I’ve been trying to teach my seven-year-old media literacy. “So, do any of the women in this commercial look like your teacher? Or your mommy?” I ask, as a particularly sexed-up cream rinse (pardon me, conditioner) commercial comes on. Maybe I should shift my strategy away from pointing out unrealistic depictions of women in the mass media and toward teaching my daughter about unrealistic depictions of food in the mass media.
That’s where the West Virginia Surf Report comes in. Its old-school zine aesthetic is perfect for showcasing funny articles like “People in Newspaper Ads Who Look Like They’re Farting.” But here at CHOW, we deal with what goes into the body, not what comes out. So we’re more interested in the WVSR’s “Pulitzer-caliber project” Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality (via Boing Boing).
The Big Macs, KFC Famous Bowls, and Nachos BellGrandes all look pretty sweet in their ads. They kind of make me want to include a Fourthmeal in my eating plan. But the WVSR rips the lid off the industry by the simple act of taking a photo of the real fast-food item and placing it side-by-side with its advertised depiction. Illuminating!