Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day we either express love and affection to our significant other, or we cry and eat ice cream alone in our room wondering why no one loves us.
One of the biggest mysteries of Valentine’s Day – aside from the way in which flowers, big teddy bears, and chocolates became the ideal gifts for Valentine’s – is the icon for Valentine’s and how it came to be.
Why is a baby, a chubby little cherub in diapers, the symbol of love if Valentine’s Day is about love and intimacy?
Valentine’s Cupid inspiration came from two of the most famous gods of all time: Eros, the Greek god of love; and Cupid, the Roman god of love.
The Greek god, Eros, is the child of Aphrodite (goddess of sexual love and beauty) and either Zeus, the king of Gods; Ares, the god of war and battle; or Hermes, the divine messenger of the gods. In most of the pottery or greek artwork, Eros is pictured as a well-built young man, but according to Greek myths and literature, Eros was a very mischievous child who liked to cause trouble by making everyone he met fall in love. What many may not know is that Eros also had a sworn rival – his very own brother, Anteros, the god of mutual love. Eros also has two close allies named Pothos (the god of longing) and Himeros (god of desire).
As for Eros’ Roman counterpart, Cupid is the child of Mercury (the messenger of the gods) and Venus (the goddess of love). In Roman artwork and literature, Cupid is pictured as winged-infant armed with bow and arrows and sometimes armor that is similar to Mars, the Roman god of war. Cupid was portrayed as callous, careless, beneficent, and similar to his Greek counterpart, Cupid was mischievous in his matchmaking.
According to research, in the 14th to the 17th centuries, many artists painted Cupid as a baby angel and that depiction was what inspired the Cupid symbol that is used on cards and decorations for Valentine’s Day. Strangely, Cupid caused many a people to think of love.
Tyro Times’ staff interviewed SBHS students to gauge their preference – do they prefer Cupid, the chubby and adorable baby, or Eros, the more mature and physically appealing young adult?
Most students’ decisions were based purely on appearance. Most of the student body prefer Cupid because he is cute and adorable and they feel Valentine’s Day is about being cute. Those students who chose Eros did so because he was physically appealing.
However, there was this group of seniors whose response fascinated the staff.
The female students said, “We have to say the baby. Aside from it being adorable, especially with those chubby cheeks. our choice is mainly influenced by the cartoons we used to watch when we were younger. We always saw Cupid as a baby thanks to the mass media and marketing targeting Valentine’s Day to be celebrated by children.”
Surprisingly, the only guy in the group felt the opposite. He said, “Well, I would have to choose the more masculine guy to represent Valentine’s Day because I view Valentine’s Day as romantic, intimate, and mature. And I can’t see a baby being the symbol of maturity compared to the muscular gut.”
Which icon should represent Valentine’s Day? Do you choose Team Cupid, supporting the cuddling, adorable, and chubby baby with wings and a bow and arrow who will always brighten your day with a cute smile? Or do you support Team Eros, a young and physically appealing greek god whose love story will truly warm one’s heart? Take the poll below to prove who should truly be the mascot of Valentine’s Day.