Hot Girl Summer is the defining meme of the season, brands are already swooping in with pumpkin spice everything, brand watchdog Estée Laundry has put Ulta Beauty on the hot seat, and more of what matters to the internet this week…
1. What Is “Hot Girl Summer”?
“Hot girl summer” took over summer ’19. The term was started by rapper Megan Thee Stallion, who has tried to secure a trademark for the now popular phrase, dropped a song of the same title, and is racing to release a music video. Vox explains that the phrase means to be “hot” in every sense of the word: you’re physically attractive, enduring high temperatures, and your confidence level is on fire. Across social media, “hot girl summer” references abound, and yes, brands have already tried (and failed) to take on the trend. Wendy’s, Forever 21, and Maybelline have all made attempts that “are all cringey at best and appropriation at worst.” Now, “Christian Girl Autumn” is blowing up as the conservative antithesis to everything “Hot Girl Summer” embraces—and it’s being soundly mocked. (Oh, if you’re wondering if you’re more Hot Girl Summer or Christian Girl Autumn, there’s a BuzzFeed quiz for that.)
2. The Great Pumpkin Spice Race
Before leaves have the chance to change colors, brands are betting that Millennials will want to trade their cold White Claw for a hot pumpkin spice latte. Thrillist reports that the Starbucks PSL is coming back earlier than ever: August 27th. The general sentiment on Twitter is that it’s too early, with some even pairing their PSL tweet with #ChristianGirlAutumn—as they would definitely have a PSL in hand. (See above for context.) The early release has triggered a brand race, according to the New York Times. Dunkin’ has already started brewing their pumpkin spice concoction, and wants to keep the taste with you via a flavored lip balm. Of course, Twitter already has something even more over-the-top to talk about, reports the New York Post: pumpkin spice Spam.
3. Ulta Beauty’s Reported Racial Profiling Problem
Beauty watchdog account @esteelaundry put Ulta Beauty on blast this week when they reposted a makeup artist’s experience of being racially profiled at a store. After that, complaints from former employers and customers flooded in—and Estée Laundry posted them all. The discussion spread across social media from there, but Ulta Beauty says the claims are unfounded—sharing with Today that the incidents don’t align with their diversity training: “We stand for equality, inclusivity and acceptance and strive to create a space that is welcoming to all.” They also commented a similar sentiment on Estée Laundry’s post, but users like @indian_beast want actions, not words, responding: “so exactly which steps are you taking?”
4. Amazon’s Made-up “Maisel Day” Causes Chaos In LA
Amazon made up another holiday, but this time they didn’t have their eye on breaking online spending records. Instead, they were promoting the third season of their popular original show: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. To celebrate the series, which is set in 1959, Amazon rolled back prices throughout Santa Monica, California to what the characters would have paid the ‘50s. The idea was immensely popular—too popular actually. Implementation got dicey when they struck down gas prices at Chevron from as much as $3.94 (for premium diesel) to just 30 cents per gallon. The Verge reports that police swept the scene to shut it down, warning residents to avoid the area, all because of over-eager Angelenos racing to fill up their tanks on the cheap. The campaign has since resumed with a limit on the number of cars that can participate. Plus, there are other deals throughout the city: @IamEBry tweets that she had her hair done at DryBar for just $2 and others are sharing their experiences under the hashtag #MaiselDay.