Library Mall fell silent Thursday afternoon as UW-Madison sophomore Maggie Green made the brave decision to step outside the safety of Starbucks and drink her iced decaf soy white mocha in public view.
Green says it was a difficult decision, but she felt it was important for someone to finally break the hurtful stigma around Starbucks’ specialty drinks.
“I feel like girls on this campus are really discriminated against based on our drink color,” she said. “I could be wearing a choker and Timberlands, but the minute people see my iced decaf soy white mocha they just immediately assume I’m basic.”
Starbucks Midwestern Regional Representative Sarah Evans reached out to Green, thanking her on behalf of the company for her bravery.
“We recognize that girls these days are opting for an edgier aesthetic,” she said. “But you can’t choose what kind of coffee you love, and it’s about time our customers stop being punished for that.”
Fellow student and sorority sister Emma Johnston says Green has been an inspiration to the Greek community and the campus as a whole.
“It’s easy in the winter because you can’t see through the cups,” said Johnston. “But in the summer everyone just gets to know your business, and like I don’t know, I have a First Amendment right to privacy and stuff, you know?”
Johnston longs for the day when she and her peers are no longer reduced to enjoying beautiful Wisconsin summers from Starbucks’ second-floor patio and instead are able to walk freely among all iced-beverage drinkers.
Starbucks recognizes that not everyone is as brave and courageous as Green, but hopes this will start a much-needed dialogue about beverage stereotyping.
“Our company is immensely grateful for trailblazers like Maggie who are confident enough to break down these barriers,” said Evans. “We hope her bravery shows our devoted customers across the nation that it is possible to enjoy the taste they love without sacrificing the low-maintenance image they’ve spent so much time and money on.”
Starbucks’ State Street location named the iced decaf soy white mocha ‘“The Maggie” in recognition of her unprecedented courage.