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20th February 2015

V for Valentine

Last weekend’s day of love is analysed by Marina Iskander, who believes you should spend your the special day of Valentines doing what you love, not who you love

With social media becoming almost vital to our daily lives, trends and fads are bound to spread like they never have. These trends, however, have gone beyond fashion choices and music taste: people of the 21st century, especially teenagers, are constantly facing pressure and suggestion as to what to like and what to criticize.

It is unspoken, and almost unexplainable, that Beyoncé is the queen of just about everything, we’re all ‘90s kids’ and Valentine’s Day is atrociously lame. Being the sheep we are, it’s rare to stop and think that maybe, just maybe, a day to celebrate affection towards someone (or something) cannot be all that bad.

It seems as though the main point of criticism is that if two people did really love each other, they wouldn’t need a pre-determined date to realize it. There are two problems with this idea: one, that it really doesn’t have to be two people, and two, what is it that is so wrong about being extra cheesy for one day?

Maybe it’s the movies we watch or the books we read, but recently, the definition of love has become exclusively romantic; boy meets girl, girl likes boy, boy likes girl. Then something goes wrong, they fix it, and end up together. The word love, therefore, now rarely describes the feelings that you, for example, may hold towards a certain area of study, or a book, or a stanza in a poem, or a town in a city.

By turn, Valentine’s Day has come to exclusively include those in a romantic relationship, ridding us of the possibility of taking a day to appreciate the amount of love our bodies can hold towards anything or anyone. Let us not forget that ironically, the word love is often thrown around meaninglessly – which in fact gives even more reason to spend a day actually realizing what you love.

That mere realization of what you as a unique individual are passionate for is not a matter to be taken lightly; we’re all wired differently, so imagine if everyone would invest themselves in what they saw to be important. Valentine’s Day isn’t just about the lovey-dovey adolescent couple or the fact that your grandparents have been together for the past 50 years, it could just as well be about finding and basking in what, rather than who, you love.

Nevertheless, a big part of Valentine’s Day is celebrating romantic feelings. It is easy to deem couples as overly cheesy and clichéd when it comes to the big day, often criticizing them for not being that way every other day. From a greater perspective, this fallacious argument is like saying that you should celebrate your age every day and not just on your birthday, or that people belonging to their respective religious beliefs should fast all year and not just during lent or Ramadan.

In turn, there is nothing wrong with couples choosing one specific day to manifest their love, no matter what their expression of it is like on any other day of the year. Call it an excuse or a celebration, setting aside time to ponder at this unique bond can rarely result to any harm.

The question is, then, why we find it so important and trendy to criticize affection and shy away from it. In fact, it seems incredibly ironic that the modern hipster of the internet, one who prides themselves in their support for world peace and anti-discriminatory campaigns, finds it silly to designate time to acknowledge what, arguably, their beliefs revolve around.

If love were to be seen in its purest form – a fiery passion that leads to tolerance and acceptance – then said hipster should be its biggest advocate. It thus seems that this passing internet fad doesn’t have much of a basis, and is no reason to cruelly ridicule Valentine’s Day.

Whether you use it to celebrate your hobbies or your loved ones, there is nothing embarrassing about being human enough to be in touch with your feelings. Yes, Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be the only day we do this, but it could easily serve as a starting point or a reminder of a special class of feelings that, commonly-put, may just be what ‘makes the world go round.’

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