Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pumpkin spice and everything nice

This morning when I stopped at the local farm stop (indoor, year-round farmers market), I saw something that made me smile. There, tucked between the zucchinis, watermelon, and onions was a sure sign of fall; a reminder that it's just around the corner.

I smiled as soon as I saw them. I thought about all my fall-loving friends and decided I should post the picture on Facebook to get them as pumped as I am. Then immediately I felt self conscious - why? Because getting excited about fall is such a "basic white girl" thing.

The last few years there have been a ton of memes and jokes about white girls loving fall. Here's an example of some that get heavily circulated every fall:

The trend of teasing white women about loving fall doesn't offend me - in fact, many of these make me laugh! But I find myself more confused than anything. Some questions I have:

  • Why just white girls? Don't other races like crisp weather, colorful leaves, caramel apples, and cozy sweaters?
  • Does it have something to do with white privilege?
  • Does it have something to do with wealth?
  • Is it because we use too much pumpkin spice? 
  • What is "white" about liking apple cider, the smell of smoke coming from a distant chimney, sleeping in a cozy, cool bedroom, carving pumpkins, eating pumpkin bread, making pumpkin pie, etc...? Many of those seem more American to me than white. 
  • Is it because other countries don't celebrate Halloween (to the extent that we do) or Thanksgiving?
I truly don't know. 

Like I said, I'm not offended by it. There are far worse racial stereotypes out there and being made fun of for loving fall is about as inoffensive as they come. No one gets shot for loving fall, or falsely accused of committing a crime for eating too much pumpkin spice. No one discriminates against someone for wearing a cable knit sweater with leggings. Parents don't worry about sending their children out in Uggs and scarves.

Just know that every time I post about loving fall (which I will - A LOT), I realize I'm a stereotype. I'm just not sure why.

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