The Breakthrough Voice 5th April, 2019

Why Are Relationships So Ridden With Stereotypes And Materialism?.

Now that the fervour of Valentine’s Day simmered down weeks ago, one is confronted by many stereotypes that could have made/marred the one day in the year where the celebration of heterosexual relationships is overhyped. The way one views these stereotypes is directly proportional to the way one thinks, reflects and introspects. So without further ado, let’s have a look at these material-based and superficial stereotypes:

1) “What matters are the flowers and not the cauliflowers”!

No, one shouldn’t get me wrong; I am not at all against flowers, with their spectacular beauty, colours and fragrances. However, one must admit the flowers, particularly roses, are overrated. One tends to over-estimate them as the be-all and end-all of a lover’s repertoire. So much so that one youth posted on social media sites, “One week before Valentine’s Day, a dozen roses are gifted; a day before Valentine’s Day, half a dozen roses are gifted; and on Valentine’s Day, a single rose is gifted, signifying that that person is the one and only special friend. After twenty years, however, what is gifted is not a flower, but a cauliflower”! This is very practical and astute because any senior person will reiterate that the cauliflower counts the most. How true is the saying, “One can’t live on love and fresh air”! Not even on flowers, beautiful as they are!

2) “If you don’t have a date on Valentine’s Day, you’re a pathetic loser”

Having a date on Valentine’s Day is so hyped that many of the young people, who don’t have a date, dread this day in a morose and melancholy mood. They frequent malls and theatres with their date, being attired in gowns and well-fitted suits on gym-toned bodies. They show off diamond jewellery which sparkles forth, particularly their newly acquired diamond ring! Today, successfully paired couples rule the roost as they get much admiration and validation from their peer group of friends.

Alas! For those who don’t have dates on Valentine’s Day, it is the “unkindest cut of all”. These unlucky (or so they are conditioned to think) souls secretly wish the ground would open up and swallow them, as they flaunt libraries and clubs on Valentine’s Day, hoping that their datelessness is not observed and noticed by too many people! One needn’t think of the day slotted only for lovers, but instead, the day belonging equally to loving one’s friends, parents, siblings, uncles, aunts and cousins.

3) “Unless you are fair-complexioned, you will not get a proper date”

The above stereotype (that you have to be fair to get a proper date) always seems to be doing the rounds – as this mentality is wired into the average Indian’s psyche. This toxic mentality is further boosted by the fairness cream industry that loves to capitalize on low self-esteem and telling dark-complexioned women that they are worthless and ugly. Too much emphasis has been made on the need to be fair for prospective dating and matrimony. A look at the matrimonial advertisements will justify this premise.

Thus frantic trips are made to `Health and Glow’ stores and beauty salons to buy `Fair and Lovely’ creams and spend bundles of money on facials – apprehensive that one’s romantic life will wither away without fair skin. One should realize that procuring a partner who cherishes a person only for his/her fair complexion just isn’t worth it. Any day, inner beauty is the consistent factor that counts and not skin colour – for that, like beauty, is just skin-deep!

4) “We should value only those boyfriends who give us expensive gifts.”

The average person has been conditioned into thinking that only the guys who give their girlfriends expensive gifts matter. This contributes to undue pressure on men and furthers the typecast that women are materialists. If we place the giver of expensive gifts on a pedestal – unconditional love based on equality and respect doesn’t stand a chance. This further cheapens relationships based on love. Remember – materials can vanish anytime. Feelings and memories stay on for a longer period of time.

Also Read: Shit People Say On Valentine’s Day


Featured image used for representational purpose only. Image source: The Daily Illini

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