Valentine’s Day


Youngjoo Ahn, Feature Editor

Through no fault of our own, we are often misled and given false information. History is comprised of missing data and politicians rely on false promises. Unfortunately, even some holidays attribute the wrong things. In recent years, the infamous origins of Columbus Day have come to light. People now realize that, despite popular belief, Columbus was not a respectable person worthy of his own holiday. Similarly, Valentine’s Day has some questionable origins.

No one is completely sure where this holiday came from or who exactly it’s honoring. The romantic nature of Valentine’s Day began with Chaucer and Shakespeare even though St. Valentine’s disputed existence occurred thousands of years earlier. Valentines greetings were popular even in the Middle Ages but the market for ready made cards began in 1913 with the creation of Hallmark.

Today Valentine’s Day seems like a celebration of mass consumerism rather than love or heartfelt letters. Last year, sales on Valentine’s Day reached $17.6 billion. Everything from storefronts to mobile games to children’s books encourage consumption with pink and red heart decorations and many generic sayings. Instead of buying flowers or chocolate because of love, it seems that obligation drives most people.

Like the huge insurance companies that profit from the misinformed public, the only people who win on Valentine’s Day are the owners of companies that benefit from a complaint populace. Instead of cherishing loved ones, Valentine’s Day has added a price tag to love. This so-called holiday pressures people to buy and creates competition to consume without focusing on the reason. Valentine’s Day could very well be a corporate plot to grab all your money from you. The worst part is that most of us willingly give it to them for chocolate, flowers, and anything else unoriginally red and pink.

Because Valentine’s Day has become so commercialized, it often ostracizes those who do not receive flowers and gifts like jewelry. Being single shouldn’t make you feel lonely and depressed.

Valentine’s Day has lost its meaning because of commercialization. There doesn’t need to be a holiday celebrating love. After all, every day should be a time to cherish loved ones.