Are you man enough for yogurt?
Forget about those too-small single serving containers with their soupy pablum lurking beneath a flimsy cap of tinfoil. Yogurt is being repositioned as sustenance for a manly man, with portions and packaging to match.
Powerful Yogurt, which was naturally dubbed ‘brogurt’ by the media, comes in a hefty half-pound serving. The sturdy carton has the utilitarian font and black and red color scheme of a bodybuilder’s tub of creatine, and the advertising is full of jacked and shirtless guys hoisting spoons past their bulging obliques. Ladies, you need to cast your mascaraed eyes elsewhere in the dairy aisle.
For all their progress, men still yield to the tyranny of gender stereotypes.
They’ve taken over shopping duties—a 2011 Yahoo survey in 2011 found that 51% of 18 to 64 year old men now call themselves the primary shoppers for their households—but are much more susceptible than women are to gender-driven food messaging. A study from Northwestern University demonstrated that taste and appetite prevail when a quick, 10 second decision is made; men will freely choose ‘girlie’ foods like yogurt, rice pilaf, white wine, and fish. But give them time to consider the choice, and the weight of early socialization combined with years of gender messaging from the evil geniuses of Madison Avenue takes over and it’s all about meat and potatoes, beer and pretzels. By contrast, women overwhelmingly choose feminine options and stick with them.
Better sex through yogurt?
Powerful Yogurt seems aimed at men who fear feminization through dairy products. Ironically, yogurt might play a positive role in male sexual function. Researchers at MIT reported on the phenomenon of mouse swagger–the distinctly showier gait of mice who’ve been fed a yogurt diet. Their coats were denser and shinier and their testicles were larger than those of the control mice. They also inseminated their partners faster and produced larger litters. Findings were similar when human subjects were studied in followup research performed at Harvard’s School of Public Health.
It’s a complicated business, eating.
The enduring gender lines are as resolutely retrograde as Beef Wellington. Men are no longer seen as hapless dolts who walk into a supermarket with a list and walk out with little more than chips, bacon, and beer. Yes, they’re buying yogurt, but just as one stereotype falls, another rises to take its place.