Updated, 11/18/09: Ben @ Suicide Food has an absolutely pornirific take on McCormick’s sexy fish centerfold.
It’s been a few months in the making, but here’s entry No. 2 in the “Sexy Meat” series. This set of advertisements from McCormick is unique in that it features explicitly female and male “meat.”
Let’s start with the female, who is represented by a flirtatious fish (again with the fish, oy vey!).
The ad above features an obviously female fish: she has oversized, cartoonish eyes; long, lush eyelashes (seemingly curled, even); and wispy fins, one of which she touches to her lipsticked, collagen-enhanced lips in a flirtatious gesture. She rests, splayed out, on a platter, as if being presented for your pleasure and consumption. Not as if; exactly like. Her tail is raised in the air, giving the appearance of an arched back (or raised buttocks? It’s hard to tell; she’s a fish, after all!). An anonymous, faceless consumer – also obviously female – hovers above, pouring a stream of McCormick’s mustard on the fish’s head. The scene vaguely resembles a, ahem, money shot.
Though not relevant to determining her gender, it’s worth noting that the fish’s skin is gruesome in appearance, to say the least. She appears to have grilled or roasted, to the degree that her scales are almost unrecognizable as such; they’re dark tan in color and even bear dark burn marks from the grill. And yet, she seems so happy and…aroused.
The text reads, “Tu comida se va a poner más buena,” which Google translates into “Your meal will bring more good”…though I’m guessing that’s rough at best.
In contrast, allow me to present the male “meat.”
We know that this animal corpse is male because he’s flexing his manly muscles for us! This “meat” was at one time a chicken or turkey, that is, before he was decapitated and roasted. The chicken stands proudly on two unnaturally thick and long back legs, which are heavily muscled; they resemble the legs of a human more than those of a bird, I think. Likewise, his wings appear way too large for his body, particularly given the bulging biceps on ’em. His chest is broad, his ass, delightfully perky. He’s one sexy corpse. Beefcake, indeed!
Like the fish, the chicken’s skin is painfully dark, roasted or grilled. Probably marinated, as well. A different anonymous woman – or perhaps the same woman, in a change of clothing – is lathering the chicken’s shoulder with mustard.
While it’s a little unusual to see sexy meat masculinized, I wouldn’t call this change of pace delightful: violence in the form of corpse-eating should not be sexualized, no matter the meat’s gender; nor should non-human animals be reduced to meat, objectified and consumed. As I’ve said before, they’re no more “meat” than you or I.
Nor is this gender equity liberating – because it’s not wholly equitable. True, violence against both genders is being played for laughs (and money) here, but it’s hardly apples to apples. Or fish to fish, if you prefer.
It’s all in the poses. Whereas the female fish is presented in a submissive posture – splayed out on a platter, back arched, one fin placed coyly over her mouth, seemingly enjoying the male gaze she’s designed to please – the male is anything but (his missing head and brutalized corpse notwithstanding). The chicken’s pose is proud, strong, assertive: “Look at my manly masculine man muscles!” he command/boasts.
In short, the female fish looks as though she’s appearing in a porno, while the male chicken looks fit for a Mr. Universe contest. Both are (or can be, depending on your POV) objectifying, yes, but in different ways and to different degrees. And each celebrates wholly different traits, the stereotypically feminine and the stereotypically masculine.
Much like a PETA ad. (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist getting a lil’ jab in there!)
[Previous posts in the series: One.]
Tagged: animals animal rights animal welfare intersections parallel oppressions violence intersectionality the pornography of meat carol j. adams animals and women speciesism sexism misogyny advertisement ad meat sex flickr photo sexy meat pornified chicken fish mccormick masculine feminine porn sexy suicide food marketing photo blogging