By: Katrina Williams
With Valentine’s Day yesterday, love is in the air and it smells… outdated. As we begin to plan our heart-filled festivities, they all seem to conform to a common societal mold. This mold, more often than not, pertains to women. It is expected that we act a certain way, dress a certain way, and place a certain amount of importance on this one particular day. While I like the idea of spreading love, I hate the ways society tells us to do it. And while Valentine’s Day is one single day, the ideals and expectations can be carried on throughout a young woman’s life. Perhaps, if we change a few things, we can change the standards society places on women, not only on V-Day, but every day that follows. There are two major changes I would love to see us bring as we near that time of the year:
There has been a large influx of lingerie commercials flooding my television time, showing women in red satin and lace with huge boobs and flat stomachs. They tell us that buying sexy underwear for V-Day is the best way to treat your lover. I have huge problems with this. First of all, the commercials define sexiness as purely physical. They promote the idea that a woman’s beauty is only skin-deep: that is how women should treat it and that is how men see it. This idea especially holds power during Valentine’s Day because it molds sexiness and love into the same thing. It says that, in order to make someone happy and in order to gain love, you need to dress in a provocative way. Not only that, but the women wearing the lingerie also pushed impossible body standards on other young women.
It’s important for young women to know that they don’t need to spend major $$$ to be sexy. Sexiness should be synonymous with kindness, intelligence, wit, and compassion. Even then, it is important for us to realize that someone who truly cares for you will accept you for who you are, not who they expect you to be based off of hyper sexualized commercials.
All of this being said, if you want to wear some sexy lingerie, then do it! But first realize that you are far more than what you wear.
February 14th has a nasty habit of highlighting the “loneliness” of women. We are pressured into doing everything we can to get a valentine. If you don’t have a romantic valentine, you are expected to spend the night alone, eating chocolate, drinking booze, and watching chick flicks on Netflix. We make it suck to be single on V-Day. Why is it that we have to feel lonely just because we don’t have a lover to make out with on this particular day?
V-day promotes a desire for co-dependence, which is extremely dangerous for young women as they mature. Let’s just set the record straight- Valentine’s Day is about love, not co-dependence. If you don’t have a romantic valentine, THAT’S OKAY. Be your own valentine! As girls grow up, it is essential that they understand that happiness does not derive solely from a romantic relationship. To love another, you must first love yourself.