The other day, I stumbled upon a sports nutrition brand that epitomizes all that’s wrong in the supplement industry in general and the fitness world in particular.
The company in question sell two types of protein powders: one is packaged in red tubs and one in pink. The red tub is clearly marketed to men. It features a label with a very muscular man and contains the words ‘SIZE AND STRENGTH.’
The pink tub? The pink tub features a woman with very low body fat and is promoted as being designed for ‘DIET AND WEIGHTLOSS.’ It also says that it’s for women. It’s main purpose? To make women ‘slim down’ and attain a ‘toned physique.’
They’re both whey protein concentrates though. They contain a very similar amount of protein. The only difference is that the women’s version features a little bit of green tea powder and l-carnitine. Oh and the price: the women’s version is almost two times more expensive.
This kind of stuff grinds my gears like nothing else because… what a load of nonsense! To put it politely, you know?
First of all, why are women not urged to work on strength and power? Stamina and brawn? Why do products labeled for women have to be de facto dieting products? Why are women pushed to focus on losing and shrinking while men are pushed to work on building strength and muscle – the prerequisite to a fit and powerful body?
Now, you may think I’m being facetious about all this – “yawn, Anna, you’ve written about this enough!”
Or you may think, “but… it really doesn’t matter.”
But it does.
It matters because marketing like this is what promotes misinformation, the kind that leads countless women to eat an insufficient amount of calories, shun strength training because of the belief it’ll make them ‘bulky,’ waste muscle and strength away by living on cardio machines, and feel like sh** as a result.
It also distorts the meaning of a fit female body which does NOT automatically mean a stereotypically ‘toned’ body with a six pack and extremely low body fat.
So that’s why I’m STILL writing about it.
I’m still writing about it because it doesn’t seem to be going away. There are still brands out there pushing ‘his’ and ‘hers’ protein. Pink tubs are being printed with the words ‘slimming’ and ‘weightloss’ and ‘toning’ instead of ‘strength’ and POWER. Women, young and older, are wasting away on treadmills or ellipticals while looking at the strength training part of the gym as a world they don’t belong in. Active women are eating 1200 calories a day, or less, in an attempt to (indiscriminately) ‘lose weight’ (fat and muscle because who’s distinguishing?) while in the process losing their stamina, their health, and ultimately themselves.
That’s why I’m critiquing marketing like the above. Because it DOES matters. It’s manipulative. It’s nonsensical. There are no male and female foods! The very idea is ridiculous.