A (you guessed it) Seattle woman eats and drinks nothing but Starbucks products for a year.
Only in America: a 40 year-old woman has just completed the "challenge" of only eating and drinking products made by retailer Starbucks as part of a year-long mission seemingly to prove that one can subsist purely on Starbucks without keeling over and drowning in frappuccino foam.
Starbucks famously write their customers' names on their coffee cups
Okay, so it seems there was more to it than that. The Seattle woman, who claims her legal name is Beautiful Existence, took on the 365 day quest for apparently a very good reason. On her blog, where she documented her daily Starbucks-centred trials and tribulations she wrote: "WHY? am I doing this challenge? Or WHY? will I do any challenge in the future? Because I LOVE being human and I LOVE the privilege of being able to ask the question WHY? in the first place!" Sure, it's her response but what does that all even mean?
We haven't yet managed to decode Beautiful's Starbucks-addled way of thinking but it seems like she was trying to attain some kind of higher spiritual state; the kind you can only reach when you get fleeced for a side salad by a multinational corporation. "I started designing these yearlong challenges, and I knew I wanted to do an eating challenge because eating is a really large challenge that many people are interested in and want to take on," she told CNBC.
Apparently her interest was sparked due to her sister's eight year stint as a barista. "They've treated her really well. They were on my radar as a company I'd want to explore and find out more about," explained the small business owner. Though Beautiful didn't have to visit her local Starbucks three times a day, owing to being able to buy branded products from the supermarket, the challenge was not only tough but also expensive: she estimates she spent between $500 and $600 a month on coffee from the chain leading to a yearly spend of "$5,000-but $6,000 at the most."
The Starbucks food in question...
Her blog details the inner resolve she had to muster when she saw her two sons eating banana muffins or her co-workers munching on pizza. "In the last month, in the last couple weeks, it's been really difficult," Existence told the New York Daily News. "People had pizza at the office last week and I was dying. I'm happy to be able to eat whatever I want [again]."
Cynics may scoff otherwise but Existence swears that Starbucks have not helped her out in her self-initiated challenge, either financially or via product handouts: "They've been incredibly kind and generous, but they never paid me or gave me discounts," she said.
"We applaud her efforts and encouraged along the way, but no money was ever exchanged," said Linda Mills, a Starbucks spokesperson. She added that Existence "often sets lofty and unattainable goals for herself, and she really meets them head on."
Though she has gained many social media supporters, many have slammed Existence for completing what they perceive to be a pointless challenge. Indeed, a more noteworthy challenge could have been to visit each of Seattle's many coffee shops in a year or give a homeless person a coffee every day.
The Starbucks Challenge only seems to be the latest and most newsworthy of a stream of year-long challenges designed to test Beautiful. In prior years, she's shopped exclusively at Goodwill and tested out advice from Parents Magazine. 2014 has already seen her begin learning more about outdoor equipment retailer REI by trying more than 80 recreational sports.
Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.