It’s finally pumpkin-spice season and no matter who you are, it’s okay to enjoy warming your hands and taste buds with a nice, spiced latte.
The arrival of fall brings with it the usual festivities — changing leaves, warm sweaters, aesthetically pleasing Instagram photos and, of course, pumpkin spice. The concoction of spices inspires its equal share of excitement and eye-rolls as it hits the shelves this time of year.
Despite all the fuss, there’s no reason you should be afraid to admit that you love pumpkin spice — even if you don’t fit the young, female, latte-holding stereotype. Though rocking some Uggs and yoga pants might help.
Marketing geniuses have successfully aimed the pumpkin-spice craze toward women. Personally, I’ve drooled over every picture of Starbucks pumpkin-spice lattes held over golden-leafed fields, and have even taken a few myself.
Not surprisingly, the marketing has worked. According to an article in Neilson, the business is worth $361 million a year, with the market growing 160 percent since 2006. Pumpkin spice didn’t make its debut until the late 1950s. Stores started selling the spice as a mixture of molasses, cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg, originally intended to be used in pies.
Though the success of these products is undeniable, they provoke so much antipathy among those not giddily waiting in a mile-long line for their pumpkin-spice treat, but I say it’s okay to admit you like pumpkin spice. Sure, you might face the occasional groan in your direction, but in the end, it’s only a flavor. Some of us may even have friends who enjoy pumpkin spice in secret — as if it were a crime to succumb to the autumn cliché.
When put on a pedestal next to other trends, there isn’t much difference between our beloved pumpkin spice and other cuisine crazes. For example, the excessive popularity of bacon was not only accepted but embraced with enthusiasm. Perhaps that is because the bacon trend, among others, are marketed toward a more diverse crowd and are associated more with masculinity, instead of feminity.
Despite this, people will move miles in an effort to avoid being caught in the same category as the stereotypical, pumpkin-spice lover. Concern about what people will think of us when holding a pumpkin-spice latte overwhelms our desire for enjoying its taste, but not proudly enjoying these pumpkin-spice products only reinforces the stereotype.
No matter who you are, you can enjoy a deliciously flavored drink, especially a pumpkin enhanced treat on a chilly day. Whether you’re a girl embracing the season or a man hiding a latte beneath your jacket, there is absolutely no shame in enjoying pumpkin spice as fall begins.
Autumn Edmonston is a freshman English major.