Graphic by Chelsea Cleary

Graphic by Chelsea Cleary

By Aaron Evans

Opinion Editor

 

 

Last weekend, I found myself sitting at Starbucks on a cool Saturday, fighting procrastination like nobody’s business. How did I fight off this evil monster and feed my productivity, you ask? By getting in line for a drink, of course. But not just any blend of year-round coffee roasts or sugary lattes, friends. I was about to order the hallowed saint of all Autumn-themed drinks, the king (or queen, if you will) of the Starbucks menu this season.

I ordered the Pumpkin Spice latte. Behold.

I was elated to say the least. Fall is hands down my favorite season, and what better to accompany the turning of the leaves, the brisk afternoon air and the recent cornucopia of fall-themed events than a drink that possesses the perfect blend of sweetness, spice and, lest we forget the crown jewel of the fall season, pumpkin? Nothing, that’s what. I could officially check this off my Fall bucket list.

 While awaiting the holy nectar from the emerald mermaid herself, I overheard a conversation from the group of people behind me. “What should I get?” one of the girls asked her friend. Her friend was silent as he scanned the menu. “You could be a typical, white sorority girl and get a Pumpkin Spice latte.” The girl giggled with school girl-like giddiness. I, however, did no such thing.

 This was only one example of a venomous trend that has surrounded millennials within the past two years that, I feel, must be called out and quenched. It has been brought to my attention that the Pumpkin Spice Latte, made famous by Starbucks, has gained the reputation for being a drink that only middle class, Caucasian, college-age females can consume. Even worse, anyone who purchases the latte that does not fit this description is automatically branded a “white girl.” While I’m no white girl, I love this drink.

 While the thousands of Instagram photos of Pumpkin Spice lattes, accompanied by peace signs and pursed lips, taken by white girls in their twenties may seem to be the source of this stigma, it surely should not prevent the general public from experiencing sweet autumn in liquid form. And who can blame these white, female college students for the joy they feel as they consume such a revered drink? Social media must know! The world must taste and see.

 Let it be said that I, a male, am a proud fan of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. How does this make me a white girl? It doesn’t. I still remain just as masculine after every sip of artificial pumpkin flavor. With that, I speak for every member of society that is not a white girl in rejecting the notion that the Pumpkin Spice latte is reserved for only one female stereotype. Furthermore, why should white girls be the only ones allowed to freely enjoy this liquid pleasure? A drink that so sweetly encompasses the spirit of autumn deserves to be consumed by all ages, races, genders and social groups.

 Regardless of your gender or race, Asbury, you deserve to drink such a creation as the Pumpkin Spice Latte, free from being falsely labeled a “white girl.” If you see someone who looks like they need a taste of autumn, reach out to them. Encourage them to break loose of these man-made stereotypes, and that there’s no shame in needing some pumpkin goodness in their life. This is the 21st century, friends. It’s time to shake off the confines of our stereotypes and freely embrace a drink meant to be enjoyed by every man, woman and child. Now is the time.

 Pumpkin Spice lattes just for white girls? No. Pumpkin Spice lattes for all.