Cross-posted at The Social Complex.
From the people who brought you greasy chicken wings, overpriced beer, and casual sexism while you wait…
Do these ads really require commentary?
The first video is able to squeeze heightism, sexism, and homophobia into one commercial spot. And the second video is so blatantly playing off of the societal notion that short men have very little social worth (and zero sexual worth) that they even have a line in it that refers to height specifically: “why do you have to be so tall?”
These ads are especially good for those who believe that women have a monopoly on heightism. Hooters’ target consumer base is nearly exclusively male and so their ads are designed to appeal to that base. So here we have ads targeted at a male audience which attempt to humiliate short men through comedic effect for the purpose of highlighting their low grade frozen seafood and sophomoric titillation – and you still think shallow women are to blame for heightism?
Pay special attention to the dialogue. Every word is designed to legitimize the widely held belief that short men are socially inferior. In one section, an African American male diner looks over to the short man who is getting attention from the “Hooter’s Girls” and says “I don’t get it”, followed by a close up of an out-of-place female diner; her mouth agape with disbelief from what she is witnessing.
Of course, the gag is supposed to be that short men are generally “losers” but this particular short man is a “winner” at Hooters because “Shrimp Is In This Summer”.
I would have loved to be in the pitch meeting at the advertising firm that came up with these ads:
“Get it? Shrimp = Short Men! Because “shrimp” is a common slur used against short men. Get it? Funny, right? And it’s O.K. because they had a professionally dressed, diverse group of people commenting on the strangeness of the whole scenario. And the short guy was laughing…he was having a blast. It’s all in good fun.”
Geoffrey Arnold is an associate with a mid-sized corporate law firm’s Business Litigation Practice Group. When Geoffrey isn’t chasing Billable Hours in the defense of white-collar criminals, he is most likely writing about social justice with a special emphasis on height discrimination at his blog: The Social Complex. See also Geoffrey’s guest post introducing the concept of heightism as a gendered prejudice.
If you would like to write a post for Sociological Images, please see our Guidelines for Guest Bloggers.