People, It's Just a Cup
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People, It's Just a Cup

The truth behind the recovery of the Starbucks Holiday Cup scandal

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People, It's Just a Cup
Stephanie Wilcox

On November 1, 2016, when most of the world was sleeping still, Starbucks released a new decorative cup, and those early birds began the uproar about, well... nothing. November 1st typically marks the entrance of Christmas to Starbucks stores around the nation. If you didn't, Starbucks was not quite "decked out" for the holidays yet, so that begins my argument about this cup. I'm getting ahead of myself.

On that quiet Tuesday morning, Starbucks released a cup that was kind, thoughtful and inspiring, or so I thought. Clearly, Republicans and Christians everywhere were not so enthused. Some thought (incorrectly, might I add) that this new cup was the famous "holiday cup" at Starbucks, and thus were enraged by the lack of "Christmas" decoration or recognition.
Others, at the understanding of the community aspect, were enraged that Starbucks was "pushing the liberal agenda." I write this with heavy sighs and shaking my head. (Insert face-palm here.) Have you seen the cup?

So detestable, right?! The nerve of Starbucks..

My first thought was, "Huh. That's a strange design for a holiday cup, but it's not red and maybe it's not actually the holiday cup. If it's not, then what exactly is it, and why?" So my friend and I did some digging.

Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, explained the reason behind this cup in one perfect sentence. "Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other." In light of this election season that has divided us, don't you think he has a good point? I, for one, applaud him.

The coolest thing about these cups, except for the obvious meaning behind them? The artist, Shoga Ota, designed this "mosaic of more than a hundred people drawn in one continuous stroke." Brilliant, talented, genius, relevant to the meaning, AWEsome, need I go on?

Have you seen what people are up in arms about, saying on their social media? It might make you sick, but it's worth seeing. Don't mind me putting them on blast because, well, they already did themselves.

In Jazmine's defense, she has recently said it was a sarcastic post. In my defense, it's not sarcastic for everyone. She's just stirring the pot.

But wait, there's more...

I'm not making these things up, people. There are Americans out there that actually get mad about these things..

I don't know about you, but when I think community and coming together as one nation, I don't jump to the assumption that this is a "liberal" or even "political" agenda at all. Heaven forbid we try to find unity, or remember that we're all human and we all have a place in this world. So stop getting your panties in a twist.

Also, gotta love the hashtag, #HolidayCupsNow. Do you know what that sounds like to me? "MOMMY! I WANT MY CHEERIOS RIGHT NOW!" Seriously, Archie? Come on, people.

Let me all just remind you that getting rid of the holiday cups altogether was never a part of the plan for Starbucks. My dad walked into a store and asked the manager about it, and he told him that they only got one box of each size cup of the "community cups," and guess what: HOLIDAY CUPS ARE HERE FINALLY!

See everyone, we can all calm down now. They're great! The best thing about this is again, the art of it. These 13 cup designs were created by customers just like you. "Taking a cue from customers who had been using their red holiday cups as a canvas, last December Starbucks invited customers to share their designs on Instagram. From Illinois to Indonesia, Pennsylvania to Korea, Dubai to Ontario, in just eight days, Starbucks received more than 1,200 individual submissions from 13 countries."

Combining these two choices for the cups this Fall and Winter, Starbucks is making a big statement about I think the state of our nation and how they want people to be able to unite. “'We hope that this year’s red holiday cup designs express the shared spirit of the holidays as told by our customers,' said Sharon Rothstein, Starbucks global chief marketing officer."

There you have it folks. Starbucks is shaking up their traditions and throwing us all off, but for good reason. Some people clearly couldn't handle the change-up, but I say "Bravo, Starbucks." It's about time that a company takes a big stand for coming together, using beautiful and creative art to promote a holiday season, and reminding us all that after all, it really is just a cup (though a cup full of joy, I will add).


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