Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I Am Not My Handbag!

I was just reading a well-read blog (I won't name names) where the author talked about her expensive designer bag, love of buying designer goods on her trips abroad and how she misses hanging out at Hermes with her pals.

Why am I reading this blog? This sort of stuff is so far removed from the life that I lead to be just plain annoying and patently irrelevant. Yes, I have more than a few designer handbags (even a few Anya Hindmarch) and I could spend my money on more designer goods if I made that a priority. But do I feel the need to crow about the pedigree of my possessions as a way of revealing who I really am? No.

This is just another example of how our personal identities and character development are being usurped by rampant materialism. I am not my handbag or my pricey bangle. What I wear (which at the moment is a long-sleeved Mossimo t-shirt from Target) may help me express myself to some extend, but it doesn't define who I am. Having a nice clutch doesn't make me a more thoughtful human. It doesn't convey that I have important things to say or am quick to put on the kettle when a friend needs a cup of tea and a friendly ear.

Certainly, I appreciate innovative and thoughtful design as much as the next person. And there are some things that you long to own because they are simply beautiful and just seeing them brings you pleasure. But shouldn't these purchases speak more to our personal tastes silently versus becoming the focus of dialogue? If actions truly speak louder than words, I would rather show through my behavior that I can be funny, kind and smart. Vocally defining myself as Gucci, Prada or Balenciaga says little about my character other than that I may be lacking my own originality or, indeed, character itself.

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