Monthly Archives: April 2012

Binge Drinking is Manly

Now that we’re done with ads and commercials, let’s look at something more interesting and something that many of us do by choice………… television (TV)!

In this post, I’m going to look at a TV show that I currently watch that is short and sweet.  That’s right, this TV show is about 10 min per episode.

Here’s the show:

In this episode, we see that Mordecai (the blue jay) and Rigby (the raccoon) knocked out their boss, Bensen (the gumball machine) by not holding the ladder.  After knocking Benson out, Mordecai and Rigby precede to take him to a party that he was supposed to.  At the party, the ex-boyfriend of the girl that Benson likes is taunting him and eventually challenges him to a contest where they have to see who can last the longest in eating chili peppers.  After the three characters win, they have the champion drink called the “Mississippi Queen” and after taking it, their worlds just spin out of control.

The next few descriptions/POINTS of the episode are pertinent to my argument:

1)      After drinking the “Mississippi Queen” their life becomes super fun and just like a rock n roll song.

2)      They leave the party and their vision becomes blurry.

3)      The friends end up at a coffee shop and order some food but when the food comes the servers are worried and friends end up in a cab.

4)      During the ride, the cab door opens up to the curb as the cab is still driving.

5)      The three friends end up back at the park, and the next morning they are found to be in front of the house and feeling like poo.

My point in this post is…………the chili peppers in this episode were actually supposed to be booze (which implies many other things).  I mean let’s think about, does eating a lot of chili peppers really make you do/feel all those things that I listed earlier?  No, but you know what does?  Alcohol.  Alcohol can impair vision (POINT 2), make people throw up (POINT 4), and even blackout (POINT 5), much like the three characters in this episode.

I wanted to discuss this episode specifically for this scene.  This scene reflective of many men in real life…..or at least in college.  In my experience, men always challenge each other to drinking contests at parties and all it is to show who is “more of a man”.  In other words, drinking challenges are a way for men to prove their masculinity/worth as a man.  However, as both participants will usually drink an excessive amount in such a short amount of time, they usually get to POINT 2,4, and 5.  Also, when reflecting back on what they did, they simply think that it was a funny experience, but what they don’t realize is how this relationship with alcohol can affect them in the long term.  Sure, alcohol can make someone vomit, impair their vision and even blackout, however, there can be many long terms effects as well.  Improper alcohol consumption can lead to a messed up REM sleep cycle, liver damage, brain development, and even sexual performance (Effects of Alcohol on the Body).  When we compare the negatives of overconsumption of alcohol and the pros to proving one’s masculinity, is it really worth it to do this?  I think another question to ask and maybe just for self-reflection is, why do we binge drink in the first place?



“Effects of Alcohol on the Body.” Office of Education for Health and Wellness, Johns Hopkins University. N.p., 03 Mar 2006. Web. 29 Apr 2012. <;.


Morecartoonnetwork5. “313 (HD)”. 21 Jan. 2012 Online video clip. Youtube. Accessed on 23 April 2012. <;.

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Is Annorexia Funny?

As I was doing research on commercials and deciding which ones would be good to critique, I just happened to find this one that I think is really interesting. It is a commercial from Thailand, but even so, I think that it can be applied to our country as well.

Here is the commercial:

First impressions? I don’t know about you, but I thought this commercial was really disturbing. Before I start, let’s recap what we just saw in this commercial. In the commercial, we can see that this ultra-thin woman wants to eat food but is really limited to what she thinks she can eat. Due to the fact that she is limiting her food choices and quantities, she is also starving her stomach which is why her stomach is making such a desperate attempt to eat food. Whenever her stomach is denied food, her stomach cries and the advertisers’ solution is to eat low fat tuna (which is obviously the product that is being sold).

Now that we’ve recapped everything, let’s deconstruct this video and examine the messages within this video. First off, this commercial is socializing women to think that they are supposed to be ultra-thin like this woman. This commercial doesn’t tell them that they can be whatever sized body they want to, it tells them that this body type is something that has to be achieved and alternate choice to starving yourself is to eat light tuna.

