Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that some people just love to hate. But whether you are single or otherwise engaged, it's a great opportunity to forgo the chocolate, flowers, and teddy bears in favor of pop culture-inspired Valentine's Day gifts for your friends, your S.O., or yourself.
I remember my first Valentine's Day with a boyfriend in high school. He got me a teddy bear, chocolates, and three cards because they were buy two, get one free. While I appreciated the sentiment, it didn't feel very personal. My sister, on the other hand, handmade me a card featuring my favorite character from Beverly Hills 90210 that I will never forget.
As someone whose love language is gifts, I'm serious about giving. And when those gifts are pop culture-themed, I feel like they are bound to be a slam dunk with my loved ones. I even got my partner the Drake "Hotline Bling" ugly Christmas sweater for Christmas that I not-so-secretly wanted to keep for myself.
This V-Day, you can make your Valentine laugh and swoon at the same time. There's no need to fall into the Hallmark holiday trap when Feb. 14 rolls around. When in doubt, pop culture will always save the day with it's holiday-perfect gifts. These are some of my favorites.
1. Forever Cardi B
Before the newest season of Love And Hip Hop New York even premiered in December, a "regular degular shmegular girl from the Bronx" named Cardi B won our hearts through the trailer. Show your Valentine that if they get with you, you're gonna love them forever.
2. Bless-Up With DJ Khaled
White BLESSUP ISlides, $65, We The Best Store
If you've never watched a DJ Khaled snapchat story, then I suggest you do so immediately. I had no idea that watching him walk around his palace in these slides would end up being so inspirational, but I have to give credit where it's due. These slides are a sure way to tell Bae that you want them to win.
3. Amber Rose & Kim Kardashian Tee
KK Rose T-Shirt, $30, Yeezus Waves
Kim Kardashian posted this image of herself with Amber Rose on Twitter on Feb 2. The Internet works quickly, though, and us pop culture fanatics thank it for that. You can now purchase it on a T-shirt, as well as Kanye's Twitter rantings if you so desire.
4. Netflix & Chill
"Netflix and chill" is a concept that has permeated Millennial lives so deeply that there's now a Netflix & Chill-themed AirBnB in New York City. These are the perfect undies for your stay.
5. In Love With Justice
Speaking of Netflix, there was one series that captivated the nation this winter: Making A Murderer . And while I had a lot of emotions when watching the series, one that surprised me was my odd attraction to the justice-seeking law team of Dean Strang and Jerry Buting. Thankfully, I wasn't alone. Even Kristen Bell shared her love for the duo. This is a card you can give to your fellow MaM binge-watching pals with trust that they will get it.
6. Michael B. Jordan Body Pillow
Michael B. Jordan's Body Double — 2 Sided — Body Pillow, $69, Izzy and Liv
What better way to treat your bae to some steam than with a microfiber body pillow printed with two different images of Michael B. Jordan? Izzy & Liz also sell pillows featuring August Alsina, Tyson Beckford, and Idris Elba. Personally, I would be fine receiving any one of those as well.
7. Hello, It's Me (Your Valentine)
Hello Adele Top Hand Drawn Illustrated Sweater, $53, Etsy
Adele's return to music in 2015 earned her best-selling album of the year. And it seemed like everyone, including rapper Plies, was down to "Adele And Cry" while listening to the tunes. Get into your feelings this Valentine's Day with the sweatshirt.
8. Coupons For Bae
Coupons For Bae is a hip-hop-themed take on the cheesy coupon concept that I am much more into. The "I Don't Want No Scrubs" one gets you off chore-duty for the day. So clever!
9. Plus Size Supermodels
I see a lot of Kendall/Gigi/Cara-themed tees in my pop culture gift pursuits, but I was super excited to discover a tee that pays tribute to some of the biggest names in plus size modeling as well. Give this one to your fellow fatshion fangirl.
10. What Would Cookie Do?
What Would Cookie Do Gold Foil Print, $2, Etsy
This "What Would Cookie Do" digital download print is a great way to get your favorite boss babe a gift for the cheap. Cookie Lyon-themed gifts are a must for any Empire fan.
11. Wrap It Up In "Hotline Bling"
If there's anything that Drake's beef with Meek Mill has taught us, it's not to mess with Drake. And if I don't get every Valentine's Day gift wrapped in this wrapping paper, expect a diss track from me.
12. It's Going Down In The DM
Down In The DMs Men's T-Shirt, $13, Etsy
I'm not sure how many thirst-driven DMs prove to be successful, but in the off-chance you met your Bae in your DMs, this tee is for you. And if the Yo Gotti song "Down In The DM" is now in your head, I've done my job.
13. Greatest Of All Time
Custom Tweet Cross Stitch, $13, Etsy
Show your Valentine that you love them like Kanye loves Kanye with this cross-stitch.
14. Feel The Bern
Bernie Sanders N Cats Blue Velvet High Waisted Panties, $60, Etsy
I feel like the Internet doesn't shock me much anymore, but these handmade Bernie Sanders undies were definitely a surprise. They are crafted by the same folks who made the Web rounds for their custom Golden Girls panties, which include a Blanche crotchless panty. So if you want to creep your bae out and make a political statement, this is the gift for you.
15. Frank Ocean Waiting Game
Frank Ocean Tee, $21, Etsy
Unlike Frank Ocean's new album, Valentine's Day is on the horizon. Get this tee for your friend who keeps stringing you along.
Valentine's Day doesn't have to be cheesy to tug on the heart strings. Instead, it can be filled with tea, laughs, chilling, and ridiculous mementos.
Images: Courtesy Brands