Consumerism: Profiting Off Of Valentine’s Day


Liliyana Colon, Staff Writer

Don’t put the wrapping paper away just yet! Just as soon as the holiday gift-giving stress ended, Valentine’s Day shows up with the reminder to buy only the best gifts for significant others.

Valentine’s Day is considered the most romantic holiday of the year. However, it is nothing more than a scam used to trick consumers into expressing love through commodities. Across the world, people consider Valentine’s Day a time to celebrate what is called love, in any form. It is a day for grandparents to show affection to grandchildren, husbands to wives, brothers to sisters, and boyfriends to girlfriends.

Sure, it’s all about love and giving gifts to close ones, but why pressure people (stereotypically men) to make this one day perfect for their significant other (stereotypically women) when it would be a more enjoyable surprise to do something small but meaningful on any other day? This idea of high expectations can cause rifts in any given relationship, because society and consumerism implant the idea that grand gestures–such as expensive gifts–are necessary to show how much a person loves another, when that is not the case.

This is not to say that giving a gift to a significant other on Valentine’s Day isn’t a bad thing, but it can imply that love is only shown through materialistic items. Sophomore Ambria Leedy agrees that the circumstances are not equitable: “Valentine’s Day isn’t fair for the guys; a lot of the time, I don’t even see the guy in the relationship get anything.” This day not only raises unrealistic expectations of extravagant gifts, but there is also the added pressure of having someone to spend the day with. There’s always going to be someone asking, “So how are you going to spend Valentine’s Day?” And, if single, it can be an awkward conversation to have.

Valentine’s Day can also be very hard for many singles. It is a constant reminder of loneliness, which can lead to depression in many people–especially when movies with love themes are playing all day. There is no sense in making singles feel bad by broadcasting how in love other people are in relationships. Valentine’s Day should be a joyful celebration of love, not a time to give or receive whatever commercial gift society deems appropriate.

So, on second thought…go ahead and put the wrapping paper away!