Valentine’s Day is an internationally-recognized holiday that has been celebrated since its creation in the fifth century. Advancements to cultures over time have changed the origins of the holiday from a celebration of a Catholic Saint to the celebration of one’s love for another. As these changes occurred, the marketing toward gifts for couples to express their love increased.
Valentine’s Day has become a holiday that is seen in today’s societies as a day only for people to outwardly celebrate love. According to Christopher Nolan (’19), the commercialization of love through products such as roses have taken away the true meaning of the day.
“I don’t really like Valentine’s day. The romantic acts performed feel forced since our culture pushes the notion that going all out on the holiday is the right thing to do in order to prove that you care about your significant other.
“None of it feels genuine. It’s ridiculous to go to the store a day after New Year’s and see Valentine’s Day decor already out. The holiday’s commercialization takes away from the idea that love is unconditional—making love feel more like a currency. [Also,] roses are a b-tier flower,” Nolan said.
Jacob Bendele (‘20) concurred with Nolan over concerns about the extreme commercialization of the holiday and agreed that the ideal of the holiday has been cheapened by large-scale companies.
“I’m fine with it [Valentine’s Day]. I don’t especially like when anything is being commercialized because it just kind of takes the point out of it. I like the kind of stance of what it was originally supposed to be: a day where you can be with a loved one and just be thankful for what you have,” Bendele said.
Feelings toward the marketing of the holiday were different with Zoie Tranquilla (‘20). Tranquilla explained that she enjoys the holiday regardless of the marketing towards couples.
“Though I have been single for the past 4 years on Valentine’s Day, I still very much enjoy it. I am always down for a reason to celebrate. As for the commercialization, I feel it’s just part of the American holidays that people know companies are just looking for your money. It’s just a given from living in a capitalism world,” Tranquilla said.
Thornton concurred with Tranquilla about the marketing of the holiday and explained that she loves everything about it, from giving gifts to eating chocolate. Thornton also criticized the ways that companies acknowledge it through cheap quantity rather than quality.
“I like it [Valentine’s Day]. I’m kind of like a hopeless romantic: I like all that gooey stuff. I like the candy and the romance and the flowers. I like it [the commercialization], but I wish companies wouldn’t make gross chocolate. I feel like if they’re going to sell stuff [then] at least make it good quality stuff,” Thornton said.
Chloe Sheler (’21) believed that the holiday is one for the enjoyable celebration of love. She chooses to celebrate the holiday with her family and all those she loves, which is how Sheler feels the holiday should be celebrated.
“Now that I know the true meaning behind Valentine’s Day, and I can feel it, it feels good knowing that Valentine’s Day isn’t just about your significant other. It’s about love of your whole family. I’m very proud to have the boyfriend that I have who loves me and I love him. I’m very grateful for the people I love and that’s what it’s all about,” Sheler said.