Masculinity In Fast Food

1924 Words 8 Pages
A commercial depicts a male and his group of friends going out to get fast food. His friends order double stacker cheeseburgers while the male decides to order a salad. The male cashier seems puzzled, “what are you watching your figure, pretty boy”. We just put healthy foods on the menu to appease “chicks”. The male responded, “You know what, on second thought give me a Quad beef stacker with extra cheese and pickles. The cashier countered, “That more like it buddy”. Consumption of meat has long been associated with males partly due to their historical association as animal hunters. Females have been viewed as agriculturalists, whose food source is the plant-based foods that they tend to and grow. Stereotypes are pushed on consumers from …show more content…
A historical connection was formed centuries ago and can explain why masculinity is such a prevalent focus in modern fast food advertisements. Freeman and Merskin’s research has shown that, “Anthropologists have documented a historical link between males and the domination of nature and animals, evidenced by the traditional role of males as hunters. These historical relations contribute to food remaining a highly gendered cultural product in America today, most notably the gendering of meat as a masculine food” (277). Most fast food products contain meat, and males have for generations gathered and consumed animal meat. Based on that assumption, it only makes sense for modern company marketers to focus their attention on promoting masculinity. Freeman and Merskin’s effectively displayed Ethos through their word choice most notably the word, Anthropologists signaling the use of a trustworthy group of researchers. Ethos is shown through the link being documented and that the connection is just not based on speculation. The reader can get a sense that Freeman and Merskin researched this historical connection and are confident in the claims that are made. Similarly, Freeman and Merskin examined how masculinity is used to sell products and analyzed ads from Burger King, Carl’s Jr, Jack in the Box, Arby’s, Quizno’s and Subway. Freeman and Merskin write, “Marketing experts confirm from Burger King and Carl’s Jr that their campaigns are specifically targeted towards young men. In 2007, even Subway who traditionally had a positive less masculine based marketing approach shifted their direction and began to exemplify masculinity by using athletes to assert the meatiness of its subs” (Freeman and Merskin 282).

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