We like to watch Eat Street on The Cooking Channel. It’s a show about different kinds of street foods—often sold via food truck or other means—around the country, as well as in Canada. It usually inspires conversations about where we’d like to travel someday because, let’s face it, like Danielle’s stepsister in Ever After, we’re just there for the food.
Today’s episode, however, gave me pause. There was a food truck advertised as “Baby’s Badass Burgers” from Los Angeles, and the truck’s artwork featured buxom women either bent over, nearly showing the woman’s behind, as well as a woman holding two burgers where her breasts were provocatively.
That’s their business and their choice, and I have a lot of opinions about why it’s wrong—and why we wouldn’t purchase food from such a business, let alone let our daughter see it—but again, it’s their business and their choice. They did call their gimmick an original one, however, which isn’t true—plenty of other dining establishments use women’s bodies to sell their crap food.
However, this is a family-friendly show, and my daughter did see it. And to introduce the truck, the host held a girl in one arm and a burger in the other and declared a burger and babe “the American dream.” Um, is this the American dream for 51 percent of the population, which happens to be female? I seriously doubt it, even if one out of two qualifies. Then the host catcalled at another woman, “Nice buns!” and his “squeeze” abandoned him and he acted baffled by it.
Right, because not only are women objects—the things to acquire to fulfill your American dream!—but we’re also clueless airheads who shouldn’t mind A. being ignored while you openly ogle someone else or B. being ogled and catcalled at in the first place.
I am so sick of this dehumanization of women in our culture. Everywhere I look, my sex is an object, not a personhood—and my daughter gets more and more confused. Stop telling her she needs to wear little clothing to be worthwhile, that the only costumes for her are “naughty” this or that, and that she is an object to please men! Stop telling us all, for that matter.
Unfortunately, this truck’s business model proves that we have gulped the purple kool-aid as a culture; it’s not just the media anymore. The population has bought the idea that women are objects, and that’s what sells. And I guess until you can prove your product is superior without placing it alongside a pair of breasts, you’ll keep doing it. I challenge those businesses that actually have merit to try another sales approach, particularly if they value women as anything other than trophies.