Starbucks is, apparently, introducing something called “The Skinny Platform,” which proposes to simplify ordering by designating as “skinny” drinks with the following characteristics: skim milk, sugar-free syrup, no whip. I have some issues with the perpetuation of the idea that a drink should be designated “skinny” (because the ones with whole milk are “fat” or something?), particularly when it’s not exactly calorie-free anyhow. It seems like Starbucks is just reacting to the fact that people are starting to wake up a bit to just how many calories and grams of fat are in their drinks. So we’ll just introduce the Skinny Platform! Now everyone can hear how virtuous you are as the barista calls out your order and you pick up the Venti Skinny Mint Mocha!
But it appears that there are some real concerns that baristas have about the potential for customer confusion. See, “skinny” is pretty universally understood in current ordering language to mean simply nonfat milk. But if you go into a Starbucks and order a “Skinny Mint Mocha,” you’re going to get a set drink that maybe you didn’t want. “Hey, dude, where’s my whip?” you might ask. And maybe you wanted the sugar syrup.
Starbucks Gossip has a long letter from a barista to Starbucks HQ complaining, on several grounds, about the Skinny Platform. In a nutshell, here are the barista’s concerns:
1. Potential for customer confusion, leading to longer wait times, more frustration, wasted product and money.
2. Potential for barista confusion, leading to miscommunication, longer wait times, frustration, wasted product and money.
3. It’s going to hurt the feelings of fat people to hear “skinny” called out over and over.
Now, I happen to think #3, at least the way the barista argued it, is overreaching. I would probably avoid ordering anything specifically labeled “skinny” because it’s slightly embarrassing to have to ask for that when you’re fat, but just hearing the word spoken by others isn’t a blow to my self-esteem. If it were, I’d never leave the house, what with the saturation of the culture with weight anxiety.
However, that’s not really what I want to discuss right now. I want to give you some of the comments at Starbucks Gossip, and point out what a pure example they are of class and weight anxiety. Gender, too, since the barista is female. The thread starts out with a discussion of the wisdom of actually making the change, given presently-understood usage of “skinny,” some corporate background, etc.
Hmmmm, sounds like this person might be a little obsessed with her own weight or body image. The term is referring to a drink, not a person. Is she really saying that the word ‘Skinny’ is not appropriate in any context because it makes her think about what she looks like?
The trolly comments broke down into two main themes: This chick is only complaining because she’s fat, and Shut up and do your job, coffee monkey.
Part the first:
I think that the “partner” who wrote this must be a fat chick, it’s the only reason that she would be worried about this.
Inhale another dozen krispy kreme donuts and top it off with a Crisco milkshake, fatty. It’ll make you feel better.
To all the sensitive Fatties out there, all you gotta do is eat less (eliminate the obvious fatty food) and exercise more. Some overweight is excused for those who just happen to be thick, but those who are obese, you guys have no excuse, and Skinny is not the only synonym out there for thin.
God forbid overweight or obese people are given another reason to lose weight.
It’s not “okay” to be overweight or obese, it’s bad for your health, it’s bad for society, it’s bad for health care costs.
God forbid more attention is brought to the health crisis in this country from people eating terribly and not exercising.
Does anyone else think this girl might have a hard time sitting down on her HUGE behind with that big stick shoved up it?
You may have totally valid concerns regarding the possible production confusions resulting from the whole “skinny” business.. but the touchy-feely Poor Little Fat Feelings? Give it a rest.
If people have self esteem problems because they’re not happy with their weight, the solution is for them to stop shoveling in so much garbage and get the body moving. Banning words like Thin, Skinny, Svelte, size 2 and so forth isn’t going to help those with elastic waistbands.
What’s the difference between yelling, “skinny” and yelling “no fat, low fat?”
I say…. if you cringe when you hear words like, “obese” and “Fat” etc… why..it’s time to get off the couch!
