The highlight of the professional football season is just around the corner. This year’s Super Bowl pits the Baltimore Ravens against the San Francisco 49ers. No doubt many of you are planning parties around the big game.
Whether you’re a football fan or not, one thing’s for sure: most Super Bowl watchers look forward to the television commercials. This year’s Super Bowl ads promise to deliver what they’re famous for: memorable product pitches that are creative, funny—and sexy.
And you may find it hard to believe what’s sexy this year.
That’s right. Joining the ranks of Abercrombie and Fitch and Victoria’s Secret in selling sex to us, Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s (a fast food restaurant chain) continues its popular campaign featuring skimpily dressed beautiful women eating food. Who could have thought that eating a sandwich was sexy? Apparently Carl’s Jr. does. You will see a gorgeous, sun-tanned, swimsuit model slinking along a sandy sea shore taking a bite out of a fast food sandwich with her eyes closed and licking mayo off her fingers. Seriously?
I’m not a football fan, but I feel for parents who love to watch the game and who are trying to raise modest, healthy kids. Those parents should be able to sit down with the family and cheer for their favorite team without having to make the kids leave the room during the ads.
Sadly, many parents are too tired to make the kids leave. They feel beaten up. So much sex comes at their kids on a daily basis through the Internet and other media, that they throw their hands up. The lid really has come off and they’re trying to pick their battles. Keeping kids away from television ads during a family viewing event isn’t one of them.
They also feel that television ads laced with seduction aren’t real. They won’t really impact their children, they reason, or maybe young kids won’t even understand what’s happening. But here’s the problem with that reasoning. In a child’s eyes, watching sexual material with a parent sitting next to them is something entirely different than watching it without a parent. With Mom or Dad present, the child believes that the parent thinks that it’s OK for them to watch sexy ads. In short, a child feels that their parent sanctions it. We won’t say this to our kids, of course, but that’s what they take from the experience.
Many parents reason that they want to be with their kids when they see R-rated movies because they want to be there to discuss them with their children. They want to diffuse any confusion and speak their mind. This sounds good, but it isn’t that clear in a child’s mind. Parents are so powerful in a child’s mind that if Mom or Dad watches R-rated material beside them, then they believe that the parent thinks they can handle it. If it were going to hurt them on any level, why would the parent allow them to watch?, the child wonders.
A bikini-wearing, rail-thin, voluptuous woman chomping on a sandwich in the sand is really kind of comical to adults, but remember that kids don’t see what we see. Girls get messages that their worth lies in being sexy, and boys see that since sex appears even during the Super Bowl that it should be front and center in his life—even if he’s only 10.
So enjoy the Super Bowl and make it a family event. But please, when you see a fast food ad appear, ask your kids to go to the kitchen and get you something to drink.
What do you think of those sexy Super Bowl ads?
Are you prepared to flip the channel or send the kids out of the room when they come on?