Every single one of The Affair‘s ads features fancy hetero white people enjoying wine or blandly chic food, and this whole thing leaves a terrible, terrible taste in my mouth. I mean, I could ignore it, but their ads are all over the Heavy Table’s website, so what can I do? Someone’s got to call them out, I guess.
Representation is the most pertinent issue here — how can anyone justify the racial content of these ads? The ads are (typically) all about sexual desire, so perhaps the ad agency thought it would be too tricky to throw a racial minority — let alone a brunette — into the mix. Instead, the undesirable physical presence of racial minorities is sublimated onto the food-spectacle, which is the only colored element of the photos. The work of the underclass is presented to the white male to finger, consider, and devour. To put it simply, who’s cooking the food that rich white Americans love? Hint: they don’t all look like Bobby Flay!
I could go on and on about the willful racial ignorance of this ad, but I didn’t want to forgo touching on its sexual dysfunctions as well. The humor in the photo depends on a comparison between a woman and food. Both are presented as sensory stimuli for the man to choose between. And the winner, of course, is food, because it won’t ask you to cuddle after you consume it. We are in truly good company when we’re being compared to cocktail shrimp.
Boo on you, Affair! However, I’m sure someone out there disagrees with me, so feel free to leave a comment and turn this into something more constructive. Should this kind of advertising be shoved into our faces without protest?