Is this the type of relationship we want people to be having with food?

Food shouldn’t be something we eat in order to be pretty or sexy. Food should be something that we eat in order to be healthy and to satisfy our taste buds! It is due to this type of relationship that we as a society have created with food that we see so many health related issues that are linked to food (ex. Anorexia, bulimia, etc). Also, this is a very real problem within our society. According to Duke Medicine, about 10 million people are suffering from eating disorders (Eating Disorders). That is nuts! To make this even worse, a large portion of the affected population is between the ages of 15-24 (which is a really important time for our development) (Eating Disorders).

Wondering what makes this an even more real issue? What makes this even more of an issue is that people don’t find this commercial disturbing or wrong, it’s actually titled, “Funny Diet Commercial” on youtube.



“Eating Disorders.” U.S. News Health . DukeMedicine, 28 Jan 2010. Web. 29 Apr 2012  <;.

SherryQiu. “Funny Diet Commercial”. 06 Oct. 2006 Online video clip. Youtube. Accessed on 23 April 2012. <;.

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Pepsi Privilege

As I was writing many of these posts, I’ve come to realize that I have been highly critical of the society we live in. But you know what? I don’t want to come off completely as a Debbie-downer so this next post is to show that there ARE some positive things in our society that we should be proud of too.

To keep it short and simple, women have been oppressed and treated unequally in our society for as long as history has been written and they still are to this day.  For example, within the workplace, the average woman makes less than the average man.  To learn more about gender inequality in the workplace, click here  to read an interesting article that I found on this topic (Fitzpatrick).  Women have always been on a lower playing field than men but I really like this commercial from Pepsi because it shows women in a more positive light than many other food advertisements we have already looked at.

Here is the video (once again this is another Super Bowl Ad, and from the 2012 game):

So, what does this ad tell us about food and gender equality?

First of all, what it tells us about food is that this ruler (Elton John), views Pepsi as something only fit for royalty and those who deserve it.  In other words, it is a privilege to have good food and drink.  But due to Melanie Amaro’s bravery and courage to defy the king, she gives all people the opportunity to have Pepsi.  What parallels can be made about food?  Well, believe it or not, FOOD IS A PRIVILEGE.  I mean seriously, think about it.  Not all people can afford to eat in really expensive restaurants.  For example, what DC college student (aka me) is going to be able to eat at Citronelle?  This restaurant’s average menu price can range anywhere from $14-35 for a small plate of food (Cooper).  Is a college student like me really going to be able to afford this?  Hell no! I’d probably stick to 2Amy’s where I can get an entire pizza for $12.  But let’s think about it some more, I’m privileged in that I can sometimes treat myself to good food.  Some people can’t afford to eat out at all and are actually going day to day trying to put food on the table.  Also, keeping in mind that there is so much gender inequality in the workplace, how are women and “non-normative” gendered people supposed to achieve such simple privileges with no equal pay or job opportunities?

Anyways, I realize that may be another Debbie-downing point, but here is the good part!

The reason why I liked this commercial was because it shows women on an equal playing field as men (especially a man of power, the King).  Through the commercial, we can see that the jester was trying to impress the King with his performance in order to be rewarded with a Pepsi drink.  After the jester failed epically, a woman of color approaches the bench to give a shot in obtaining a Pepsi (Melanie Amaro).  She sings the justice out of the song R-E-S-P-E-C-T by Aretha Franklin and is offered a drink from the approaching king.  Next, she defies the king and liberates all the people from this Pepsi privilege.

This is a good representation of women because it represents a strong woman who defies an oppressive system.  Here’s how the commercial does this:

When Melanie Amaro sings, she sings on a platform to a king on a throne (if you didn’t catch it the first time, watch it again). When she does a good enough job to deserve a drink, the King gets down from this thrown, crosses the floor, and steps onto the platform that Melanie performed on.  What this tells us in terms of power is the King has the most power but as he offers to give Amaro a drink, he has to get on her level….meaning the power is equal.  However, does Amaro just become another privileged Pepsi drinker like the king?  Hell no!  With the equal power distribution between Amaro and the King, she takes advantage of the opportunity and liberates all the people from this Pepsi privilege.  This is why this is a great commercial.


