We will commence a slow clap for the most brilliant marketing creation ever: Valentine’s Day. Corporate America turned dark, sexual and violent 3rd Century traditions and executions into an 18 billion dollar industry. Despite its violence-based origins, here we are in 2018 celebrating “love” by emptying our wallets in exchange for dead flowers, uncomfortable lingerie, ultra-heated carbon and processed sugar.
No matter how hard you stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the day you can’t help but be a part of the dramatic soap opera Valentine’s Day has become. For weeks marketing campaigns have inundated you with “buy her this, buy her that, make this Valentine’s Day the most special ever.” In essence, the message we receive is buy something to validate your relationship or else.
In this respect, Valentine’s Day is total bullshit. It’s a made-up holiday perpetuated by Hallmark and Hershey’s, created to capitalize and exploit our relationships for monetary gain. Their scheme of a holiday has created polarization among us where no one wins and we lose track of what the “holiday” is actually about; love.
We aren’t saying you shouldn’t appreciate your significant other or treat them with love and the utmost respect. What we are saying is that you don’t need to buy them things to validate the relationship and you most definitely shouldn’t do it just for one day a year.
Love has been commercialized and lost its meaning in this context. Since when did an obligatory candlelit dinner, chocolates and a Hallmark card mean I love you? An isolated blitzkrieg of gifts and adoration is nice but what happens tomorrow? Do you celebrate today and then carry on for the next 365 days as normal?
There is a disconnect in communication and expectations on this day more so than any other day of the year. But neither party is at fault. In the following sections, we break down ways to avoid the typical Valentine’s Day troubles.
If you have a brain, you know men are the target consumer for Valentine’s Day. You should also know that we are largely clueless about the desires and needs of women. Hence why we swallow messages of opening our wallets when there are countless other ways of making our significant other feel loved. This critique is about trying harder and altering the status quo, which is presented as consumerism equals a happy relationship and refusal to consume equals a failed one.
100% Hard No
A lot of men, including ourselves, throw shade on Valentine’s Day as much as humanly possible, but it’s not why you think. It’s not because we don’t want to celebrate a significant other, but rather because we don’t agree with how V-Day is practiced:
- Imposing expectations on him that he didn’t create and wants nothing to do with is ridiculous.
- Valentine’s Day is for women and there is no counter holiday for men. A chauvinistic attempt was made in the creation of Steak and Blowjob Day but we don’t endorse that here. Whether or not men will admit it, the lack of balance is off-putting and is at the root of many negative stigmas. Men need validation too. We would be totally fine if Valentine’s Day was celebrated as a day of mutual appreciation?
An effect of men being targeted as the consumer puts women in a position as expected recipients. When they’ve heard the “this will be bought for you,” “that will be bought for you,” “this will be the most special Valentine’s Day ever” and don’t receive what is expected, it’s an issue. Advertisers promise women bouquets of roses, shiny jewelry, and boxes of chocolate, but as we know, men don’t respond well to being told what to do.
As millennials, memes are life, so we have a meme to summarize this section. It’s rough when everyone is (or is pretending) to be in love and you’re single and alone. Advertising constantly reminds you that you’re going to be alone for the day, and that bitter reminder stays with you. Just because you don’t have someone to celebrate with doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to celebrate yourself. Go adopt a dog. They’ll love you unconditionally and never leave you alone.
Money can’t buy you love (just ask Nick Cannon). You have the capacity to reaffirm your relationship and make someone else or yourself feel special with your own creativity. Let’s shift the paradigm and start celebrating Valentine’s Day through acts of love rather than acts of payments.
So, celebrate your day by doing something out of the ordinary. Fuck the flowers and fuck the chocolate. Unplug your devices, have a conversation or go on an adventure. Do something that adds value to your life rather than subtracting money from your bank account. You can thank us later.