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Advertising Sexism: KFC BBQ – She’s a Lady

When I first came across this commercial, I was in awe by the blatant sexism these advertisers conveyed to the viewers. Even more disconcerting was the message they sent out about their product. This ad constructs the events of what seems to be a ‘typical’ day in a ‘typical’ woman’s life. The beginning of the ad shows the woman waking up in the morning to head to the bathroom only to have her male roommate rushing to occupy the bathroom first. As the commercial continues, you see this woman seated between two men on the bus. She looks up to find a pregnant woman standing and offers her seat to that woman. It then shows her in the workplace unsteadily carrying a large water jug by herself without the assistance of her male co-workers. This woman is then shown at a bar attempting to request a drink until a man cuts her off and gets his order in before hers. It goes on to show her walking with her female friend both carrying shopping bags when suddenly something catches her eye. At first it seemed as though it was a man that caught her attention but it quickly became evident that the KFC rancher chicken coming straight out of the oven was the source of that caught her eye. The voice over then says: “At least someone knows how to treat you right”. I thought that this ad was sexist and misogynistic; it had absolutely nothing to do with the KFC chicken they were trying to advertise. When watching these clips I noticed many aspects that were derogatory to women. From my perspective, the message conveyed in the bathroom clip was that men come before women or are usually ahead of the women. In the bus clip, I felt as though they were focusing on the stereotypical nurturing attribute that women have such as ‘caring’ or ‘helping’; the two men did not seem to notice the pregnant woman standing. That is also another stereotypical message that I perceived; women tend to help other women because of their understanding of one’s situation. In the workplace clip, the woman gave a disappointed look at the men when they did not help her. In my opinion, this seemed sexist because it was implying that women expect men to help them and since they cannot do manual labor on their own, it is not their job to do so. An obvious stereotype depicted in the ad was the woman and her friend holding shopping bags. What I found to be disappointing was the notion of food being the only thing that treats a woman right. They linked a woman’s value with a piece of KFC chicken; implying that only food can make a woman feel happy or appreciated. This whole commercial screams sexism; this ad as well as many similar to it contributes to the reinforcement of gender stereotypes.


2 Comments

  1. Jack Manska says:

    Consider this point view; if we removed all the men from this commercial your argument would be well on target. However, the men shown are the point; they are rude, lazy, inconsiderate, and selfish. Without them the commercial would have no point. I speculate it should be the male gender that finds this offensive. However, as a male I acknowledge that there is in fact a failing in society of good manners.

    • rkazan says:

      I agree with you, The male stereotype did not catch my attention when I first watched the video. You make a great point, the men in the video are portrayed as rude, selfish, and lazy. It could be that I focused specifically on the gender role of the female I failed to notice the commercial stereotyped both genders. I’m glad you brought that to my attention; this commercial is clearly advocating sexism from both perspectives.

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