Fashion

When i was 13 years old

1 Comment 07 May 2005

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martini, originally uploaded by leFashionista.

by Cathy Lewis

When I was 13 years old, my mother and I were shopping and we came across a Coach store. In the window was a mini-city bag, camel brown leather. I had to have it. It would have cost me all my allowance, but I didn’t care. I needed that handbag.

As I was purchasing the Coach bag, I remembered feeling like I had gone on to the next level. It was my first real symbolic fashionable item I had bought myself. It all had started by this one purchase.

I brought it to school with me the next day. All of my girlfriends loved it. I was the first one in junior high to have this handbag. It was in a sense… invigorating. Only a girl could understand this. A handbag, you say, can be invigorating? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Very much, in that it creates a whole new identity in and of you.

First you must understand how girls think. We are constantly in competition. When we don’t even realize it, we are in competition between each other. “I have the most athletic boyfriend.” “I have the cutest boyfriend.” “I have the most stylish and trendy clothes.” “I have the most clothes.” “I am the smartest one.” “I am the cutest one,” and it goes on.

When women get older they do not leave behind that sense of competition. This is how we measure our social status and perception of ourselves to the world around us. This is not to be mistaken for the measure of success; women do not need a handbag to be successful. I can’t say all women do this, but most women do. Regardless of what you buy and what your sense of style is. If you are a Goth girl, then you are in competition to be the most gothic looking princess. You want to be the darkest most desirable Goth chick. If you are a cowgirl, you want to have the cutest hat and the cutest cowboy with the tightest wranglers.

Why so many handbags, you ask? Well women have many identities. We are mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and lovers. There is a handbag for every identity.

Sisters buy handbags to say, “I saw it first and you can’t have it.” Going back to the age old rules between sisters; you can’t have the same clothes, handbags, boyfriends or hairstyle.

Mothers buy handbags for convenience. Usually they carry the necessities of being a mother; items for herself and items for her children and items just in case.

Daughters buy handbags to say, “I want to grow up too soon.” This is a special time in a girl’s life. They want to be so grown up yet that can’t. So you buy a cut little handbag so they can carry their lip gloss and perfume in it.

Friends, similar to sisters, buy handbags together but they hope to be the first to spot the handbag they know their friend will spot as well. Friends don’t let friends buy ugly handbags. Most importantly, we definitely do not fight over the same handbag. Friendship over a handbag is not worth the fight.

Lovers, well, they buy the sexy bags. It only needs to carry the necessities of course. For instance, on a date all you would need to bring is a small wallet with cab money, lipstick, a cell phone just in case and Kleenex just in case he is a real jerk.

Handbags have become a part of our culture. Anything that has become a part of our culture becomes a part of the individual. If we could create our own handbags they would all be different. In a sense the quest for the handbag is a quest for searching for ourselves. Funny as it may seem, in reality it’s true. Everything we own is a reflection of who we are and by looking at a person’s handbag you at least can guess at what type of woman she is. She is a sister, a mother, a daughter and she is a lover.

Years later, I still have my Coach handbag. I can only assume for myself that it’s a piece me, when I was 13 years old. My handbag now… well, I have many of them. I am no longer that little girl shopping with her mother. I am after all, a woman now and also a sister, daughter, a friend, and a lover.

Now available at leFashionista Cuffz by Linz Barfly bag.

Martini has a metallic silver lambskin exterior and a silver printed silk lining. Handcuff is nickel-plated steel (“designed for official police use”).

Your Comments

1 comment

  1. Lise says:

    So true !!


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