The rise of Galentine’s Day

Almost 10 years ago, the unofficial Galentine’s Day holiday was born. It all started with a 2010 episode of the popular sitcom, “Parks and Recreation.” Amy Poehler’s iconic character Leslie Knope described the holiday as a day of “ladies celebrating ladies.”

In Season 2 Episode 16, Knope hosted an elaborate brunch with all of her girl friends on Feb. 13. That episode seemingly spawned a new twist on the traditional Valentine’s Day, and every year since, fans have flooded social media with hilarious memes and gifs from this episode.

According to Newsweek, it remains as one of the most watched “Parks and Recreation” episodes of all time. Fast forward to 2019, Galentine’s Day has now become a yearly ritual among most groups of girl friends, even prompting companies such as Target and Amazon to sell Galentine’s-Day-themed merchandise.

Feb. 13 is now designated as a day to de-stress with your girl friends and celebrate each other’s accomplishments, but I think aside from this, it sends a bigger message than just having some girl time.

Galentine’s Day shows that romantic love is not the only love that should be celebrated.

Valentine’s Day often has the reputation for the holiday that makes single people, women especially, feel inadequate for not being in a relationship. The truth is that you don’t need a romantic relationship to feel loved, and you also can’t control when you find the right person. It just happens naturally. So why does society place this insurmountable pressure on people to seek out “the one?”

I think that finding your person is something that happens on its own. Yet when Valentine’s Day comes around, society pressures women to feel like we need to be with someone in order to feel whole on this day, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Love takes on a lot of different forms— we see that with friendships and family. We can and often do feel fulfilled with our lives, even without a significant other. Society thinks being single is a sad status, without realizing that many women choose to be single so they don’t have to settle for mediocrity.

Many of us would rather wait for someone wonderful to come along than to begin a meaningless relationship just to forgo being single. We don’t “need” a great man, but rather “want” a great man. There’s a big difference. Many of us are at peace with being single and don’t fall into the sad, lonely category that society envisions for us. So we shouldn’t be made to feel worse just because they didn’t get flowers and chocolates from a guy on Feb. 14.

Galentine’s Day also encourages to women support other women, which I feel is a much-needed mantra in today’s society. We need to stop trying to bring each other down out of spite or jealousy— instead, we should lift each other up.

Every woman is on her own individual path. Being supportive and loyal to each other regardless of our different circumstances will not only progress us further as a culture, but it will make us feel good to be there for other people. It’s so much better for your own wellbeing.

Aside from the brunches, girl talk and wine, Galentine’s Day reminds us that unity and sisterhood always triumphs over cattiness.

Nicole Macias is a junior majoring in English.