Capitalism hijacks Valentine’s Day


It’s the day couples are busy arranging their dates, going out to buy chocolates, flowers and seeking the perfect date-night outfits. The holiday of: Valentine’s Day. The National Retail Federation has surveyed that less couples will be celebrating this romantic holiday in 2019, however the ones that will be are estimated to set a new spending record.

The NRF estimates that this year’s couples will average $161.96 on spending, a 13 percent increase from last year’s average, $143.56. Valentine’s Day is among one of the most expensive holidays, and according to research 25 percent of couples invested in this holiday range in age from 18 to 29.

Valentine’s Day is about spending time with your significant other and creating new memories together. It shouldn’t be about showing off how much cash you spend — it really is the thought that counts. Gifts can carry sentimental value, however traditional Valentine’s Day gifts consists of items that are temporary. A bouquet of roses lasts about a week before they start to die, perhaps a few days more if well taken care of.

On that note, since the beginning of 2019 Twitter has been filled with crazed tweets about buying chocolate-covered strawberries and teddy bears made out of roses for your significant other, both of which start at about $30. This craze that exists around Valentine’s Day goes hand in hand with capitalism. According to the NRF, Valentine’s Day will gather a revenue of $20.7 billion just this year from items like candy, flowers, jewelry and greeting cards. Valentine’s Day is inevitably about money and it certainly isn’t fair.

Attending SF State also adds a few thousand dollars to your spending, which doesn’t leave one with much Valentine’s Day spending money. Nevertheless, it is the national day of love and what better way to spend it than with your significant other. But why can’t it just be about investing time in one another on yet another Thursday night? Why does it have to be about the chocolates, the jewelry and the flowers?

In today’s digital age, it has also become about social media. Seeing people post a little blue Tiffany box or a bouquet of flowers bigger than a person’s head directly correlates to how much love your partner has for you. There are dozens of articles that distinguish the top 19, 30 and 70 “perfect” Valentine’s Day captions for your Instagram photos, from publications like Bustle and Seventeen magazine. The day has become more about appearances, about showing off an idealized and shallow portrait of love — perfect for social media — and it really shouldn’t be.

Valentine’s Day has shifted away from the holiday that it’s supposed to be. It is an assigned day for everyone to demonstrate to their partners how much they care for and love them. This can definitely be done without expensive gifts and an Instagram post followed by a corny caption. In a capitalist society that constantly makes one find their worth in expensive luxuries, don’t be afraid to stray away from that this Valentine’s Day. Stick to the true reason of this special day.