How Valentine's day is transforming into a season of self-love

Valentine’s has in the past been all about celebrating our partners and the idea of being paired up.
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Izzy Pugh

Partner, Global Lead, Human & Cultural Practice, Consulting Division

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But we’ve seen a cultural shift when it comes to relationships – having a partner has gone from being a universal goal to just one of many options.

Last year, Emma Watson declared herself self-partnered before her 30th birthday, creating a new word that reflects the experiences and preferences of a new generation – according to Kantar’s US Monitor, 52% of unmarried American consumers don’t plan on getting married.

As we’ve shifted away from coupledom, we have become increasingly focused on the relationship we have with ourselves. This shift means Valentine’s is turning into a new #selflove and #selfcare opportunity for brands and retailers.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’ve looked at #selfcare and #selflove and how they are showing up in people’s lives and culture.

We did this using EVA, our unique approach developed by AI specialists and cultural insight experts. We collected a sample of thousands of Instagram posts shared using the hashtags #selflove and #selfcare. These were clustered by EVA’s image recognition technology to reveal the big codes and themes around the topic. We then analysed these themes to understand what they could mean for brands.

There were some image types we’d expected to see under #selfcare and #selflove, from selfies to spa days.

But we also saw some new themes bubbling under. These show how diverse the ideas of #selfcare and #selflove have become. How they show up in consumers’ lives is evolving.

Some of the emerging themes we spotted include:

  • Anti-Optimisation
  • Collective Self-care
  • Sexual Self-Care
  • Surrender & Spirituality

To find out more about what we discovered about #selflove and #selfcare, enter your details to download our thought piece.

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