February 2016 issue editor's letter
Olivia Palermo stars on the cover of ELLE's February issue
It's easy to be cynical about Valentine's Day. "Just another way for Hallmark to sell cards," is the most common dismissal, usually followed by "I don't need a special day to show someone I love them." That last one may be true, but how often do we actually do it? I don't mean the ephemera of love – the flowers, the chocolates – I mean the nitty gritty. Getting up in the middle of the night to attend to your screaming child because you know your partner has to wake up earlier than you do in the morning. Tracking down an obscure vintage record by his favourite band and getting it shipped from Wisconsin just because you can picture the smile on his face. Taking the rubbish out (absolutely the most romantic thing anyone can do for me, fyi).
In the real world, outside Hollywood sets and Mills & Boon novels, romance is easy. It's love that's tough. Love is what remains once the butterflies have flown, and you'd better believe that it's work. Work that never ends, if you're lucky. But, oh, the payoff. When you know there's someone else in the world who understands what you're made of, who will indulge your dreams and conspire with your schemes, who will share crazy adventures and drab domestic life with you with equal commitment… well, how lucky are you? It's like having a secret superpower, a jet-pack of energy that propels you through tougher times. And that is worth honouring, at any and every time of year.
So I will never be cynical about Valentine's Day. Any celebration of love is good with me, and you'll find plenty of it in ELLE this month, from our cover star Olivia Palermo's doe-eyed adoration of her husband, Johannes Huebl (page 32), to our memoir on first loves (page 42), and our romantic fashion spread on page 112.
This month's must-read is Superwoman Syndrome (page 40). Writer Lotte Jeffs takes a cold-eyed look in the mirror as she attempts to deal with a problem so many other time-poor, people-pleasing women face. Sound familiar? Then it's time to show yourself some love. If not this month, when? Start with a pampering night in (see page 80 for the plan) and then turn to page 55 to win yourself one of the new season's most beautiful bags, with thanks to LuisaViaRoma. Happy Valentine's!