It all started with a 5-year-old girl asking her mother to buy the “girl cheese.” In response to this request, a Jezebel reader noticed that the reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, or “girl cheese” has what appears to be a female string cheese mascot on the packaging, while the regular, part-skim cheese has a male mascot.
Upon further inspection of the other cheese offerings from the brand, Galbani, the female mascots are exclusively featured on the reduced-fat offerings. Consumerist calls out a similar instance regarding Monterey Jack and Monterey Jill cheese from Lucerne, in which Monterey Jill acts as the reduced-fat option.
The real issue here is not cheese mascots, but gendered perceptions relating to food. The Huffington Post points out that these associations between gender and food choices reinforce the idea that women should always be dieting or watching their weight and can discourage men from making healthier food choices.