Consumer Culture Corrupts Valentine’s Day

Jessica Rosiak, News Editor

It’s a sad reality that what was a romantic event for couples has been traded for stressful evenings of online shopping. Much like the demise of Christmas, Valentine’s Day has been wrecked by materialism.

Rather than exchanging heartfelt cards and pink lollipops as an expression of affection, the holiday has become a transaction of material goods, an exchange of jewelry, designer clothing, or expensive perfumes. In a study by the National Retail Federation, $27.4 billion were expected to be spent this Valentine’s Day. This is a 32% increase from last year.

On February 14, gifts are traded instead of “I love you’s.”

Senior Bianca Pierrat said that there is a “greater focus on large corporations churning out a profit through the sale of cards, flowers, chocolates, and other gifts.”

This pressure to consume is negatively impacting high school students. Instead of a note from the heart or something truly meaningful, they now go for the biggest price tags in order to “prove” they care. It’s troubling to see teens shuffle around, looking for gifts that are more a reflection of how much money they have in their wallet rather than how much love they have in their heart.

“I think it shows people care more about material objects than real love,” said junior Bradford Martin.

Pierrat added that society, today, “emphasizes the need for gifts and physical items to express one’s level of love.”

In the hallways preceding and following the “Hallmark holiday,” students complain about receiving candy hearts while they offered a Tiffany’s necklace. It is an unhealthy reality that people are being conditioned from a young age to equate the level of monetary expense with the level of care or interest.

Money cannot buy happiness.

The monetary agenda pushed out by chocolate and card companies is counter to what St. Valentine actually represents.