Cooper, Rachel . “Citronelle Restaurant Review – Michel Richard Citronelle.” Washington, DC. n.d. n. page. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. <;.

Fitzpatrick, Laura. “Why Do Women Still Earn Less Than Men?.” TIME US. 20 Apr 2010: n. page. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. <,8599,1983185,00.html&gt;.

Pepsi. “Pepsi-King’s Court Super Bowl”. 03 Feb. 2012 Online video clip. Youtube. Accessed on 24 April 2012. <;.

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Devour his junk………food

Now that I’m done with looking at print ads, I’d say that commercials would definitely have to be next.  Although I’m only going to be looking at a few examples, I do think that think that it is worth to examine commercials because they are a different form of advertising and have a different amount of viewers/consumers.  It is because of this reason that the commercials I’m going to be examining in the next few posts are from recent Super Bowls.

My first television ad that I’m going to analyze is a Doritos commercial in 2011.  First of all, the reason why I chose a food ad from the 2011 Super Bowl was because that Super Bowl had the biggest amount of viewers than any other game in the past.  In 2011, there was an estimated 111 million people watching the Super Bowl (Bauder).    That’s right, 111 MILLION PEOPLE!!  That is a lot of people watching the same program.  Keeping that number in mind, just think about how many people are seeing the same thing and how the media is influencing all of these people by the ads they post throughout the program.

With that in mind, let’s look at the ad:

As seen through the commercial and much like the print ads that I examined, there is a lot of phallic symbolism.  However, something else I see that is much more apparent and prevalent within commercials are the uses of stereotypes.

Examples within the commercial:

1)       What is the stereotype of black men and penis size?  The stereotype is that black men are supposed to have ENORMOUS penises.  During the commercial, we can see that the white man looks over to the black man’s crotch area and is shocked.  When we see this, we think that the white man is shocked to see the black man’s huge penis, while in reality he was just surprised to see a bag of Doritos.  Not only is this stereotype harmful because not all black men have big penises and such, but it also negatively affects the black community because they are going to be eroticized for their “big penises”.

2)      At the same time as being shocked, the white man just can’t resist the temptation to grab the Doritos, which we already know represents the black man’s penis.  Although many people may not catch on this stereotype/generalization in this action, there is a very real stereotype present.  The white man’s irresistible temptation to grab an unsuspecting man’s junk/Doritos is parallel to the stereotype that gay men are hypersexual and can’t control their urge to have sex with someone else.

But to go back to food, how the heck do these stereotypes relate back to Doritos?

Answer: Consumers are like gay men, and Doritos are like black men’s penises.  Doritos are so delicious and awesome that they are irresistible to consumers.

Now that I have presented all this information to you and shown you how this commercial can be negative, just remember 111 million people also saw this.  Think about what percentage got as much out of the commercial as I did.


Bauder, David . “Super Bowl 2011 Is Most Watched Program EVER .” Huffington Post. 07 Feb 2011: n. page. Web. 24 Apr. 2012. <;.
2011DoritoCommercial. “The Sauna – 2011 Doritos Superbowl Commercial Ad”. 09 Nov. 2011 Online video clip. Youtube. Accessed on 24 April 2012. <>.

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Consenting Alcohol

Ok, so this is the last post I’m going to do in regards to print ads displaying food, gender, and sexuality. I chose this particular ad because it depicts two bodies which give a blatant sexual connotation to the product, much like the ad found in the “Rump or Ass?” post.

In this particular print ad, Añejo Tequila is being targeted towards the consumer. As seen in the ad, you can see that there is a suggestive image of a woman on the bed with her dress showing a lot of skin. On the other side of the ad is a man who is completely naked. Due to the symbolism in the ad, we can see that the bottle of tequila is a phallic symbol of a man’s erect penis. Another important part of the ad is the text that says “Extra Añejo for an extra long night” (Sharpe). Through all the suggestive material in the ad, you can assume that the two people in the ad are going to have sex because they drank this tequila.

