Beth Moran

Writer, speaker, free range chick

On why I won`t be doing THAT to my coffee

As a writer, I`m constantly thinking about words, and how we use them, noticing how language and meanings change over time.

So when eating in a restaurant recently, when various flyers and posters invited my family to “pimp our coffee!”, I noticed.

Now, I know pimping is a term that`s evolved to mean making something better or more extravagant. I get that this was supposed to be a fun, light-hearted way to describe adding extras to a drink.

But, really? How did it become an acceptable leap from someone who hires out human bodies, often maintaining control through fear and abuse, to chocolate sprinkles? There`s nothing fun about the sex trade. Or the horrors of illegal trafficking accompanying it.

Maybe I`m overreacting. You might think I should lighten up.

But I believe words matter.

I make a living from the power of words. As does the person in the marketing meeting who decided pimp your coffee was the phrase to use.

The way language changes is surely a mirror reflecting something of our culture, the attitudes of society. As a mother, fighting to raise my children to honour, respect and value women in a culture flooded with invitations to debase their images, if not their physical bodies, I think the sexualisation of everyday language matters.

And I pray for a day when words like pimp are a thing of the past, because selling bodies is just an ugly part of history, rather than something I have to explain to my child over Sunday lunch.

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