Valentine’s Day tat, for every price point

10 Feb

It’s the biggest selling opportunity for retailers after Christmas. A chance to sell us crappy pink and red things as a signifier for a society that has been brainwashed with the bleach of consumerism. I despair at the thought that one’s love for a partner is measured with a bouquet of semi-wilted red roses, a box of chocolates or a stupid teddy bear. The lack of imagination and the numbing sense of conformity are the real killers of our day-to-day existence and love lives.  But yet many will go and buy those items designed by committee and targeted to our inner emotional fuckwit.

Thankfully being a gay man makes things a little bit easier, as retailers haven’t totally got round into creating non gender specific gifts for this “occasion”. Everything is geared towards the bad karma of a straight relationship and trying to wipe off months of spousal neglect with a diamond or some flowers. With lovers and boyfriends I’ve never had many rules, bar from DO NOT BUY ME ANYTHING FOR VALENTINES OR YOU ARE OUT OF THE DOOR rule.

So let’s have a giggle at the kind of crud retailers want us to buy in the belief that somehow our other half will fall in love with us even more and will never leave us.

Oh look…socks, chocolate, champagne, flowers, underwear and perfume oh and a moustache grooming certificate? It seems like they had some stock left from Christmas and thought they’d give it a February twist.

Having a look at the different websites one gender stereotype is the most troubling. That of a passive girlfriend that waits to open her presents in her new “sexy” lingerie (top marks M&S and John Lewis). So do people still respond positively to this old-fashioned stereotyping?

Here’s a random but representative selection:

Liberty

The Valentine s Day Gift Finder    LibertyLoveBoat   Liberty.co.uk

Yes, Liberty the love boat…groan

Marks and Spencer

Valentines Day Gifts    Marks   Spencer

Oh of course pink underwear…what else.

Clintons

Valentines   Clintons

All a bit desperate at Clintons towers…animals begging.

Tesco

Valentine s Day   Friday 14th February 2014   Tesco.com

When you fuse St Sebastian’s arrows with Valentine’s Day you’re on a winner…bravo Tesco.

ASDA

Valentine s Day Flowers  Recipes  Gifts  Lingerie and Cards   Asda

ASDA designed their page for the 5 year old market…sage choice

Jo Malone

Luxury Fragrances  Candles  Bath   Body products   Jo Malone

Jo Malone goes for the uber predictable red rose look

John Lewis

Shop for Valentine s Day   John Lewis

John Lewis goes for the patronising model in silky underwear about to open presents look…

Selfridges

Valentine s Day   Valentine s Gifts   Selfridges   Shop Online

Selfridges goes for a rather low key and high price take

House of Fraser

House of Fraser™   Clothes  Fashion  Beauty  Furniture   Electronics

A bit boring by HoF but the photography is good

Fortnum and Mason

Valentine s Day Gifts   Fortnum   Mason

Chocolate presents are apparently original for Fortnum’s customers…

Apple

The usual insipid Apple

The usual, insipid Apple

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