Let Me Enjoy My Pumpkin in Peace

By Madelyn Beacham

The Hoof Print (McDonough, Georgia)

Pumpkin flavored drinks, pumpkin scented hand-sanitizer, pumpkin candles —all the signs that autumn has arrived and cues for stereotyping to begin.

All year, consumers across America wait for these exclusive, limited time only, special edition pumpkin products to come to shelves so they can properly celebrate the falling of the leaves. I happen to be one of these eager customers that count down the days until Starbucks releases the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Bath and Body Works comes out with the newest pumpkin Wallflower. I also happen to be a white female.

It has been no different this year; I am just as avid a pumpkin consumer as ever. However, one difference in this season I’ve yet to be irked by in year’s past is the amount of stereotyping that has seemed to come along with my purchases. With each latte I’ve purchased, once informed on my choice of beverage, friends and bystanders have relentlessly labeled me a “white girl.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not offended by being called a white girl. This is mostly due to the fact that I am, quite obviously, a white girl. I’ve been aware of this for a while now.  However, I’ve yet to find anything on National Geographic or any other credible research source that credits my preference for pumpkin with my ethnicity and gender.

So, I have to ask myself why people have recently learned to so closely associate the love of the pumpkin flavored life with white girls. I admit, I have many  friends who love pumpkin that are also white girls. Then again, I have just as many pals who are white, female, and want to throw up when they get a hint of pumpkin in their noses. I can also name several peers who are crazier about pumpkin than me, and are neither Caucasian nor girls.

Maybe it’s just that it’s the white girls that are most proud of their pumpkin purchases, or perhaps its mostly white girls that are sighted with pumpkin in public. I still don’t know and am not so much concerned with the why of the situation. My real concern lies with the people that are shamed out of enjoying their pumpkin because they are afraid of being labeled.

If you want to believe that it is in a white girl’s DNA to yearn for pumpkin, I have no evidence to repudiate your opinion. However, even if this is the case, I don’t see why we can’t allow the non white girls of the world to enjoy their pumpkin in peace.Feel free to call me a white girl. I can’t deny it. But when it comes to those who are neither of these adjectives, it’s high time we let them drink their lattes and light their candles without the fear of being labeled as something they are clearly not.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

Leave a Reply