And the Bummer is that I Really Like Those Western Bacon Cheeseburgers…

mfqEWG0Our son Josh and I have been watching a lot of sports lately, which of course means that we’re also watching a lot of commercials. The other day, we were watching yet another round of commercials during a Lakers game, and I had a moment of parental clarity:

This is my moment to pull back the curtain on American materialism.

Now I forget what the commercial was, but it doesn’t really matter, because they’re all the same. Simply put, the message is “buy this, and your life will be better in some way.” Buy this new Lexus and you’ll end up with a mansion, a fleet of new cars and, yes, a cute black puppy. Buy a Subway sandwich and become successful, since of course Subway “is where winners eat.” And–you guessed it–buy some little blue pills and your marriage will never be better.

The reality is that commercials preach the gospel of materialism and comfort. They make the promise that if you plunk down some cash, you’ll get what you want…and more.

And in the case of Carl’s Jrs., that evidently means sex. 

I mean, have you seen a Carl’s Jr. commercial lately?!? If I was to sum up their corporate advertising philosophy, I think it would be scantily clad women eating burgers with dripping sauce. Heck, on the Carls Jr. website right now, you can watch a video of a woman eating a burger, you can buy “Eat Like You Mean It” boxers (huh?), and on the main page, you are greeted with this visual:

Screen Shot 2013-12-08 at 9.10.32 PM

Subtle, eh?

In our family, we don’t eat a lot of fast food, but in light of their evident determination to equate their product with sex and with the objectification of women, we’ve definitely crossed them off the list. Feel free to join us!

This week, I came across this video. Entitled “How the Media Failed Women in 2013,” it illustrates the persistently sexist advertising and media coverage from the past year. May we do better in 2014.

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