A Vegetarian Clritical Response To Burger King Commmericial

In our constantly changing society, the stereotypical social norms are assumably diminishing and the term "genderless" society is also becoming more widespread. The world we live in surely sounds promising without expectations from society, without having to force everything into stereotypical categories, but is this really what’s happening? I happened to come across a burger king commercial a few days ago and I myself was quite shocked and even slightly disturbed. It was a one minute commercial of a man on a date at a fancy restaurant and leaves after being served a tiny portion of food. He then joins up with a crowd of other hungry men to eat burgers. I was left in realization that maybe the population today is still confined to stereotypical social norms that to be a “real” man you have to eat meat since it is the one of the core traits of a man. The commercial indicates that it is compulsory for a man to eat meat and that it is simply unacceptable for a man to eat “chick food” which in this case is referring to vegetarian food. This creates a sense of enforcement in trying to make men eat meat which leads to them being a consumer in burger king. As both a male and a vegetarian, I would like to raise a few objections on this particular topic of society shaping our behaviors and restricting us into what we are able to do without being judged.

First of all, the commercial is portraying men as animals as the words “roar”, “growl” and “prowl” create images of creatures like lion or other predators searching for food. Those creatures are usually associated with connotations such as being uncivil, lack of intelligence and the ability to think and make decisions rationally. The commercial also features men throwing trucks and burning their shirts in fire which all suggest violence. I would never find myself or anyone around me with those violence acts. Another implication would be that an animal like lion is usually the top of the food chain which then imply that eating meat like a lion gives man the power to take control of the situation. Moreover, burger king is telling male consumers to completely stop eating vegetables which force their diet to consist of only meat since they have to “wave tofu bye-bye”. This then turn the man completely into a carnivore, a rough, ill-mannered animal. A thing that both burger king and their consumer do not realize is the health impacts behind this ‘only meat’ diet; as a vegetarian man who used to eat meat I have plenty to say. No matter who you are, man or women we all need a healthy well-balanced diet. I really am not saying you should stop eating meat and be a vegetarian but every nutrient you need for your body can be obtained through a healthy vegetarian diet. Even if being a vegetarian is simply impossible for you, cutting out vegetables completely from your diet is not ideal either.

Burger king enforces the image that eating “chick food” and taking care of their diet appears unmanly is not what a real man should do. The crowd of men eating burgers together further on drives man into thinking that if they don’t eat meat like everyone else then they will not fit in and be a “real man”. It is very clear that burger king is stereotyping man into an image that only “wild” man who eats meat can be a real man and is shaming man that leads a healthy non-meat lifestyle. That is completely rubbish because “REAL MEN EAT WHAT THEY WANT” and are not constrained to just one diet. In my own opinion, I do not think that being a vegetarian makes you less “manly” than any other man who is not a vegetarian. In addition, the song used for the commercial itself is originated from a protest song for feminism called “I am women” in the 1970s which implied that it is a protest movement for man to take actions to escape from “chick food” and eat meat. This sequentially is ironic because vegetarians only take up 2% of the population in America and most of them are female. This statistics suggests that being a male and a vegetarian is very rare considering all the outside pressure from society that associate man with meat. The cause of this is because meat is often associated with blood, fights, predators and prey, violence and many more things that society perceived to be “manly” whereas vegetables are often associated to rabbits, women, gentle, flowers. This then result in vegetarian man to be considered as weak and feminine while man who eat meat are considered to hold power and take control.

I completely disagree with this viewpoint as this is just one of the many ways how media manipulate our minds and thoughts. Who are you to define “manly” and “girly” food and who are you to make assumptions that are completely false and unreliable. Who would have thought that an international brand like burger king would be stereotyping both man and women, completely unaware of the connotations that the commercial presents us with. Let me rephrase my question to burger king; are you aware of the consequences that come along with the connotations that have been implying throughout the commercial? If you are, I would like to urge you to stop the production of such commercials to reduce gender stereotypes in the society that makes people feel like that have to conform to them to fit in.

01 April 2020
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