However, once again there are many implications to this ad.

1) Due to the fact that these two people figures do not have faces and are completely reduced down to bodies…..aka objectification. Nowadays we hear about the objectification of women all the time, but in this instance we can also see the objectification of a man which is also problematic.

2) This type of ad creates a negative relationship to food. What I mean by this is that the ad tells the consumers that if they are planning on having an extra long night (meaning if they are planning on having sex that night), then they should drink their tequila. Let’s think about what this implies for a moment. It is telling us that we should always drink alcohol of some sort if we are planning on having sex, which is not the type of relationship people should be having with food, especially alcohol. Sure, alcohol might be able to give some people confidence and put them in the mood, but that is only in moderation and is partially psychological. Due to the fact that this ad says that people should drink and have sex, that is a problem in itself. It doesn’t reflect on the issue between the consumption of alcohol and sex. Alcohol can affect people in many ways and can blur the lines of consent, which is really problematic.


Sharpe, Gwen. “Non-Subtle Sex in Advertising (NSFW).” The Society Pages . W.W Norton & Company, Inc., 27 Jun 2008. Web. 18 Apr 2012. <;.

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Is BIGGER better?

I’m going to start this post with 2 questions, and the questions are for you too!


1)      What is your favorite fast food joint?

2)       When you think of that fast food restaurant, what comes to your mind?

Here’s what my answers were:

My favorite place is Burger King (BK).  In my mind, there is absolutely no competition between McDonald’s and BK because it’s so much better than McDonald’s.  When I think of BK I tend to think of the awesome chicken sandwiches, onion rings with barbecue sauce and how I’m going to get fat or clog up my arteries with cholesterol.

Here’s another question, when you think about that fast food joint, do you also think about sex?  I’m assuming the majority of you said no, and I would have to personally say that I too would never think about sex and BK at the same time.  So why the heck do we put the two together then?  It’s because sex, gender, and food are highly relatable.

Below is an ad that I fell upon and thought it was a prime example to inspect under the lens of gender and sexuality, especially in terms of gender roles.

First, let’s examine all the innuendo and sexual symbolism.  To put it bluntly, the positioning of the sandwich in regards to the woman’s mouth seems as though she is going to give a blowjob (otherwise known as fellatio) to the sandwich which obviously represents a penis.  Also, the word “blow” in the ad just further implies fellatio.  To make things even more apparent, the sandwich is described as “long” (7 inches) and “juicy” and is filled with a lot of mayonnaise.  Also, just read this little description found at the bottom of the ad and I think you’d be able to recognize some more innuendo:

“Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled with the NEW BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER. Yearn for more after you taste the mind-blowing burger that comes with a single beef patty, topped with American cheese, crispy onions and the A1 Thick and Hearty Steak Sauce. (The Cajun Boy)”

So, what does this say about gender roles and sexuality?

Well, it once again reinforces our heterosexual society because it assumes that sex is between men and women only. Could you imagine if the woman’s face was replaced with a man’s?  People would flip out!

What it also shows us about our gender roles is that for people who want to have sex with men; they should strive to meet a man with a long seven inch cock.  But even when we have met what we desire (which is a 7 inch cock), we should still want more……………..just like that darn BK Super Seven Incher Sandwich!

However, these roles are problematic because what if we don’t meet these expectations?  If a man doesn’t have a seven inched dick then he could feel really inadequate.  Also, for us people who like having sex with men, what if a seven inch dick (or even bigger) is something we found but isn’t as satisfying as we thought?  It brings up the question, is bigger really better?  Not only does it apply to penises, but also to food.  Are bigger plates of food tastier than smaller portioned plates?

Think about it and let me know what you think.    🙂


Cajun Boy, The. “Eating a Burger King ‘Super Seven Incher’ Is Just Like Giving a Blow Job.” Gawker. N.p., 24 Jun 2009. Web. 23 Apr 2012. <;.

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Rump or Ass?

