What once was spruced with garlands and fairy lights is now decorated with hearts and roses. The speciality aisle of your local supermarket, once filled with two for one inflatable snowmen and rolls of gift wrap, is now Cupid’s dream, bedecked with heart-shaped boxes of the biggest threat to your New Year’s resolutions.
Valentine’s Day is approaching and love is in the air.
For Bianca Villani, though, preoccupation with love is not seasonal. As Program Director for the Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico’s Community Education and Outreach Department, Bianca works year round to educate the community on romance, relationships, sexuality, how to keep all of the above healthy–and what to do when they are not. Both professionally and personally, Bianca is a sucker for a good love story.
After her experience as a TEDxABQWomen speaker in 2015, Bianca has been awarded the felicitous title of “The Consent Lady” among members of her community for her talk “It Begins with Consent”. Bianca wears the moniker with pride and finds that being a TEDx speaker has given her a certain air of authority on the matter of consent and sexuality, which accessorizes well with her expertise.
Since her first step onto the red rug eight months ago, Bianca has continued her educational work and, wanting to reinvest in her passion for TED and TEDxABQ, has taken on the role of Salon Curator. On February 13, Bianca will again take to the stage for a Salon on Modern Love.
Modern Love will focus on love in a digital era, in a world where love and marriage are not a tradition and one’s journey in romance is often anything but linear. The Salon will feature a selection of previously recorded TEDTalks from across the globe. The salon will also include a panel of speakers who will discuss, from their unique worldview, love in all its shapes, sizes, and formats. Comedy acts, spoken word performances, audience engagement, and more will be incorporated.
So, what is it about love that keeps us hooked?
“Love is such an interesting topic to me,” says Bianca, “it’s so multifaceted and it cannot be defined.”
But what about modern love?
“Contemporary dating fascinates me. We are creating ‘rules’ and concepts that make no sense, and others that make total sense,” she says, adding that one of the best parts about dating in a digital age is “the idea that you can reinvent yourself every time you go back in.”
However, it’s not all fun and games in a modern era. The current philosophy of instant gratification makes finding and keeping love harder, says Bianca, which constitutes her least favorite facet of contemporary romance. “It’s easy it is to get caught in the mentality of always looking for the next best thing, when the best thing could be the person you are talking to.”
TEDxABQSalon | Modern Love will be hosted by the Main Branch of the Public Library on Saturday, February 13, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The salon is completely free, making it an excellent way to explore a new perspective just in time for the most romantic day of the year. After the Salon, we will head over to Duel Brewing to continue the conversation. Register here to save your spot.
And who knows? Maybe you’ll meet someone new and begin a love story of your own.
Written by Nicole Grundhoffer