From the “Could you not?” files: Twisted Root revealed its October burger of the month on social media. It’s the Boobie Burger, which consists of two lumps of guacamole on a patty, topped with two cherry tomatoes meant to approximate nipples.
In their Instagram caption, some not-so-clever wordplay makes an appearance, suggesting diners invite their “breast friend” out for a burger.
Meanwhile, it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there’s no mention of whether or not any proceeds from the sale of this item are going to breast cancer funds for survivors, awareness, or research. A representative for Twisted Root let Eater Dallas know on October 11, the company has determined that $1 from each burger purchased in the month will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Prior to that, the company was not aligned with any charity to support the promotion.
In the past, it has benefitted various charities — and wow have people not been into it, despite that. On a Facebook post from 2016, someone asks, “Do you have any idea how tasteless and tacky this is??? How insulting this is to a breast cancer survivor?” Twisted Root apologized at the time. In 2017, it partnered with the local nonprofit Breast Cancer Can Stick It to raise funds for various organizations. And in 2018 posted a video about its Boobie Burger directly benefitting the general manager of its Roanoke location, who was battling breast cancer — which it did again in 2019. After seemingly taking two years off, the Boobie Burger is back in 2022.
Why would we prefer you not? Glad you asked.
It’s othering to people with breasts to make their anatomy into a joke. It’s sexist and furthers a patriarchal fetishizing of breasts. Women and transgender people experience sexual harassment, misconduct, and sexual violence at high rates and surviving any of these incidents has a significant impact on mental health. Normalizing the objectification of a piece of anatomy that over half the population have is unnecessary. Additionally, studies found that one of the most common reasons mothers stop breastfeeding is that they are uncomfortable doing it in public, in part because their breasts are sexualized and objectified. We look down on parents who don’t breastfeed and then look down on them for doing it in public. So again, a monthly special that normalizes “haha boobies” and objectification of breasts is not helping.
Eater Dallas reached out to Twisted Root to ask about the process of creating this special and if any donations will be made to breast cancer funds this year. The company has a history of working to fundraise in the community and supporting the largely woman-dominated field of nursing with a scholarship fund.
Update: October 12, 2022, 8:14 a.m.: This article was updated to include information about which charity Twisted Root will donate funds from their special burger sales to in October.