**As stated in an earlier post, we know that our society is extremely heteronormative… its especially important to keep this concept in mind while I discuss this post. There are many reasons why I chose this next ad.  Unlike the Baileys ad, this ad deliberately uses a woman’s body to make its marketing statement.  I also chose this ad because this decision to use a woman’s body also blatantly shows us our societal views of women.  **

So here we go:

Based off of our society, we know that people generally tend to have a mentality that women eat salads and men eat steak and potatoes.  Due to the fact that all men LOVE steak and women….what a better way to market towards men by using steak and women, right? This is exactly what this ad does.

This ad uses a naked woman’s body in order to depict the certain types of meat cuts you can find on a cow.

By doing this, we assume that people are buying their product because they can then connect this diagram of a woman to a cow.  We can also assume now that people make their decision of what meat cut they want based off of the cow diagram that they now have in their head.  However, is this really the case?  Are we really choosing the rump because we envision the cow’s butt to be delicious, or are we really choosing the rump because the woman’s rump is sexy and therefore the rump cut is attractive to us?

Why else is this ad important to us?

It is important to note that ads like these clearly express our views on food, gender, and sexuality.  This type of ad shows us that one of the easiest ways to show how an ad is relatable to us (as consumers) is to use gender and sexuality because everyone knows what a man/woman is supposed to be and everyone loves sex.

But for me, this ad is important because it shows us how our society thinks of women.  Due to the fact that a woman is used to relate to meat cuts, what does that tell us?  It shows us that women are reduced strictly to their bodies and are nothing more than pieces of meat for our consumption.  It may not say it in words, but this is what the image implies.




Sharpe, Gwen. “Sexualizing and Gendering Food.” The Society Pages . W.W Norton & Company, Inc., 25 Mar 2008. Web.  Apr 2012. <;.

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Bam! So if you thought all the other things I wrote about was boring then you’re in luck because I’m finally getting into the interesting parts of my blog.  In this section, I’m going to be analyzing the print ads and how they are sexualized and gendered.

Here’s my first example:

The reason why I chose this ad is that they are examples of food that have been gendered and sexualized without using any people.

The first ad depicts a product that is being advertised by Baileys, a creamy chocolate flavored liqueur that is made up of Irish whiskey and Irish dairy cream (Product and Company Information).  If we were taking this ad literally, we would only see top views of two glasses of Baileys with chocolate in the center, “The Milk of Ireland” in the middle of the ad, and a Baileys label on the bottom.  However, almost nobody reads ads like that.  This ad is extremely gendered due to its placement and symbolism.  The top view of the two glasses with Baileys symbolizes a pair of woman’s breast and the chocolate centers are representative of nipples.  While on the other hand, the Baileys label is a phallic symbol for a woman’s crotch area.  Due to the fact that there is no actual outline of a woman’s body in the ad, the consumer is left to imagine the rest of the “woman’s” body.  Although it may seem as though the consumer is left to their imagination as to what the outline of the woman is, they are actually guided in how they should picture the woman’s outline by the “The Milk of Ireland” text.  The main goal for placing the text in the middle is to help the consumer outline the woman.

Not only is this ad completely gendered in that it represents a woman, but it is also extremely sexualized.  Never in a million years would you see a woman show her bare breasts and vagina out in public (except for maybe at a nudist beach or something to that nature).  Yet in this ad, because we are left to our knowledge of what a woman’s body is and imagination, we can conclude that the chocolate centers are nipples.  The sole reason why this is an acceptable in the public is because not a real woman’s body.

But how do we know for sure that this was the goal of the advertisers?

We know that this is meant to be a woman because of the placement of the items in the ads is relatable to a woman’s body.  Let’s pretend that the items on the ad had been arranged differently.  When we rearrange these items, there is no longer any correlation with a woman’s body.


“Product and Company Information.” Baileys. R.A. Bailey & Co. , 2011. Web. 19 Apr 2012. <;.

Sharpe, Gwen. “Non-Subtle Sex in Advertising (NSFW).” The Society Pages . W.W Norton & Company, Inc., 27 Jun 2008. Web. 18 Apr 2012. <;.

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What is Sexuality?