It will undoubtedly have a negative affect on a person’s self-esteem (gag gag, whine whine) that may already be low from living in a society that is generally not accepting of people who do not fit the mold of a “beautiful” (or healthy, like, they don’t eat CRAP)person. It creates an environment that people will not want to be in. It will exacerbate self-image issues that partners of ANY size may have. Why would ANYONE want to go into a store where they will hear potentially hurtful terms (oooohhh, if we banish the words, then maybe now one will notice that we think it’s okaaaaaay to be among the millions of ever expanding potato chip shoveling masses…)called out repeatedly with no regard as to how they may affect people?
Get over it. Coddling fat people is absurd. Fat is not beautiful. Too bad if fatties “feel bad” hearing about “skinny” drinks. They need a reality check. Fat is nasty and doesn’t end on the hips. It cost uncounted millions in health care and insurance costs. And fat kids? Tragic. Baby ’em and bury ’em.
You’re ridiculous. There is absolutely no reason for a company to go out of its way in order to make FAT people feel good about themselves when they should be finding a way to lose the weight! We’d hope that fat people would start ordering “skinny” drinks because they associate the name of the drink with the size they SHOULD be!
I have a feeling the people that agree with the article are fat and the people that disagree are thin, normal-sized people. Get a life, fat asses.
I guarantee she is a “pleasantly plump”, “big beautiful woman” or “big-boned gal”; and would almost bet that if the company had required them to refer to them as “thin” or “ideal weight” drinks, not only would it sound much sillier, it would cause someone else “distress”. Not to mention, who is confused when presented two options: regular or skinny?
If ordering a drink and using the word “skinny” to place your order offends you, perhaps you should not order the drink in the first place and go to a gym, fatty.
And now for a little class anxiety:
Don’t like it? Get a new job.
God help you all should you ever enter the proffessional [sic] workforce…
Side note: just how pathetic do you have to be to troll a blog about Starbucks? And then misspell “professional” while you’re positioning yourself as superior?
shut up and do your job.
This is what “entitlement in education” gets us – whinging brats who are offended by the performance of thier jobs.
I’m more offended by these coffee monkeys being called “baristas” than the whole skinny thing…
Once again, the lowest level of employee is trying to steer the ship.
Just drag yourself to work like the rest of us, and conform! It’s not your business!!!! If you don’t agree with the way it is run….QUIT.
You minimum wage drones are hilarious. All you do is pour coffee on a cup. Get over yourselves and instead of worrying about stupid words worry about making your drink somewhat consistent. Better yet, worry about getting an education so you can have a real job. Unless of course, you just love to be called a Barista.
STOP FREAKING OUT ABOUT UNIMPORTANT ISSUES, YOU ARE THE REASON PEOPLE HATE STARBUCKS. Starbucks IS not a career, get your ass in school and get a REAL JOB. Start putting your efforts into real issues, like Iraq or Afghanistan, or hell, Why Starbucks’ stock is in the toilet….
You are making a g-d cup of coffee – get over yourself already. A monkey could do it.
To all the Partners that Whine and Complain –
Partners should embrace the company that gives them AND the community so much.
Starbucks pays you to do a specific job that YOU agreed to do, if you don’t like it leave. There are pleanty of people out there that would gladly work inplace of you. They would probably even be GREATFUL for the opportunities they are given.
I’ll tell you one thing, if it weren’t for National/State Labor Laws, about 75% of you guys/gals would be unemployed. And that’s the honest truth.
See what was happening there? Multiple commenters dismissed this barista’s concerns with the new promotion because a) they assumed she was fat, and therefore not worth listening to; and/or b) she’s a low-level employee, and therefore not only not worth listening to, but should be damn grateful she even has a job.
Your 21st Century, folks.
And, of course, no discussion of anything called “skinny” is complete without a visit from an Atkins True Believer:
Those of us who are clued in to how many carbs skim milk has versus cream know that a real ‘skinny’ latte is a sugar-free breve.
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