Nudity and Coffee. Art or offensive quasi-porn?

Starbucks, the original local coffee legend, is celebrating its 35th anniversary and as part of the event, they’re handing out their old logo.
starbucks.jpg
There was one small problem, some folks found the original logo offensive.

“This is degrading to the women of today,” a regular Starbucks customer explained.

The 1971 original logo features a twin tailed mermaid with bare breasts. A ‘siren’ as she’s called in Greek mythology, and “is being used merely for nostalgia.” says Starbucks Carol Pucik who continued that the use of the old logo isn’t meant to cause offense.

Pucik says every hot beverage cup in their Washington and Oregon company owned stores will feature the original logo over the next two months.

Before Starbucks became a worldwide name, the old logo was very well known around Seattle and it can still be seen today at the first Starbucks in Pike’s Place Market.

However, in the early 1990’s, there were growing complaints about the appropriateness of the original logo and the company gave her a ‘modest makeover’ which is the logo used widely today.

So what do you think? Is the old logo offensive, or simply a misunderstood piece of Seattle art?

This author is taking it upon himself to find a Starbucks offering up the old logos and will report back when one is located. Stay tuned!

Source: KOMO TV

7 Comments so far

  1. Kelly (unregistered) on August 31st, 2006 @ 4:23 pm

    I think it’s another example of people getting way too offended over something relatively banal. But, it’s easy to create a fuss over offense of something banal in an effort to mediastorm a company to change, rather than actually do something to create meaningful change.

    Because, you know, a kid is going to take one look at that and go “ooo porny!” (It’s frakkin mythos, people! Aiy!)

    Ahem. I’ve been fighting HIPAA rules all afternoon and am appropriately cranky for it – don’t mind me.


  2. John (unregistered) on August 31st, 2006 @ 4:33 pm

    I can’t count how often I’ve stood outside the original starbucks, getting a nice big stiffie from the bare breasted logo.

    Oh, wait, yes I can.

    Zero.

    I’m also appropriately cranky for lots of reasons.


  3. samantha (unregistered) on August 31st, 2006 @ 8:05 pm

    John, please write Starbucks a letter complaining about the lack of erections you get from their advertising. I just want to hear what they have to say.


  4. Bruce Larson*Moore (unregistered) on September 1st, 2006 @ 11:19 am

    Isn’t art suppose to be misunderstood and offensive ?? and if it happens to be your logo, well you may just rise to global recognition and help to pollute the very people, society and environment that your offending. Sounds like a democratic, capitalist wet dream come true.

    BL*M


  5. Zee (unregistered) on September 1st, 2006 @ 12:38 pm

    I have a hard time comprehending why bare breasts are “offensive”. Sure, female breasts have been highly sexualized, but then so have lips, eyes, hands, and many other body parts belonging to people of various genders and our society doesn’t automatically freak out at depictions of them. Furthermore, based on my personal experience, the reality is that VERY FEW people really are offended by the sort of nudity found in this logo. VERY FEW people are truly “offended” by breasts bared to feed a baby or to catch a tan. That minority that is messed up enough in the head to find the human body offensive are very, very loud about it and manage to frame their complaints in such a way to put the majority on the defense.

    People who are offended by breasts need to shut up about it and go get some therapy already.


  6. Drury (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2006 @ 2:02 am

    Starbucks is very good at keeping itself in “the news”…


  7. John (unregistered) on September 5th, 2006 @ 10:31 am

    Sorry, the girlfriend just alerted me to the response to my comment.

    Anyone care to help me write such a letter?



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