It’s not Love, Actually
How mass media misrepresents the idea of love to thousands of consumers
In the beginning of An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, the main character talks about how he tries to find the formula for love, an equation to predict the exact time and ending of the relationship of any two people. Towards the end, however, he learns that predicting love is impossible because feelings can’t be formulaic. Clearly, the major media outlets we listen to every day haven’t read the book. Romance novels, Hallmark movies, gift shops, and songwriters all portray love as too good to be true. They try to box love into these clean bow-tied packages that they claim to be one-size-fits-all relationships. The truth is, they misrepresent love, especially around Valentines’ Day, making it more about cheesy quotes than actual emotions. This can cause harm to actual relationships, negatively affect people’s mental health, and contribute to the general anxiety and commercialization that is now plaguing Valentine’s Day.