Body on the Plate. on the Relation between the Carnality and Food (on the example of meat in advertising)
The body representations (in the analysed advertisements of meat) primarily perpetuate social divisions and inequalities. They are oppressive to a large extent: race stereotypes, the apparent emancipated female sexuality, the simplified vision of the national community based on patriarchal patterns.
The way of presenting the actors’ physicality nearly imposes the meaty interpretation – naked bodies are associated with the advertised product – the juicy beef or firm and well flavoured chicken. The individual is thus more of an object, a commodity, a physical form of capital than the embodied subject (fine line between the advertised product and the body that advertises it). At the same time, we influence the social construction of meat and the body, the way it is packaged and what it looks like, or what values it codes.
Analyses show that making class choices we choose light, interesting, healthy food. This transforms bodies, assigns them class qualities which must be maintained by proper food. This way the described relation deepens – the cultural and physical construction of food is more and more strongly coupled with the cultural and physical construction of the body.
The media transmit the message, shaping the nature of the relation and form the matrix of memory and a set of commands to determine the manner of transforming the body. Contemporary consumers torn between the oppressive culture, economy and society and the rather naive attempts at emancipation – buying at discount stores and hypermarkets, we are undergoing physical and cultural unification.