It’s that time in February when all we see are red roses, excessive amounts of sugar and overly-exaggerated displays of love. Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day, a national holiday when we celebrate everyone we adore the most. The big day itself and the other events surrounding it have been subject to commercialization, as seen by the tons of deals and specials that brands advertise.
Additionally, we’ve also seen the rise of Galentine’s Day, the alternative to Valentine’s Day in which women celebrate love between themselves. Brands have definitely capitalized on this too.
In the last couple of weeks, the number of emails and ads we’ve seen in our inboxes for Galentine’s Day almost rival the number of those we’ve seen for Valentine’s Day. Research conducted by lingerie brand Boux Avenue shows that searches for Galentine’s Day have increased by 400 percent since 2015, while Valentine’s Day searches have decreased by 55 percent.
But why does a day of love seem to be ruled by the laws of economics?
The most ethical, affordable and transformative way to celebrate Valentine’s Day (if you’re single) is to love yourself. We know it’s a pretty cliche saying, and on the grandest day of love, you don’t necessarily want to hear qualms about self-love that you’ve heard a million times before.
But we’ll argue that whether or not you want to hear it, you need to hear it anyways.
First, it is the cheapest thing to do this Valentine’s Day. You don’t need to shell out hundreds on Edible Arrangements or a Pandora bracelet— unless spending on yourself is your love language. In that case, by all means, go ahead.
Second, it’s a form of therapy. Blasting some music, chilling out with a face mask or eating some really great ice cream are all great ways to indulge in self-love while releasing yourself from the strains of consumerism. If you want to move beyond the obvious surface-level ways that self-love is advertised, then you can really spend the day going deeper. Reflecting on how far you’ve changed over the years, traumas you’ve overcome and the realities of your journey ahead are sure ways to indulge in self-love that aren’t just performative, but effective.
Though this may sound preachy, we’re not trying to dissuade you from enjoying this holiday. Whether or not Valentine’s Day is a representation of romanticism or America’s lack thereof, if you’re boo’d up, don’t skip out on treating your significant other. Romantic love should be celebrated— if you’ve felt it, then you’ll know it should. And despite the fact that Galentine’s Day can perpetuate the myth of the single, sad women, female friendships are such a source of unconditional love and empathy that we would be surprised if it wasn’t exploited by the advertising world. Celebrate your day with your girlfriends; “Parks and Rec” icon Leslie Knope would want nothing less.
What we really want to leave with you is the fact that you shouldn’t forget to think about yourself in this season of love. Every kind of love— platonic or romantic, familial or self— should be celebrated.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.