Valentine’s Day is cute and all — but it also upholds the ridiculous belief that romantic love is the pinnacle of all relationships. The pandemic has really forced me to interrogate this hierarchy, rooted in heteronormativity and the patriarchy, which places long-term relationships at the top and friendships at the bottom. Much as I love bae, I’ve been sheltering in place with him for the past year; in that period, I’ve seen my friends in person a grand total of three times. I can’t wait until we can hang out less than six feet apart again. If you, too, have been missing the hell out of your friends, consider showing your love for them with our Valentine’s Day gift picks.
Sewn from a bold-patterned fabric known as Ankara — which founder Mapate Diop’s mother would bring home from trips to her native Nigeria — these face masks will keep your friends safe and stylish. If you’re concerned about cultural appropriation, Diop has a handy guide to help you navigate this tricky issue.
These wireless headphones are comfortable and noise-cancelling, all the better for your friend to escape into their go-to playlist. The pop of color in this Pharrell-designed collection will bring a little brightness to pandemic winter days.