As we enter the month of February, one of the most controversial holidays is right around the corner: Valentine’s Day. The holiday is recognized as a time to convey love and affection or to celebrate significant others. In the eyes of many, it has become a “Hallmark Holiday,” one celebrated by indulgence in yet another holiday rooted in capitalism.
The concept of this holiday has been pushed upon us since childhood. In elementary school, teachers may have instructed students to make cute little valentines for friends, family or even a special someone.
The problem with this is rather simple. We have been taught that love or affection is not shown through gestures of affection, but through materialistic things, like little heart-shaped cards that have been reprinted and remade hundreds of thousands of times.
Additionally, Valentine’s Day adds extra pressure for couples to take their significant other out to a fancy restaurant and have a long, extravagant and costly night. However, not everyone wants a long, extravagant and costly night. It is also not always the case that someone can afford expensive evenings or gifts.
Sometimes, a lowkey evening sitting on the couch eating a Big Mac meal, sharing a large fry and a pint of ice cream while participating in the millionth rewatch of “The Notebook” is all it takes to display love and affection for someone.
If declaring love was all about expensive things, outings and objects, the entire year should be dedicated to showing affection that way. Feb. 14 has just been wrongfully deemed by society as the day for this.
Now, this is not to say that everyone abides by this as the only way to display intense passion for significant others or affection for loved ones. As capitalized and commercialized as this holiday has become, there are still people who display their love through romantic gestures, poems and more.
However, these types of gestures are not always as easy compared to simply going down the street to the local convenience store and buying a card, flowers and chocolate just like everyone else. Also, since society has promoted the materialistic aspect of this holiday so intensely, romantic gestures such as the ones previously mentioned may not be as appreciated.
As human beings, we are all innately loving creatures who want to love deeply and passionately and in turn be loved deeply and passionately. It is a natural desire, almost a necessity, to experience and indulge in a romance with someone and to illustrate that in such a way that makes it known. That does not have to become another reason for capitalism to exploit society.
This does not have to be yet another “Hallmark Holiday” where you may spend several days or weeks trying to think of the perfect thing to buy for your significant other. It must not always be commercialized in such a way that it loses its value and becomes a chore. It should be a day during which you look forward to rejoicing and embracing with your loved ones. Display your love whenever you can and to whomever you wish.
View the “other side” of the debate’s perspective here.