According to a statistic tracking Valentine’s Day sales, the shopping holiday generated approximately $20 million in revenue in the US alone in 2018. With the current cost-of-living crisis, are sales less likely? people splurge on their partner/themselves for Valentine’s? Does Valentine’s Day already have any meaning or does it only have commercial value? Natalie Howarth argues.
While it is like a day to celebrate loved ones such as friends, family, and associates, it can be a difficult and commercialized holiday that is seemingly unavoidable not only on the day of February 14 but also leading up to the day. Valentine’s Day has become a day of corporate greed that permeates our culture; if you go on social media, there is no doubt that there will be a post from a friend whose partner has gone the extra mile and spent hundreds of pounds on expensive jewelery or a meal at an expensive restaurant. On a day when couples occupy all the timelines of social networks, it is difficult not to feel bound by many comparisons and consequently raises the question of whether shocking gestures are necessary, since they set a precedent of expectations that are not always achievable and can cause more damage. to a relationship Is it really necessary to quantify love through material goods?
There is a lot of pressure on one day of the year to express and validate your love for your partner
As a capitalist construct, there is a lot of pressure on one day of the year to manifest and validate your love for your partner. With rampant advertisements encouraging materialism in the run up to the day, there are often pressures to over-buy; If a relationship is based on the need to impress others with expensive gifts, then it is an unsustainable and sometimes unethical relationship. A commercialized occasion that has shaped modern love, the origins of the day itself are rather obscure, as it was initially the celebration of the execution of two men named Valentine, who would become martyrs during the Roman Empire. It makes you wonder how it’s still so culturally significant when the premise of a relationship is showing each other love on a regular basis.
While it’s a day that can be financially wasteful, there are environmental repercussions to the grandeur of gift giving: According to Oxfam America, sales of Valentine’s gold jewelry in the United States will result in more than 34 million metric tons of waste worldwide. the world. This is due to consumer demand and pressure placed on the gold mining industry, an unethical and unsustainable industry known for its threat to human rights, including child labor and driving communities from their homes. . The act of mining itself releases the most toxic heavy metals that pollute the air and water, costing an unimaginable amount of money to treat. With increased demand for jewelry these days, rather than spend hundreds of dollars on something that isn’t worth the environmental consequences, you’d be better off saving money!
A day that has an air of forced consumerism can be difficult for those who are budgeting
With the cost of living crisis at the forefront of many people’s consciousness, the tradition of Valentine’s Day and spending money on a loved one can be a privilege. A day that has an air of obligatory consumerism can be difficult for those on a budget or simply can’t afford to treat their partner and the constant stream of advertising fuels consumer guilt: is this due to inherent social expectations? reflected in different forms of media? , including film and television? Arguably, modern television and movies have tainted the perception of love with the overindulgence and expectations of Valentine’s Day and, for example, the gift of an expensive piece of jewelry. In today’s economic sphere, not everyone will have the opportunity to splurge on gifts, but experiences are better than material goods: luckily, Nottingham has a range of free activities, from walks in Wollaton Park to exhibitions at Nottingham Contemporary.
Love cannot be quantified; it’s another day to boost the industry, allowing big corporations to get their money’s worth. While it’s nice to feel loved through the transaction of gifts, flowers, and chocolates, it doesn’t instantly heal a broken relationship, and spending time with a loved one is much better than contributing to a profit-oriented materialized day.
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