Spotlight on Scarleteen: Valentine's Day
Happy Valentine’s Day 2010!
The Fourteenth of February is a day that can conjure up various feelings, depending on the person and the context. Often people fall into two V-Day camps: those who delight in the sweet celebration and those who wish it were February 14th that happens only once every four years.
However, for all the Hallmark-Holiday haters and loathsome lonely-hearts, I love Valentine’s Day in all its kitschy, cuddly, glittery glory. I don’t see it as a day reserved for couples, clichés and commercialization; instead I see it as a celebration of love for family, friends, pets, partners, and… ourselves. After all, as empowered drag queen diva RuPaul says so well himself on his reality show: “If you don't love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”
Of course, Scarleteen’s here to give you some love in the form of information whether you’re flying solo, dancing a pas de deux or ballin' with your buds today. So, hand me a virtual pink-iced cupcake, generously sprinkled with a number of Scarleteen urls, and let’s dig in!
Love What exactly is love? Well, that’s an age old question but we have some advice for you. It’s something you can feel for a romantic-sexual partner— or partners— but it’s not limited to just that even if all the Valentine's commercials might make you start to think otherwise. Still, it can be good to know when to take a positive relationship risk, recognize you need not be limited by geographic distance, that you can reconcile your religious beliefs with your relationship, that you can find balance amongst the various parts of you, that you’re just fine the way you are— in the body you’re in, that age doesn’t have to be a limitation, that relationships can change over time— and it's ok, that you can not just survive but thrive, that you can find a relationship that works for you, and that even when something doesn’t work out as you may have wished, there’s certainly no need for despair because if you're good to yourself and those around you, something good will come along you way sooner or later.
Sexuality There’s no better day than today to start taking pleasure in your sexuality, be it alone or with a partner. Trade stigma for empowerment, and know when a bunch of baloney is just that. However, for all the frolicking and the fun, be sure to play it safe because you wouldn’t want VD, now known as STIs, playing any part in your V-Day: don’t fear, just love the glove and get tested regularly.
Solidarity You can also at Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to thank those who have supported you as well as a chance to help others. Whether you do it person or give an anonymous shout-out at the message boards, you really can’t say thank you enough. It also could be a chance to reach out and be a buddy to someone in need or make amends with family and friends if you’ve found it hard to empathize and accept them in the past. Plus, there are so many ways to lend a hand, whether you’re thinking Haiti or your hometown, you can step forward and stand up for what you believe in: show others you truly give a buck about what’s important to you!
However you like to observe— or disturb— Valentine's Day, it's up to you to decide what you want to do... and you have many great options out there!
Lena, formerly known at the blog as Femke, is a Scarleteen volunteer and creator and editor of the Spotlight on Scarleteen blog feature that helps readers get to know the site content and people who create it better. To read more Spotlights, click here. If you've read the Spotlight series in the Scarleteen blog in the past, you may have noticed the almost-brand spanking new logo created just for you, drawn by Lena and made shiny by Jacob.