Valentine’s Day is the time to express and celebrate your affections for that special someone. It is a time of love and romance. It’s also a time when many advertisers exploit these sentiments in order to sell products.
I’m not opposed to buying – or receiving – a little something on Valentine’s Day. If nothing else, it’s a good excuse to show someone you care just for the sake of it. I am, however, slightly opposed to the stereotypical ideals put forth by some advertisers during this time of year.
For instance, I spotted an ad in the paper yesterday from a local jewelry store that read, “You can’t buy her love, but you certainly can try.”
Maybe this was meant to be ironic, but to me, it represents two negative and outdated mentalities about the sexes. First, the idea that a woman’s affections are shallow enough to be bought (or, at least, almost bought) with shiny rocks. Second, that it is the man’s responsibility to purchase the shiny rocks, or any other gift deemed worthy of his apparently materialistic partner.
There also seems to be an implicit message from the media that, if a man doesn’t buy his girlfriend or wife the gift of her dreams, he’ll end up in the doghouse. Sure, I know many women who would probably appreciate a surprise piece of jewelry or expensive lingerie, but I don’t know many who would actually be angry with their partner for not going that extra mile.
Call me old-fashioned, but my best V-Day memories are of exchanging 6-for-$2.00, cardboard cards with my schoolmates, or receiving a surprise phone call from someone I hadn’t heard from in a long time. I’d be surprised if many women didn’t share similar sentiments.