This new advertisement from Carl’s JR/Hardee’s reinforces various (and tired) myths of meat eating. In the video, a woman portraying Mystique, the shape-shifter character from X-Men, morphs into a stereotypically attractive white male as she eats a gigantic bacon burger. The text on the screen reads, “Man Up.” As the male continues to eat the burger, he changes back to Mystique.
In this short commercial, Carl’s Jr. has managed to:
- Use stereotypically attractive people (a tall, slender, hourglass woman; a white, built male with facial hair) to associate certain body ideals with meat-eating, thereby reinforcing problematic gender norms, as woman and men are apparently supposed to have a certain body type to appear “sexy” or “attractive.” Related, to be “manly,” a male has to consume animals. Veganism is therefore emasculation;
- Reinforce the incorrect idea that meat eating=strength. Fact: it is not necessary to eat animals if you wish to gain strength– vegan strongman Patrik Baboumian proves this;
- Sexualize the eating of dead animal flesh and parts;
- Imply to its audience that it’s healthy to consume this product, despite the fact that this type of food — particularly processed meats such as bacon — is linked with serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, etc.
Moreover, like all advertisements for animal products, this one further encourages people to exploit animals; it hides the animal, rendering him or her invisible, along with the necessary cruelty that was committed to produce the food product.