I’m going to just come out and say this, sexuality is complicated.  Sexuality does not have a concise definition like gender and because it is a part of a person’s identity, people will always have their own definition of what sexuality is.  For the purpose of contextualizing my blog, the following is how I’m going to try and explain sexuality.

The first thing to say about sexuality is that whenever discussing it, sexuality is associated with sexual orientation (which is defined as, who a person is physically and/or emotionally attracted to) (Sexual orientation and homosexuality).  The reason why these two are heavily associated with each other is because they are all part of a person’s sexual identity.  By knowing and understanding sexual orientation, people can then have a full understanding of their sexuality and how to express it (Self-Help: Sexual Identity and Orientation).

For example:  A boy (let’s call him Tom), at the age of 11, starts to understand that he isn’t attracted to girls like the other boys.  All Tom knows is that he is different from the rest of the crowd and is confused on what to call himself, how to identify, or how to express his “abnormal” desires.  Tom eventually enters high school and finds out that men who are attracted to other men are called gay.  Although Tom now knows that he is gay, he still does not fully comprehend what it means to be gay because he’s never had the chance to express it in any manner.  It wasn’t until college, where he could fully express himself as exactly who he was, that Tom really understood his sexuality.

Through this story, we can examine Tom’s development of himself from pre-high school to college.  By being able to understand his sexual orientation, Tom was able to understand sexual identity but through expressing this he was able to fully understand his sexuality.

In regards to sexuality, it is also very important to note that when people think of sexuality, many tend to think of heteronormative sexuality (meaning sexuality is in reference to straight sexual identities only, not like the gay sexual identity example I gave you) (Self-Help: Sexual Identity and Orientation).  This is important to take into consideration because this is also what our society thinks and is run.



“Self-Help: Sexual Identity and Orientation.” Student Counseling Center Office of Student Affairs. University of Texas Dallas, 19 Jan 2011. Web. 20 Apr 2012. <;.

“Sexual orientation and homosexuality.” American Psychological Association . American Psychological Association, 2008. Web. 20 Apr 2012. <;.

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What is Gender?

As I stated in “Preparing for the meal”, I have to make sure that everyone is on the same page and knows what gender and sexuality is before we really delve into the content of my blog.   Although this section may seem a little more technical and academic, there’s just no other way of getting around what these words mean and they are crucial to understanding the entire blog.

The first thing to know about an individual’s gender is that it is different from that person’s biological sex.  The sex of a person can be determined by chromosomes and hormone levels.  However, a person’s sex is usually determined by genitalia, meaning a baby having a penis would be labeled as male.  While on the other hand, a baby having a vagina is labeled as female.  This is what sex is.

By knowing the sex of a baby, gender is and can then be assumed.  For instance, a baby is born and is determined to be female because it has a vagina (which is the sex).  When that baby recognized as female, it is then called and presented to the parents as a girl, which is an example of gender.  Gender is the social construction of a person’s self by others which is based off of their assigned sex (Eldis).  In a much simpler explanation, sex=male and female while gender= boy and girl (which are heavily associated with masculine/feminine).   By knowing a person’s gender, that person is then socialized into society’s perceptions of what gender is.

Ex: A girl is born and her parent’s buy her a pink dress.

These parents are socializing their daughter into the gender of being a girl by buying her a dress (which is something girls wear) that is pink (a feminine trait that girls are supposed to like and wear).  As children grow up, they will be heavily socialized and expected to fit into their gender roles (FAO).  But is this to say that there is nobody who breaks their gender roles or don’t fit to their roles?  Of course not. (Ex: tomboys)

Also, it is very important to note that because gender is a social construct based off of that society, other societies have different ideas as to what their gender is and how it should look.  (Ex. In the U.S., it is acceptable and normal for women to wear short skirts, pants, and dresses.  While on the other hand, in many places within the Middle East, it is unacceptable and unheard of for a woman to wear short skirts.) (FAO)


“What is gender?.” Eldis. Institute of Development Studies, 2012. Web. 9 Apr 2012. <;.

“What Is Gender?.” FAO Corporate Document Repository. Economic and Social Development Department, 2004. Web. 9 Apr 2012. <

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