There's something confusing going on. Or maybe something simple, and I've confused it. A picture is worth a thousand product placements (this genius montage via Jossip
quite a while ago)
Celebrities are ALWAYS carrying Starbucks, and the WORST of them, the WORST, are Mary Kate/ Ashley Olsen. I weigh at least 300 lbs more than the both of 'em combined, and I don't need elephant-dumps of coffee in my hands at all times. I drink a small cup in the morning, made at home and carried in a geeky rubber thing, and then a refill around three. Even when I had money, I almost never got Starbucks because, c'mon, it's just BORING. That, to me, is a more compelling reason to avoid it, and shoot for a local brew, than the fact that it's burny and bitter and overpriced.
But back to the Olsens. I used to think that maybe the reason you always see celebs with Starbucks is because there are a lot of Starbucks AROUND-- it was statistical. But this photo (via People) of Ashley Olsen and her friend Chewbacca coming out a Paris Starbucks says to me that this shit is DELIBERATE.
WHY would you seek Starbucks out in Paris? Why is she always holding it? Does she have a "lifetime free coffee pass" from Starbucks, for all the valuable magazine placement? But why would Mary Kate Olsen care about free coffee? SHE'S A BILLIONAIRE. Even her 12 daily ventis don't make a dent (denti?) in her shaggy, oversized wallet. So why the Starbucks infatuation?
And obviously Mary Kate here is metonymic for the rest of the celebrities. But these stars make effortful, professionally-aided attempts to cultivate seemingly idiosyncratic style. (Again, Mary Kate swaddled in trash bags, accompanied by Hun) So why do they cling to a mid-brow, much-vilified corporate icon like Starbucks, more often seen in the hands of overweight mall waddlers? What do they get out of it? Is Starbucks the only coffee shop in LA?
Sites like this
add to the confusion. Who engineers it? Is it not engineered? Do celebs just enjoy Starbucks?
And a related question: can Mary Kate's tiny heart, already working overtime to carry her enormous shawls, handle 800 fluid ounces of caffeine per day?