Carl’s Jr. has done it again. This time, they’re using UFC champion fighter Ronda Rousey to sell their new breakfast sandwich with a side of sexy.
The fast food chain’s penchant for selling sandwiches via sex is nothing new, as the world has been subjected to many previous commercials by them, featuring Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Kate Upton and Heidi Klum — all obviously well known for their love of eating greasy, fattening food. The women are usually in slinky clothes, bikinis or loosely fitted robes, which is what I usually wear when I’m eating hamburgers, so I totally get that part. Sometimes the women are lounging in a bubble bath or climbing on all fours to get to the sandwich, again all totally part of how one normally eats a burger.
Despite the fast food restaurant trying to attempt something new with Ronda Rousey, this ad is anything but “sweet.” In fact, as someone who has suffered image issues and eating disorders, it surprised me to see the UFC champ agree to sign on to this at all, especially knowing Carl’s Jr.’s track record when it comes to commercials.
Rousey has not shied away from identifying as, in her words, a “badass feminist.” She also purports to be a role model for girls, showing that being athletic and successful in a male dominated sport is possible. That’s incredibly admirable, but doesn’t quite fall in line with her allowing herself and her brand to be used in this way by Carl’s Jr.. This can be confusing to young fans who may want to follow in her footsteps. There’s nothing feminist or badass about being reduced to body parts to sell sandwiches.
Carl’s Jr. does get bonus points for actually showing Rousey in the ring doing what she does best. But that doesn’t make up for the fact that spliced in between her fighting shots are images of her eating a breakfast sandwich like it’s the last man on earth. Carl’s Jr. had an opportunity to change up their ads, use Rousey as a spokeswoman and show her in her element. Yet, they couldn’t leave well enough alone and had to include the sultry style of eating with the sexual innuendos peppered throughout.
These commercials degrade and devalue women, whittling them down to sexy mouths and fingers in order to sell some food. They become mere objects rather than actually people. While Carl’s Jr. was on the right track, having a spokeswoman who has a different, more athletic body type than the previous ones, they still couldn’t help themselves and strayed into their sexy lady stereotype.
And seeing Rousey take part is disappointing at best.