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4 ways to celebrate Valentine's Day and still be a feminist:

February 13, 2015

4 ways to celebrate Valentine's Day and still be a feminist:

Single or not, here it comes.

Whether you call it Valentine's Day, Single Awareness Day, or just plain Saturday, the 14th of February might be giving you some mixed emotions. If you're in a relationship, there might be a little bit of pressure to plan something extra special and look red carpet ready. If you're not, you might have a love-hate-hate-some-more relationship with this day. If you're a feminist, you could be fighting a different kind of battle. Like I am. 

I've always struggled with reconciling my feminist ideals with Valentine's Day. Am I supposed to hate it? Am I supposed to throw the flowers and chocolate in the trash because they represent patriarchy? Over the years I realized that this doesn't make any sense. If this day makes me happy, there's nothing wrong with it. Besides, who in their right mind would throw away a perfectly good box of chocolates?

The trick is finding balance. A little romantic cheesiness is great. But sitting in a crowded restaurant, elbow to elbow with other couples just isn't fun. Receiving a gift bag of goodies always makes me smile, but if the goodies are ridiculously expensive, it seems a bit wasteful. Once I find a sense of equality, Valentine's Day becomes special in a way that makes sense to me. It may seem rebellious, but after all, isn't feminism about equality anyway? 

 

Here's what I mean:

1. Think of makeup in a different way. 

For me, makeup is a huge part of Valentine's Day. Not because I want to look good my Valentine, but because it's therapeutic and just plain fun. If you've ever spent 2 hours doing your hair and makeup, and loved every single minute of it, you'll know what I mean. Modern feminism is all about self love, and if makeup gives you confidence, then go for it. Swipe on that red lipstick, whether you have a date or not. Make sure those brows are on fleek, even if you plan to spend all day in your pj's. Die hard makeup junkies know that all that makeup isn't for other people, it's for you.  

2. Make a grand gesture and let your partner take a break. 

Guys are always pressured to come up with something really huge on Valentine's Day, and to me, that doesn't exactly scream "gender equality." Some guys just aren't the type to do grand gestures, and that's okay. Why not break the mold and take charge of all the planning this year? Challenge yourself to get creative and come up with something that doesn't cost a boatload of money. Just remember to focus on letting your guy (or girl) feel extra loved and appreciated. 

3. Spend time with family. 

A night out with the girls sounds like a lot of fun, but why not schedule a visit to your grandma's house? Some families make it a point to celebrate together on Valentine's Day, and I think it's beautiful. This day is about all kinds of love, so make sure to spread it to more than just one person! 

4. Keep it low key. 

Valentine's Day doesn't always have to look like a scene from a Kate Hudson romcom. There doesn't have to be dramatic music and a kiss in the rain. A movie marathon with a huge bowl of popcorn makes for a perfect date. Bonus: no hellish traffic involved. 

If you just want some alone time, treat yourself to a bubble bath and your favorite jams from the 90s. Sounds a little sad? If you're single and just feel like wallowing in your singleness, own it. It's really okay. If your friends are totally unaffected by Valentine's Day, you don't have to follow suit if that's just not how you feel. Wallowing or not, have a glass of wine (or two), toast to your fellow single ladies and just relax. Come the 15th, you'll be back to your usual kickass self. 

 

Have a great Valentine's Day and don't be afraid to wave that feminist flag!

 

Love and lots of chocolate, 

Carmen



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