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A Cup of Controversy

In case every form of social media hasn’t alerted you to the “red cup fiasco” that has shocked the Starbucks nation, it looks a lot like this:

Now being a loyal Dunkin Donuts patron, I had no idea what the issue was. Congratulations, the design of the cup your vente soy light foam macchiato (or whatever Starbucks enthusiasts drink) is poured in has changed to red. Enjoy.

I guess in years past, Christmas trees and ornaments used to adorn the side of every cup, and just this year Starbucks decided to change that tradition. But, can we really blame them? If Starbucks had kept Christmas themed cups, they would have been under fire for being religiously specific. Too denominational. Yet, because they changed the design in favor of neutrality we are suddenly in an uproar…

Why is Starbucks stripping themselves of their individuality? Of their coffee cup identity? Well, in society these days we praise uniqueness only when it fits in a certain box. Only when expressing your own individuality doesn’t offend another. Because, let’s face it, when has individuality ever been completely well-received, when has it not been offensive to someone, somewhere who basically says, “I don’t appreciate the way you express yourself.”

But, why is it offensive? What makes something offensive? The terms of offensiveness are relative. What I find irrelevant may be a serious issue to another. An argument can be made for anything. Thus, anything can become controversial. And from there, we harp and thrive on the controversy in the interest of debate, in the interest of attention. We are not satisfied with letting change go by unnoticed. Like, hey there must be a specific reason for this change I could possibly overanalyze and relate it to some sort of social, racial, or cultural prejudice. Please, don’t.

Let the cup controversy go. It shouldn’t be an issue. It’s now neutral, isn’t that what you wanted society? You’ve exiled Merry Christmas, you’ve banished the term Christmas tree, you’ve made Santa Clause’s complexion every color of the rainbow. Fine. But, when Starbucks neutralizes the Christmas cup design, you decide to go up in arms. Sorry, you can’t have your grande Caramel Brûlée latte and drink it too. How about we just focus on observing and accepting every form of celebration during the holidays. If it’s not a direct danger to how you live your life, it’s time to stop treating it as one. And if this still doesn’t quench your thirst for controversy, just look up the latest Bloomingdales ad.

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I am a freshman at Boston College pursuing a double-major in Political Science and Communications. Although some might say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, I thrive off of it. As a new writer to the Her Campus BC team, I am excited to provide social and political criticisms that will, hopefully, give attention to the words left unsaid.