The Vitamine Plant for Men ad is a cheeky, post-ironic throwback to the time of bare-chested men carrying small babies, when sharing housework was seen as forward thinking, and when pay equality was a laughable eternity away. It was the age of the New Man.
And why did the New Man engage in all these activities? Why, to attract the ladies of course.
Check out the ad to see what you think.
Maybe it’s best to side-step the quote ‘to suggest plants are for women is sexist’ jibe (where was that suggestion made?) and start with the line from the ad that says ‘plants are nature, you can’t gender nature’.
But it seems you can. There are rugged plants, tough plants, easy care plants and architectural plants.
Why do men need plants in their life? Here’s what The Joy of Plants site says: ‘A plant makes your home more lively and provides colour, gives you extra oxygen when you’re exhausted, reduces stress…’ all good stuff, but then, ‘knows its place when someone comes round, and doesn’t disturb you when you’re gaming. A plant understands you and waits patiently until you get home. It rustles its leaves and grows contentedly if you look after it.’
But one of the main reasons for getting a plant is to show how caring and tender you are in order to attract the opposite sex, who then become needy and disturbing. Not like your green-coloured vegetative friend.
(Note to the ladies, you can also get a plant for your man pal to teach them more nurturing qualities, or just to purify the air around them.)
All becomes clearer when you read thejoyofplants.co.uk is an initiative from the flower council of Holland. Of course, it has to post-ironic, right? The Dutch are down with sexual politics.
The real fun comes when you click through to The Joy of Plants site. Take a look at the images of the plants on offer, then read about them in the plant guide. It’s really rather fascinating, with the info covering the colours and shapes as well as symbolism of the plants, plus the essential ‘care for’ advice.
The whole essence is about information and inspiration, and getting you to think differently about having more green stuff (plants not money) in your life. And it’s not a hard sell. Thejoyofplants.co.uk points you in the direction of your nearest plant stores, so you can start exploring yourself.
Watch the ad, and click through to start your exploration… now what was that about pay equality?