Valentine’s Day Stereotypes

Heteronormative stereotypes in the romantic holiday have had a lasting effect throughout history.

Valentines Day Stereotypes

Kianna Koeppen, Diversity Editor

Valentine’s Day is a long held holiday celebrating the concept of love. However, present and past societal norms have caused most people to view this holiday primarily celebrating love between a male and a female.

Valentine’s Day, also known as St. Valentine’s Day, was created in the 14th century in Rome. Valentine’s Day was derived from the Roman festival, Lupercalia, which was held in mid-February and celebrated the coming spring with fertility rituals and pairing women off with men.

Interesting how even back in the 14th century the sole purpose of Valentine’s Day was to get a woman with a man and impregnate her. Of course that doesn’t entirely stand true today, but the overall premise remains.

When Valentine’s Day is commercialized, is there ever a queer couple shown? No. It is commercialized as a picture perfect heterosexual couple sharing the common emotion of love. Valentine’s Day is traditionally thought to be between a man and a woman and, as a result, is commercialized as such.

Valentine’s day is traditionally thought to be between a man and a woman and, as a result, is commercialized as such.”

— Kianna Koeppen

This issue expands outside of Valentine’s Day but to romance stereotypes as a whole. Close your eyes. Picture a famous couple, fictional or non-fictional. Now, were they a cisgender heterosexual couple? Most likely the answer was yes. The media portrays a normal couple as being cisgender and heterosexual, nothing else.

In the highly published romantic comedy movies it is always some handsome, kind-hearted male actor who turned his life around for this amazingly beautiful woman who just somehow wakes up looking like she spent three hours on makeup. These Hollywood starlets make it so the only pure and grand love is between a man a woman.

As a lesbian, I feel as if I am not properly represented. If normal couples should be represented, then where are the gay guys ice skating? Where are the lesbian couples sharing a romantic dinner by candle light? Where are the guys wearing dresses and the girls wearing suits? Where is the majority of the world’s representation?

It goes back to the Romans. Since Lupercalia consisted mainly of women being paired with men in order to be impregnated. If a festival surrounding the concept of a man choosing a woman to have his offspring with, it only makes sense that modern society has failed to steer far from the path.

Strides should be made to further move societal stereotypes along so that romance can easily be seen as something other than purely cisgender and heterosexual.