According to the infamous Leslie Knope, today is Galentine’s day. In the words of Ms Knope “Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style.”
Now before I go on with this post and raaaaant, let me just say I LOVE THIS IDEA! I love the idea of celebrating the gals in my life- and I’m using ‘gals’ gender-neutrally here. I’m as happy to refer to the boys in my life as my gals whilst watching trash TV and wearing face masks as I am to be referred to as one of the lads when eating take away and playing video games. Love is more important than silly words <3. ANYWAY, I’m all about celebrating that love.
So, I am 100% in favour of the Galentine’s day which Leslie Knope gifted to us in 2010. However, I am not in favour of the Galentine’s Day of 2017.
Galentine’s day is the marketing darling of 2017 and it makes me cringe. All of a sudden, brands and influencers are producing glossy adverts and spreads to celebrate ‘the gals’. This, my friends it what bothers me.
What was once a really nice, genuine idea which people took from a boss-ass show and added to their lives, is now a way that companies can sell to us singletons in February. Apparently, we should be buying cards and presents and matching pjs for our besties…really!? I just wanted to share some garlic bread and watch films together but now apparently we’re spending at least £40 at Victoria Secret.
But I think the saddest thing might be the logic behind why these adverts have suddenly popped up. Advertisers writing seasonal holiday campaigns are selling an idea with the hope that this emotion will translate to sales. Previously, February was the time when they marketed romance and true love, and even if you were single, these ads were beamed into your brain but even if you didn’t have anyone to celebrate with that didn’t really matter. Love was out there and it could be just round the corner. Even if we didn’t have love at the minute, it seemed possible and believable.
But apparently, this isn’t believable anymore. Just as you don’t market a 5* St Lucia holiday to struggling graduates, you don’t market true love to a young population who have Tinder, Bumble, Happn and Coffee Meets Bagel on their phones. So forgive me, but when I saw that Tesco had produced a Galentine’s day advert it just made me kinda sad. Because the essence of these ads is never “hot damn, our friend group is amazing” it’s always “who needs Mr Right, huh? Have dinner with the girls instead.”
I know enough amazing people who are getting more and more frustrated with swiping left and dodging dick pics to see that dating seems a little bit messed up right now. Seeing this, I can totally understand why advertisers might have thought “This whole romance thing isn’t really going to play well to this crowd anymore” and so went with something else. But…urgh.
And so I find myself in a quandary. On the one hand, I want to celebrate Galentine’s day, I want to throw a brunch with cute balloons and tell my best buds how awesome they are. But on the other hand, the whole commercialism just seems like an icky admission that true love is harder than ever to find but money can still be made. I dunno, maybe I’m just a festive hipster, but I don’t think this is what Leslie had in mind.
What do you think? Galentine’s yay or nay?