- The concept of Galentine’s Day was created by the US TV sitcom “Parks and Recreation.”
- It falls on February 13 and is intended as a day for women to celebrate their female friendships before Valentine’s Day.
- However, the idea that single women need placating to ensure they don’t fall into a pit of despair on February 14 is patronizing and ridiculous.
- It’s a sexist concept that has now been entirely commercialized.
This week sees the annual celebration of commercialized love return. No, I’m not talking about Valentine’s Day, but rather Galentine’s Day.
Whilst the uninitiated may make an educated guess that this term refers to a celebration for single women on February 14, Galentine’s Day actually takes place the day before, on February 13.
The term was first coined on US TV sitcom “Parks and Recreation” in 2010.
Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope says: “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. 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. Ladies celebrating ladies.”
Sure, it’s a lovely sentiment in theory. But this new holiday has now evolved into a commercialized beast that patronizes single women.
The idea of Galentine’s Day sends the message that women in relationships need to spend the day before Valentine’s Day with their single girlfriends to check we’re OK and are not going to fall into a pit of despair when February 14 rolls around.
Actually, we don’t need your pity — and the whole concept perpetuates the ridiculous myth of the sad, single woman.
However, Galentine’s Day has now become as commercialized as its traditional alternative, and brands are capitalizing on it.
According to research by lingerie brand Boux Avenue, searches for Galentine’s Day have increased 400% since 2015, while Valentine’s Day has decreased by 55%.
While this may just be because the former is less well-established and people are searching to find out what it actually is, as a lifestyle journalist, my inbox has been inundated with press releases from brands trying to promote their Galentine’s Day products, and many card companies have had sections devoted to the day for years. Nothing says love like buying stuff, right?
And it doesn’t stop at Galentine’s Day, some companies are even trying to make Palentine’s Day a thing — essentially, spending February 14 with your pals.
From press releases that scream “SASSY GIFTS FOR WOMEN TO GIVE THEMSELVES THIS VALENTINE’S DAY” to floral bouquets targeted at “gal pals,” the marketing for Galentine’s Day is incredibly cringe-worthy.
When will companies stop trying to flog “sassy” wares at single women like we’re desperate and need to buy everything possible to avoid crumbling under the crushing weight of our single status?
You may not hear it that often, but being single is actually fantastic.
Society will try and tell you it’s tragic to spend the evening of February 14 going to a gym class then flopping on to the sofa with a tub of ice cream for company (Bridget Jones did not do wonders for the image of single women), but personally, I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening.
There’s no joy quite like being able to put yourself first and do exactly what you want.
Being single also doesn’t mean you can’t be happy for your friends who are in relationships — let them have their day of fake, forced, pressurised romance. We’re fine — and we certainly don’t need an equivalent.
It says everything that there isn’t a Galentine’s equivalent for men — and I don’t just mean because “Guylentine’s,” “Boylentine’s,” and “Manlentine’s” all sound stupid.
Society celebrates single men, whereas single women are pitied. Bachelors vs spinsters. James Bond vs Bridget Jones.
Yes, female friendship is to be celebrated, but we don’t need a day for it, and certainly not the day before Valentine’s Day.
We celebrate female friendship all year round — it’s the fleeting but incredibly strong bond you make with fellow drunk women in the toilets of a bar, the pre-date Whatsapp pep talks, and the evenings spent eating too much pizza and unbuttoning your trousers to let your food baby free together.
As Leslie Knope said: “Uteruses before Duderuses. Ovaries before brovaries.”
But let’s just skip the pitiful day of forced friendship that is Galentine’s Day.