s time to teach you fools some basic man rules,” which consist of the following:
Men like sports, girls in cars.
Men don’t go to fancy cocktail bars.
Real men have fun when they out.
They don’t go to wine bars to pose and pout.
So fools, you better change,
or you face is somethin’ I’ll rearrange.
Apparently real men do like poetry, anyway.
This would be good for a discussion of gender and the policing of masculinity, as well as the way that men who cross those boundaries–or even stray near them–risk ridicule or even outright abuse (if they’re lucky, Mr. T might advocate just pitying them, not actually rearranging their faces). It’s also useful for a discussion of what type of man is defined as a “real” man–apparently only men who like sports and girls, don’t drink wine, and know better than to pose. While this clearly excludes gay men, it also excludes many straight men. There’s a certain class element here–presumably “real” men drink beer, not wine, a drink generally more popular among those with higher incomes. All those men–gays, wine-drinkers, and pouters–just need to get some freakin’ nuts.
Latisha J. let us know about this Special K ad that sexualized dieting (which she read about at Lip-Sticking). The woman (who looks perfectly thin to me), figures out she needs to diet when a button pops off her dress. After she eats the Special K, which we learn can help women lose weight, we see another button pop off, but this time it’s because she’s intentionally revealing more cleavage:
So…popping button because she “needs” to diet = bad, but same woman popping button because she’s trying to look sexy = awesome.
I think these ads (see all four), which aren’t actually promoting vegetarianism, but just eating vegetables, are an interesting counterpoint to the PETA strategies roundly criticized on this blog (see here and here). The text is: “Sealed gourmet salads. You’ll forget about meat.” Instead of using (violent) images of hypersexualized women, they just make meat look bad. (Sorry for the click-over. They wouldn’t let me download the images.)
Meat will make you fat. All the saturated fat and cholesterol in chicken wings, pork chops, and steak eventually leads to flabby thighs and love handles. I hope the upcoming “Jessica Simpson’s Intimates” line comes in plus sizes! Going vegetarian is the best way to get slim and stay that way.
Katie pointed out that some of the other reasons play on the idea of attractiveness, too–compassion is “sexy” and the meat industry isn’t “hot.” It’s a very interesting connection between activism on behalf of animals and reinforcing ideals of femininity that focus on being thin and sexy above all else.