A History Of Celebrities Drinking Coffee

Celebrities: they’re just like us! They drink coffee, and sometimes they even get it themselves! As the News Editor for a coffee publication, I can attest that a lot of coffee “news” is basically just pics of celebs grabbing an iced coffee, trying not to be disturbed. It’s sad and voyeuristic and… oooo who’s that with Zac Efron?

Anywho, these coffee photo ops are more than just an invasion of privacy, they’re also a humanizing force for the Hollywood Elite. Because again, they’re just like us, they love coffee too! But as the Washington Post points out, this was not always the case. Back in the early era of Hollywood, coffee was a status symbol.

In the days of Grace Kelly and Humphrey Bogart, coffee was used by stars to express “European sophistication.” It was a way of appearing worldly and travelled. “Oh you haven’t spent four hours at a cafe in Paris? You simply must.” The article imports vintage photos from Steven Rea’s Hollywood Cafe: Coffee With the Stars to draw physical comparisons between American stars and their European counterparts:

Photos of [American actress Lauren] Bacall drinking coffee with a cigarette between her fingers mirror similar ones of French actress Jeanne Moreau or Italian actress Sophia Loren.

But today, coffee is no longer a symbol of the Elite, but a way for the Elite to prove their Everyman status. University of Kentucky associate professor of anthropology Sarah Lyon tells WaPo that with the rise of Starbucks and second-wave coffee in the 90s, coffee became much more commonplace, a “middle-class luxury.” Coffee is no longer seen as a status symbol but as a humanizing factor, especially when the celebrity actually gets their own damn coffee.

“It’s something about the ritual of going to the store and carrying the coffee around in a paper cup,” she said. “It’s just a caffeine delivery mechanism — there’s nothing much to it, in and of itself. It’s the consumption, the publicness of it.”

Status symbol or drink of the Everyman, I think celebrities just like coffee. And if they can drum up some extra box office sales by throwing on an effortless pair of joggers and grabbing an iced latte, then I say good on ‘em.

And maybe celebrities are really more like us than we thought. Jk no they’re not those joggers cost like $400.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.

*top image via the Toronto Star

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