Real Men Don’t Eat Gummy Bears

All Gummed Up

In my first article I stated my love for the traditional elements of life. This is a personal quirk, of course, but I also believe that traditional customs, values, usages, and the like form a basis of security and well-being in this increasingly insecure, confusing world. Don’t you find it reassuring, for instance, that Campbell’s still makes soup, Macy’s still holds its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, and bagpipers still wear kilts?

Even when nothing’s more certain than death and taxes you can take comfort in knowing that some things never change. Yet, because most things do change, be advised it’s not always for the better.

gummy bear man

Take vitamins, for instance. According to their recent ads Bayer, makers of One-A-Day vitamins, now offers Vita Craves Gummies for men. You read it right: Gummy vitamins for men. They come “in an enjoyable gummy form” in green apple, cherry, and blue raspberry flavors. I don’t know about you but I’m not sure what to think about a man who supplements his diet with a product associated with cutesy children’s candy, a.k.a. Gummy Bears. There are also Gummy vitamins for children, designed to get picky little eaters to eat what’s good for them. Really? Any foodstuffs that come in the form of spiders, worms, frogs, snakes – Yeeuch! – and even Smurfs-Eeuw! – wouldn’t make it past my lips (or even into my home). Besides, it seems the gooey stuff tends to glom onto your teeth. The last thing I want to see is some gorgeous hunk of eye candy with bits of green, blue, or red Gummy residue clinging to his pearly whites.

You’d think by the time little boys grew into men they wouldn’t need to be conned into taking their vitamins by appealing to their -Yeeuch! again-“inner child.”

From Bad to Wuss

The advent of these Gummy vitamins for men may have been inevitable, however, given the so-called Women’s Liberation movement of the last fifty years. During this time men have been badgered to get in touch with their “feminine side,” enduring “chick flicks,” donning aprons, and whipping up souffles. Now, I agree that men should help out around the house if they live there, too. They’re perfectly capable of picking up their stinky socks, tossing empty candy wrappers into the trash instead of leaving them on the kitchen counter, and perfecting their aim when standing in front of the commode. (Face it, guys, “close enough for government work” doesn’t cut it here.) They can handle real responsibilities, too, but none of those should come at the cost of one’s masculinity, i.e., dignity.

But getting back to the vitamin thing: As if the feminizing process weren’t enough, now men are supposed to be children, too, at least in their vitamin consumption. And not just Gummy vitamins, but Vita Craves Gummies; they’re expected to crave the little critters like some hyperactive, pint-sized rug rat.

Man Up!

Come on, men, this isn’t for you. Anyone ever hear of that old song, “Stout-Hearted Men”?

Give me some men who are stout-hearted men / Who will fight for the right they adore,

Start me with ten who are stout-hearted men / And I’ll soon give you ten-thousand more.

Shoulder to shoulder and bolder and bolder / They grow as they go to the fore . . .

So stick together, men. Demand that right you adore: to be treated like men from A to Zinc; to be able to pop that sucker in, throw your head back, and glug it down with some tap (not bottled) water and be done with it.

Also, talk to the folks at One-A-Day, Nature Made, etc., and tell them you want honest-to-Goth, manly vitamins with manly names. Here are some suggestions: He-Man, Burly, Stud, Macho, Tough Guy, Vigor-Vita, or Vita-Man. Maybe even Stout-Hearted Man vitamins. It’s worth a try.

By the way, there are also Gummy vitamins for women. So take a cue from the above, ladies. Could be it’s time for you to man up a bit, too.

Pop psychology phrase referring to one’s failure or refusal to grow up.

Hammerstein, Oscar, II, et al. “Stout-Hearted Men.” From The New Moon. 1927.