Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Dealing with a superficial holiday

The origins of Valentine’s Day date back to ancient Rome. However, the holiday wasn’t linked to romance until the 14th century in England. The familiar practice of gift exchanges first appeared in 1700s Great Britain.

The U.S. first started producing Valentine’s Day cards around the mid-1800s, according to the History Channel.

Now, Valentine’s Day is accompanied by business sales and advertising. Companies market their products for people wanting to buy them for their loved ones. Businesses gain profit from people’s purchases.

People feel the need to showcase their affections in the form of gifts mostly on Valentine’s Day. Businesses have helped built the tradition that buying a gift is necessary to show how much you love your partner. That is why it is a successful commercial holiday.

Items are marketed to represent love for their partner. Teddy bears, jewelry and roses have become synonymous with the holiday; these objects are bought as an expression of love.

But it’s superficial.

Is it necessary to use Valentine’s Day as a way to showcase your love to someone when you can do that any other day?

The media has a big influence on its consumers and societal norms. Adverts are marketed differently to men and women. Men are expected to be the givers, whilst women are expected to receive them. This puts pressure on men to find the ideal present for their loved one.

Valentine’s Day also represents old gender customs that date back to its first appearance in history.

Emphasis on: men and women. Particularly, the relationship between a man and a woman.

“Straightness,” especially in the media, is still presented as the norm in our society. And with it comes traditional gender expectations of the two genders. This is because the media presents Valentine’s Day as a heteronormative holiday

The Merriam-Webster dictionary explains that heteronormativity is “based on the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality.”

Meaning that gender roles haven’t progressed much. Especially on Valentine’s Day.

So if you want to buy a present for your loved one, go ahead. But it’s also important to reflect on how the media treats the topics like love and gender using Valentine’s Day – with stereotypes.

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