I read an interesting article this morning about the reason behind women buying designer handbags… It’s to scare off love rivals apparently! So my husband should feel very macho that I am obviously terrified of losing him to the hoards of women I perceive to be flirting with and trying to steal him away from me. Perhaps I will use this argument next time he notices a charge from Louis Vuitton on the credit card, “but honey, I did it because I love you so much and I am terrified of losing you”.
The reasoning behind the argument is that if other women believe your man showers you with these kinds of expensive gifts he’s obviously committed to you and won’t stray, so their seduction attempts will be pointless. Never mind the fact that I actually buy my own luxury goods and have never relied on any man to do so for me. And ignore the fact that most men who frequently over indulge their partners are doing so out of some form of guilt for their shortcomings or infidelities.
As I read the article I had to wonder, what does it say about me that I am a slave to the label trade? What insecurities fester inside me that make me more confident carrying a Prada as opposed to a perfectly functional KMART handbag? After all, I don’t judge my friends for their Kardashian Kollection handbags or their Sportsgirl clutches and I certainly wasn’t raised with the sort of cash to spend on unnecessary and indulgent items. Where did my obsession come from?
For me it’s about the beauty of the item, the rich history of the design house. An Hermes Birkin is no more functional than the handbag you bought from the MYER sales but it was hand crafted in France by a single artisan from start to finish. Each bag is hand-sewn, buffed, painted and polished and because of the individual craftsmanship, details of the bags do not all match. So what? I hear you say, it’s still just a bag. True, but just as I don’t judge you for carrying a Payless tote, don’t judge me for saving every penny I can to buy the Birkin and don’t assume that some witless, under the thumb husband spent his last dime on it for me either. My husband is with you, he just doesn’t get it.
My upbringing is also key in why I enjoy being able to buy myself and the people I love extravagant things. I take pride in being able to walk in to a designer store and chose something for myself that as a child I never would have dreamt of owning. Most people would find it all incredibly shallow and trivial, but for me it signifies what I’ve been able to achieve in my life and I wear them like a badge of honour. Would I buy a new handbag over giving someone in need money, no. Would I buy a pair of shoes over feeding my hungry child, no. Do I think having a designer item is more important than love or friendship, no.
For me it’s not about keeping up with the Jones’ or scaring away potential home wreckers, I’m also not buying things to fill some heartbreaking void in my soul. I know my true worth and value isn’t tied to my Chanel handbag. Those sorts of things can’t be bought on a MasterCard, and they’re priceless.