Valentine’s Day: Is it a Heartfelt Holiday or Purely Consumerist? Point

Josie Krupens

Jessica Rivera, Opinions Editor

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   Of all holidays, Valentines Day may be considered the most controversial. Much of this lies in the belief that Valentine’s Day is a corporate holiday that promotes unhealthy relationships and shames single people, but the truth is that the holiday is only what you make of it.

   While it is true that healthy relationships are built on a constant flow of love and appreciation that should not only be evident on one day out of an entire year, there is no problem with going a little overboard for one day. Valentine’s Day gives couples an opportunity to set time aside to spend with each other that they may not have otherwise, not due to any toxicity in the relationship but rather the chaotic and time-consuming nature of life.

   Furthermore, the affection expressed on this day of love does not have to be limited to romantic relationships! Galentine’s Day, a concept originating from a 2010 Parks and Recreation episode, has grown immensely in popularity and become a commonly practiced parody of the holiday. According to an article on Galentine’s Day in The Atlantic, “The holiday has become associated with feminism, friendship, and the broader celebration of women”(theatlantic.com). People that celebrate Galentine’s Day have turned a holiday that has the capacity to shame single people into one that empowers women and strengthens platonic relationships, further proving that the holiday can be miserable or enjoyable depending on how you chose to see it.

   In addition to Galentine’s Day gatherings, anti-Valentine’s day parties have become more and more common. Although these celebrations are intended to satirize what the actual holiday stands for, they still have the effect of bringing people together, which is what the goal of Valentine’s Day should be. According to Dr. Wendy Walsh, “There’s now a majority population of adults left out of the action. But now they’re becoming empowered enough to say, ‘Hey, it’s okay to not be in a relationship.’ They’re finding a way to have single pride” (abcnew.go.com). While some may say that Valentines Day takes away from single pride, the phenomenon would most likely not be addressed without the holiday to give light to it.

    Some may argue that Valentine’s Day is nothing but a corporate holiday designed for profit, but there is a reason: the lovey paraphernalia currently rakes in over 19.6 billion dollars per year for the industry (nrf.com). People love to love! According to Senior Tori Michaelian, “Valentine’s Day isn’t any more of a corporate scam than any other holidays are.” Just as you could say Valentine’s Day isn’t an actual holiday because companies make such large amounts of money off of it, other holidays that are widely favored generate even more. According to a statistical website, together Christmas and Thanksgiving made about 630.5 billion dollars in sales in 2018 (graphicmaps.com). How’s that for a corporate scam?

   All in all, Valentine’s Day is not about shaming people for something they don’t have, but rather celebrating what they do have. This day of love is for showing the people around you that you appreciate them; that doesn’t have to show itself in huge dramatic gestures, flowers, chocolates, or jewelry to be valid. The toxicity associated with this day is only there if you let it be, so choose to embrace love above all else.   

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