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Americans Spend $18.5 Billion on Valentine’s Day Gifts

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Plus four other stats on love and self-care.

By Emily Benson, Illustrations by Jessica Wetterer 

$18.5 Billion

According to one love-day-focused business, Americans spend an astonishing $18.5 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts every year, with the average U.S. consumer dishing out more than $130 on loved ones. Women in particular are getting more out of Valentine’s Day in recent years, perhaps because they’re not waiting for that special someone to present them with a gift. In fact, 14 percent of American women say they send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.

98 Percent
The longtime Dove Campaign for Real Beauty has helped shed light on the hidden crisis of low self-esteem afflicting women worldwide. After surveying 3,000 women in 10 countries about their interests and priorities, Dove discovered 98 percent of women want to change at least one thing about the way they look, with most women citing body weight as their No. 1 gripe. As they say at Dove, beauty should be a source of confidence, not anxiety. And no matter her size or shape, every woman is beautiful!

12 Bras
Heidi Zak, co-founder of revolutionary bra company ThirdLove, launched the body-positive brand in 2013 after becoming frustrated that of the 12 bras she owned, none of them fit properly. Since then, ThirdLove has created half sizes for women needing in-between cup sizes, incorporated models of all shapes and sizes into its marketing campaigns and publicly deflected misogynistic jabs from Victoria’s Secret’s chief marketing officer.

72 Percent
Millennial women are prioritizing self-care and mental health more than ever, according to a survey by Shine, a self-care app. The survey claims 72 percent of millennial women focused their New Year’s resolutions for 2018 on their mental and emotional well-being, incorporating healthier habits into their daily routines. Here’s hoping that self-care trend continues into 2019.

73,000 Followers

An anonymous yet increasingly popular Instagram illustrator, Pink Bits, has garnered more than 73,000 followers because of the artist’s body-positive art. The creator uses artistic expression to normalize loose skin, cellulite and women’s body hair in these daring illustrations. Pink Bits also focuses on destigmatizing menstruation and combating period shamers with charming, realistic artwork. Considering as many as 88 percent of women say they negatively compare themselves to images in the media, the body-positivity movement and artists like Pink Bits are making great strides in helping women accept themselves for who they are in the age of social media.

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