A celebration of love, female friendships and self care
A couple months into meeting my best friend, she told me that Valentine’s Day is her favorite holiday. I knew she was not in a relationship and was immediately intrigued to hear her thoughts on why this popularly hated holiday held such a special place in her heart. She declared that she loves the whole day because it is all girly, with pink and red hearts everywhere. Furthermore, it is the only holiday “not ruined by children.” Most importantly, she said that she has always loved love. It is really that simple. This holiday is supposed to be about love for all the relationships in your life. It is a chance to dress up in all pink, kiss your friends, call your parents, and buy flowers. Sure, Valentine’s Day was a result of capitalism and a want for people to spend more money after the holidays, but why not make the most of it.
Valentine’s Day has become this celebration of female friendships in my life, which are incredibly complex and beautiful. Feminine energy has always radiated through my household; school nights used to feel like sleepovers with my sister, mom and I cuddled up in bed, surrounded by tangled limbs with pink nail polish and every flavor of ice cream. When I got to college, I realized how important friends are, specifically girl friends. If I am sick and need soup, a ride to the airport, and examination of a particularly concerning mole, I can’t call my family. My friend’s are all I have. Female friendship is shamelessly complaining about the same four topics. It’s having a full conversation in public with just eye contact. It’s being told you are beautiful every single day. Female friendships are doing each other's hair, screaming Taylor Swift songs at a pregame, and headscratchers after a long day. I could keep this list going forever and forever because the women in my life have consistently improved all of my days. Growing up in those angsty teenage years, I never was sure if someone would understand me, but I was so wrong.
I have met so many beautiful women that have made me view myself in a rose colored light.
I don’t want to ignore those feelings that Valentine’s Day can uproot. I myself have felt lonely and unloved in this world where romance and relationships are prioritized and sensationalized in all aspects of the media. It can feel like women are not even allowed to hate this holiday without being categorized as a judgmental, spinster. So, in this world where women are constantly categorized and put in a box, I want to offer some additional avenues of thought to either make this holiday a little more bearable or hopefully, like my best friend, your new favorite holiday.
First, prioritize and appreciate all the love that you can find in your life. Send a sappy paragraph long text to your mom, grandma and sister. Throw the best Galentine’s Day party imaginable, wearing your favorite pink outfits and drinking rosé. Be bold, tell your crush how you feel. For those of you in a relationship, take the time to appreciate each other and not let the stress of society make you feel like you have to celebrate in one certain way. A hundred flowers and a five star dinner is great, but it is just as important as a thoughtful card.
Maybe most importantly, Valentine’s Day can be a holiday about self love.
We do not have to wait around for someone to treat us the way we deserve to be treated.
Being young and single is such a transformative time in life. Journal, write yourself meaningful notes and dance to your favorite music. If you are not looking to stay home, I actually love going out on Valentine’s Day. Imagine a sea of people all dressed in pink, red and purple; the sexual tension is palpable and everyone around you is also single. It always is the perfect night out!
Whatever approach to Valentine’s Day you want to take, remember to love. Love yourself, love your friends, love your significant other, love all the women in your life. Take February 14th to remember all those little joyful moments that make life worth living.
Gwyneth Baker is an online editorial writer for Rowdy Magazine. DM her @gwynethbaker on Instagram to wish her a Happy Valentine's Day. She will be most likely preparing for her Galentine's Party, dancing to music, and slightly pouting over her long distance relationship.