Autumn, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and Basic White Girls

Let me preface this post by saying that I absolutely hate labels. I hate that people use them to confine others into tiny little boxes based on the labelers opinion so that they never have to take a moment to actually get the know the amazing, rounded, interesting person behind the label.

Moving on.

Autumn (or Fall, as most Americans more commonly call it) is my favorite season. The weather is cooler, the days are shorter, and it’s my birthday! Not to mention, all the delicious in-season fruits and vegetables with which to cook, AND Halloween! Fall in America indicates the start of the holiday season, football and hockey seasons, and PUMPKIN SPICE SEASON!

The relatively small selection at Target a few weeks ago.

I finally got you rolling your eyes, didn’t I? But why? Why is there so much hate on pumpkin spice? Granted, it’s gotten a bit overboard these last few years, but I’ve read posts on social media where people state that they’ll unfriend anyone who posts about the PSL. What is it about it that people love to hate? Is it the flavor? I mean, I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s not like it replaces normal flavors; it’s added in addition to. I hate watermelon (despite my best efforts to the contrary), but I don’t complain about all the watermelon flavored treats that saturate store shelves come the beginning of summer. It’s part of the season, and I know that my own personal dislike for the fruit isn’t going to make other people suddenly decide not to like it. Besides, if it’s not hurting anyone, what do I care?

There also seems to be a stereotype around people that like pumpkin spice flavor. Apparently the most common demographic is middle-upper class white females, or “Basic White Girls”. This isn’t a new term; it’s been around for awhile. Basic White Girls (BWG) are PSL-drinking, boot-and-vest wearing, Drake-loving, Autumn fanatics who like to wear puffer vests and plaid flannel shirts with their Kendra Scott jewelry and designer purses. Does this conjure an image in your head? Can you think of someone specific?

But there’s a couple of problems with this. First, there’s 100% NOTHING wrong with being that girl. She knows what she likes. Second, she’s not the only one who drinks the PSL and loves it and the fall season! Third, people (yes, people – men like the PSL, too) who enjoy these things aren’t vapid or insipid or otherwise drones who can’t think for themselves, thus following the crowd.

Photo courtesy of Starbucks

What is so bad about liking things? Or getting excited about the seasons changing? I swear, next year when people start calling it summer right after Memorial Day, I’m going to be just as quick to remind them that it’s still spring as people are to remind me that most of September is still summer.

How about, instead of being so quick to shoot each other down or label each other as uninteresting and unworthy when we’re excited about the imminent seasonal change or a drink at Starbucks, we stop consider that maybe it’s okay for someone to be happy. Maybe it’s okay for someone to feel a little brighter. Maybe it’s a good thing that, when everything else in the world just kind of sucks, we can find happiness in a cup.



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