The other day, I was shopping on Oxford Street and found some pieces that I liked in Zara. I stepped into the checkout line, and one of the girls in front of me was telling her friends about a new Chanel purse that she wanted. She also mentioned that her mother “collects Chanel bags” and has been accumulating a purse from every season. This was a small interaction, and I wasn’t even meant to hear it, but I began to spiral. Here I was, standing in line with clothes that I was not even 100% sure I wanted, listening to a white, American girl rant about Chanel.
My spiral was not about this girl specifically as she just happened to be in front of me, but I was thinking about how each of those bags costs thousands of dollars, and collecting them to the point that one, singular person has tens, if not hundreds, of purses could house so many people. Of course, rectifying this poverty stricken world should not rest on the shoulders of an individual, but this exchange was just another example of the inequitable distribution of wealth that plagues us. After standing in the checkout line for about fifteen minutes, I decided to step out of it and put the clothes that I was going to buy back on the racks. Purchasing clothes that I did not even love, from a brand that is far less than admirable, felt so trivial. Admittedly, I have purchased a few clothes since being in London because I love the fashion here, but I was so overwhelmed in this moment by my thoughts and I knew that these items would not serve me. The past few sentences felt silly to write, but bear with me.
This post is not an ode to my moral compass or anything of the sort. These are, genuinely, just the thoughts that crossed my mind in that moment. People can spend their money however they want, and maybe someone who has accomplished a goal of theirs wants to invest in a designer bag — so be it. I love treating myself to new books and vanilla lattes (decaf, of course!) and a nice pair of jeans. I love traveling. We all crave material gratification. I just do not understand the need for dozens of designer bags that will hardly be used. I have seen so many influencers purchase $5,000+ purses and not even use them. Even in an expensive city, $5,000 has the potential to cover at least a few months worth of rent. $5,000 can buy several months worth of groceries.
I truly believe that every single person on this planet can have nice things beyond basic human rights. The only reason this is not the case is because we live in a capitalist world where wealth is unevenly distributed, and this is the kicker. The amount of money wasted on a daily basis has the power to change multiple lives, but we are so afraid of how alternatives to the status quo will impact us that no one has the capacity to do otherwise. While larger systemic changes are slowly forming, I recommend asking oneself if they need yet another designer purse. If they do not (shocker – they don’t), those thousands of dollars should probably be spent elsewhere.
One thought on “ Chanel Bags or Shelter. ”
I really like this post! It’s definitely something that has been on my mind lately.
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