COLUMN: Why unicorns don't exist
By Jessica Karl
It’s the rainbow trend on steroids. It’s every happy-go-lucky Instagram queen’s drug of choice. It’s unicorn food.
You know a trend has reached its peak when Starbucks is jumping on the bandwagon. From April 19 to 23, your Instagram feed is bound to be plastered with subpar photos of gaudy pink and blue beverages that aren’t worth the price tag.
In every ‘gram, the quintessential two-tailed mermaid logo will be dripping with sweat beads and wishing it were anywhere else than in the sticky hands of a customer willing to pay $4.95 for the sickeningly sweet concoction.
Pumpkin spice latte fans, rejoice. You finally have a summer beverage.
In a press release, Starbucks states, “Like its mythical namesake, the Unicorn Frappuccino blended crème comes with a bit of magic, starting as a purple beverage with swirls of blue and a first taste that is sweet and fruity, but give it a stir and its color changes to pink, and the flavor evolves to tangy and tart.”
The drink is topped with whipped cream and some questionably edible blue and pink “fairy” powders.
It’s no secret that color-changing things are cheap and all-around terrible in nature. The Unicorn Frappuccino is no different than cheap mood rings that seem perpetually stuck on an ugly brown or yellow color.
I hate to break it to all the unicorn beverage hopefuls out there, but Starbucks’ latest Frappuccino outright sucks. I tried it for myself. There is just way too much going on.
The first sip is mediocre. It tastes like a mango creamsicle. But sadly, that first sip is the best sip you’re going to get. All too quickly, the drink transforms and melts into a soupy concoction that’s reminiscent of Warheads Sour Spray and watery milk.
Shortly thereafter, it ended up in the garbage, which is where it belongs. The drink has 76g of sugar in it, which is the sugar equivalent of 7.5 Krispy Kreme donuts.
Quartz’s Chase Purdy theorized, “We are filling our society with rainbow foods because there is no color anywhere else.”
Robots are taking over our jobs. We have a certified Cheeto running our country. Virtual escapism is on the rise. It only makes sense that we quell our fears with artificially concocted “magic” milkshakes.
Starbucks’ corporate offices are simply capitalizing on our melancholic reality, but their employees aren’t having it.
Braden Burson, an outraged Starbucks barista, posted a video to Twitter on the day the beverage was released, and said, “My hands are completely sticky. I have unicorn crap all in my hair and on my nose. I have never been so stressed out in my entire life.”
Hang in there, Braden. I feel your pain. It took my barista about 10 minutes to make my drink, and as he handed it to me with an exasperated sigh — and probably cursing my existence under his breath — I felt the need to give him a hug.
At least the drink will stop running Monday, and then the world can be restored to its natural beige and gloomy order.
In the age of rainbow bagels and sushi burritos, we sadly must ask ourselves what we’re doing with our lives.
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