Madison Vanderberg
June 14, 2018 10:50 am

Long before Meghan Markle became the Duchess of Sussex, she was Men’s Health‘s “ultimate guy’s girl,” and oof. Men’s Health recently resurfaced a video they shot with Meghan in 2013 where she grilled hamburgers. Seems innocuous enough, except it wasn’t.

The video shows Meghan stripping on a roof in New York City while grilling hamburgers. At the end of the video, a title card comes up that says: “Grilling Never Looked So Hot.” Ugggh. The whole thing is very much a male fantasy of the “hot girl,” and honestly, didn’t we destroy the “cool girl” and “guy’s girl” stereotypes with Gone Girl?

This is not a dig at Meghan, and it’s very likely she willingly participated in the video, but we’re just frustrated by the narrow, let’s-gawk-at-scantily-clad-women, male gaze crap this video espouses. Meghan had been on Suits for two years before this video was shot, and it’s just disheartening that a working actress would ever feel like she had to grill hamburgers in a mini skirt and crop top to elevate her career.

To Men’s Health‘s credit, their current videos are mostly exercise videos, some of which feature badass female trainers, presented free of toxic misogyny.

It is hopeful to point out that we see fewer of these kinds of videos nowadays. There was a time when it felt like every Hollywood star had to pose on the cover of Maxim, do a weirdly sexual Carl’s Junior commercial, or pose for a similarly “sexy” shoot like this one.

As always, we’re pro-Meghan, but we’re just a little exhausted at the reductive nature of the male gaze. Grilling hamburgers in a crop top? Really, dudes? That’s what you think of us? Enough already.

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