The King's Page

San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

The King's Page

The King's Page

The Commercialism of Love

Cliche, Cheesy, Fake, Commercial: These are terms that people use side-by-side with the international holiday, Valentine’s Day. We all know the holiday, whether that is because of good or bad reasons; proposals, breakups, romance, hatred, love, and so on. 

Nowadays the holiday is said to be more about making a profit by selling candy, selling cards that say “I love you,” and other clever, sweet, ‘junk’ to give to a partner, rather than love. 

Forbes magazine said, “Consumers are expected to spend $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2023, up 8% over last year,” earlier this month. In comparison to Halloween spending which was about $10.6 billion last year, the numbers are astonishing! You would think that Halloween sells the most with costumes, candy, and decorations, but people will do the most for their loved ones. Whether that is purchasing fancy jewelry, chocolate boxes, heart decorations, etc., there is no doubt that people think Valentine’s Day has turned into a harvest day for commercialism.

Image courtesy of Elizabeth Léka

“I think Valentine’s Day is great because it reminds us to tell each other we love eachother but it could be used for commercialism purposes,” said San Marcos English teacher, Mr. King. 

He leads with the notion that Valentine’s is not how it used to be. We have become focused on showing our love with material objects. This does not mean do not show your appreciation to your loved ones on the holiday but be more meaningful! There are ways to show your love that do not succumb to the commercial side of Valentine’s day. Oftentimes people find a handwritten note more meaningful than a red and pink heart-shaped trinket.

Regarding the holiday Mr. King also said, “It kind of puts most people in a position where they feel they have to find someone to be part of  the day. Which doesn’t always have to be for everyone; we don’t need to find someone to encourage loving friendships and partnerships with other people that are not romantic.” 

Businesses lean in to this idea that everyone must have a valentine. They use marketing campaigns to influence people to become stressed about spending Valentine’s Day on someone, with someone, using their money. It is unnecessary and takes away from the true meaning of the day. They also add unhelpful pressures, about even having a significant other and excess money to spend, on people, while you do not even have to have either (significant other or extra money to spend). 

Moving forward, besides showing thoughtful and genuine appreciation to our loved ones, Valentine’s has slowly turned into Galentine’s and self-care days too which is fabulous. It is slowly away from commercialism and turning into a day for what it is meant to be, of love.

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About the Contributor
Evelina Erickson
Evelina Erickson, Editor-in-Chief
Evelina Erickson is a senior at San Marcos High School. It is currently her fourth year with the King’s Page. For the past two years she has been the news editor and feature editor. This year she is excited to be one of the Editor-in-Chief and the news editor. Evelina enjoys writing about all topics but especially would like to move or inspire the people who read her articles. She is also a part of the Entrepreneurship Academy on campus. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, arts and crafts, logic puzzles, playing golf, and hanging out with friends.
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The Commercialism of Love