[Content Note: Sexism; gender essentialism.]

What in the shit is this advert from repeat offender Carl's Jr./Hardee's?

Video Description: The X-Men's Mystique, a blue-skinned shapeshifter who is currently played in the film franchise by Jennifer Lawrence but by someone else in this commercial, stands holding a big burger. She suddenly shape-shifts into a burly, traditionally handsome, white man, and then takes a giant bite of the burger.

"MAN UP" appears onscreen. "FOR 2X THE BACON."

The "man's" eyes, as "he" gazes upon a crispy strip of bacon, are Mystique's yellow eyes. "He" crunches down on it, and the shape flips back and forth between Burly Burger Man and Mystique.

"EAT LIKE YOU MEAN IT" appears onscreen, as the words are said by a male voiceover. Cut to an image of the burger beside a fountain drink. The voiceover says, "The Western X-tra bacon thickburger at Carl's Jr. and Hardee's." Followed by a plug for the new X-Men film.
We've talked dozens of times in this space about the pervasive narrative that MEN EAT MEAT, and all the various fast food chains which have had shitty commercials based on this premise. (Burger King and Applebee's are repeat offenders in that specific category.) So I've really got nothing new to say about that tired old gender essentialist chestnut.

However: I will note the irony that a franchise ostensibly concerned with serving as metaphor for marginalized communities would license one of its few recognizable female characters to participate in a garbage gender essentialist trope to sell fast food. Neat.


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