Starbucks’ cup design results in uproar

December 14, 2015
Daniel Lim   Cypress High School  11th grade

By Daniel Lim
Cypress High School
11th grade

Up until this year, as winter came around, the popular corporation known as Starbucks changed the design of their cup in order to celebrate the holidays.

This year, Starbucks revamped their winter design to have a simple color change to red. Though this new design seemed harmless, it roused up many Catholic and Protestant believers as they felt that the change was a direct attack on their faith.

Previously, the Starbucks cup would feature designs in celebration of Christmas, but the new design took a step back in order to appeal to everybody, regardless of one’s belief. Such a change angered many people because they viewed the change as not only a step away from religion, but also a way of burning the cultural ties that exist with religion. Though the change in design wasn’t likely meant to cause dissent, many believers still took a radical approach and even threatened to boycott Starbucks’ products altogether.

(Korea Times file)

(Korea Times file)

The response to the cup design change can be seen as an overreaction, but at the same time, it should be noted that Christmas has always been a major part of the Catholic and Protestant belief. Christmas is often associated with the birth of Jesus Christ (hence the term “Christ”-mas), as the holiday celebrates the birth of the believers’ savior. In the eyes of believers, to have Starbucks remove their Christmas-related designs would be to completely reject this belief altogether. Even though changes such as the shift from “Christmas” to “X-mas” also signify steps away from religion, this particular change likely roused up many people because there is a direct target to blame this time.

Despite the dissent over the change, there were also believers who saw the change as harmless. These believers claimed that the design change wasn’t anything to be offended by and that those who were offended were simply overreacting.

For many, the change of the Starbucks’ cup design is seemingly harmless, but the believers may have a point. To them, part of their duty as followers of their religion is to spread it; to have a large organization such as Starbucks take a step back from openly recognizing religion would be to undermine the duty altogether.

Although there are many different views over this “controversy,” in essence, Starbucks shouldn’t be a company that is looked towards for religious appeal. Starbucks exists to provide coffee and unless there is a big issue with that, there’s no real need for dissent.


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