Movies + TV, Pop Culture

I’m celebrating Valentine’s Day my own way – screw what rom-coms want us to do

Movies only show the day as one of romance or one where the woman's crying over being alone.

You’ve seen the Valentine’s Day scene in movies where the guy brings the girl flowers, chocolates, and jewelry. And they have a super romantic dinner and then something funny happens or they fall in love, as most rom-coms go. 

It’s either that or a really sad woman cries all day about being alone on Valentines Day. She throws herself a sad-girl “I am lonely” party and acts pathetic. 

Well, I think these two options suck. 

I wish movies showed Valentine's Day as a celebration of all the types of love rather than just romantic love (or lack thereof). Click To Tweet

First, can the girl not be white? There are a lot of romantic comedies featuring white women and while I love these movies dearly, some representation of women of color finding love in a funny-cute way would be nice too. I am fully aware that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday created by corporations, nevertheless, I am intent on my character spending all of Valentine’s Day (and every day), loving herself.

I imagine this Valentine’s Day scene to be a montage of an entire day: from waking up to going to bed. The scene would start in the morning and would feature my heroine, let’s call her Eileen, waking up leisurely. Maybe a monologue about how great she looks in the morning as she gets dressed and her commitment to spending Valentine’s Day celebrating all the types of love she has in her life.

[Image description: gif of rose petals becoming a heart and going back to being a rose.] Giphy.com

The montage would start with Eileen taking care of her dog or cat or hedgehog. The bond between humans and their pets is very real and a huge part of love that should be celebrated. The montage would flip to breakfast with Eileen and her mother. This is not to say relationships between mothers and daughters are always positive, but when they are, it’s a love worthy of attention.

The montage would continue with her working out at a gym and feeling great about herself. There is nothing less empowering than watching a woman feel terrible about herself because of her physical appearance. Eileen would then go on to have lunch with her closest friends to celebrate their friendship and support. The afternoon would be spent reading a book with a cup of tea because reading is sexy!

Maybe one day a new romantic comedy will come out and when Valentines Day rolls around in the movie the heroine celebrates all the manifestations of love in her life. Click To Tweet

In the evening she might meet up with the romantic interest in the movie, it is a romantic comedy after all. Maybe she would have dinner with said-romantic interest. Rather than eating steak and lobster at a restaurant that hasn’t been redecorated in three decades, Eileen and her romantic interest would have dinner at a hip and fun restaurant and then do something culturally interesting. Like an interactive museum visit or window shopping in the city. They would banter in a smart and cool way. 

Maybe something awkward or funny would happen, but overall Valentine’s Day would be a success.

[Image description: gif from the movie, Lady and the Tramp, where the two dogs share a plate of spaghetti and meatballs.] Giphy.com

In the evening she would retire home to pamper herself. 

But none of that wine and Netflix thing. 

As a person who doesn’t drink, I am so sick and tired of seeing grown women always in love with their wine or Cosmopolitans. While I think it is perfectly okay for people who choose to drink, to do just that. It would be nice to see representations of people who don’t drink too! And the montage would end with her watching her favorite tv show while wearing a face mask.

Valentine's Day is about love: whether that is romantic, platonic, or otherwise. Just like there is no one way that love should look, there’s no one way Valentine's Day should look either. Click To Tweet

Maybe one day a new romantic comedy will premiere and when Valentine’s Day rolls around in the movie, the heroine celebrates all the manifestations of love in her life. Valentine’s Day is about love: whether that is romantic, platonic, or otherwise. Just like there is no one way that love should look, there’s no one way Valentine’s Day should look, either. Movies and television shows should portray this day of love as diverse as love is.

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Grace Wong

Grace Wong

Storyteller and content creator studying Political Science at Wellesley College. Inspired by creative-community building, where ideas become reality with authenticity and kindness. Working towards equality, empathy and kindness, daily.

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