And heaven help the man who tries it:
When I began my exploration of gendered food items, I was hoping for a dramatic payoff. Perhaps a set of fuzzy breasts sprouting from my chest, or some semblance of emotional intelligence, or at least a clearer understanding of how cereal, salad, and trail mix can be feminine. Instead, I got a pile of cardboard packaging and confirmation of my thesis: marketing something as “for women” the pinks and purples, the low-calorie labels, the suggestions that life is just sooooo crazy and women need to take a break with a thumbnail-sized brownie is the dumbest gimmick in food marketing.
He says he did check himself for nardlessness. Among the items in question:
You’re no doubt aware of Luna Bars, which have been around for 16 years and say right there on the wrapper that they’re a “whole nutrition bar for women.” A handful of other products, including Mother’s Milk tea and an untold number of chalky bars, take a similarly explicit approach. They’re typically fortified with extra calcium, vitamin D, or other nutrients ostensibly important to running a woman. But most of the food products that are “for women” stay away from mentioning nutrients. Like Activia and Special K, they’re pitched with ads full of women, touted as a convenient way to “have it all,” and always framed as a weapon in the never-ending fight against fat.
Honestly? I saw my first Luna Bar last month. And I thought: “How is this fair when Celestia gets cake?”
After a week of eating like this, I learned a few things about food “for women.” First of all, it’s sweet. The breakfast, the snacks, the ostensibly healthy bars all loaded with sugar or some form of sugar substitute. This, the packaging taught me, is because women are always thinking about dessert. They always want something decadent but they mustn’t! That would make them fat. These snacks are attempts to approximate dessert without the calories. But they’re bad approximations. Dessert isn’t just about tasting the brownie; it’s about becoming comatose on the brownie. Eighty calories won’t get you there.
The other clear lesson was that food “for women” just isn’t enough food. Not unless you eat double the portion at each sitting. Maybe that’s because I’m a man and I need additional calories. But more likely it’s because this stuff is designed to starve you.
Which is supposedly what the women want, only they aren’t supposed to say so.
He did admit to finding the Luna Bar acceptable. But after two weeks of this stuff, he might have been ready for a Yorkie bar.