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More Than Just a Piece of Meat

April 2, 2009

Duane and I were watching American Idol or some such show the other night and had, as rarely happens, started watching it in “real time,” so could not bleep through the commercials with our handy little remote. Tivo has spoiled us. When it happens that we have to do this for whatever reason…usually because we’ve already run through everything on the List worth watching, we are so aggravated by the assault of commercialism that we find ourselves muting the t.v. and just staring at each other, or starting a discussion of some random something that we’ll stop after the commercials have run their course and then resume during the next commercial break. We just don’t want to watch them. Ever. Not anymore, now that we’ve seen the light of no advertisements.


As it happened on this night, though, one commercial sort of caught our attention, and we had to unmute the sound and pay attention. It was a simple set-up: a woman (Padma Lakshmi), beautiful, sensuous, with long dark hair, nicely tanned skin, and a clingy pale peach dress eating, of all things, a huge, juicy hamburger, loaded. We watched, wondering what exactly this was an advertisement for. The camera traveled slowly down her voluptuous proportions as she handled the hamburger with fervor (umm), licking and sucking on her fingers, hiking her dress up to…get more comfortable? dribbling a chunk of tomato onto her lap (oops! How clumsy of me!). At one point I had to rewind just to verify that they had not pulled a Sharon Stone in a prime time commercial (oh no you di-int!) …nope, just a very provocative shadow. Duane, meanwhile, was in heaven…(oh, yeah, rewind that again…)


And then the end of the commercial arrived. The woman vanishes, replaced by a text screen. Hardees Western Thickburger. More than just a piece of meat.


Oh, no you di-int.


Oh, yeah, I di-id.


I love the sly comment this commercial is making about the objectification of women, all the while being packaged neatly by the objectification of a woman. While more than a little twisted, it wouldn’t get off the ground without the saliva-inducing trappings of the fantasy presented and the subsequent ear-clinching “young man! Shame on you! More than a piece of meat!” The irony is about as subtle as a sledgehammer but applause-worthy all the same.


And naturally, for those among us who pay no attention to irony, it will still sell hamburgers. Hardees=hot chick=meat hamburgers. Dude.

Here’s the Youtube link if you haven’t seen the commercial and would like to:

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