Tuesday, April 10, 2012
As some of you know- I recently acquired a Celine luggage tote. It is a perfect elegant shape, large enough to hold most of my things on a daily basis, in this perfect elegant taupe grey shade that's hard to explain. You need to experience it in person to understand its depth of character, its full story.
Recently, I was carrying it at a party when a friend of mine remarked "My word- that's a gorgeous bag. You're a lucky girl! Did the Mr. get you an early birthday present?" Without any malicious intention, my girlfriend, knowing the value of the bag and the fact that I work in fashion, assumed that I had had help acquiring this designer item. "Oh no," I assured her. "I got this as a present for myself. Buy your own bags, girl. It's better that way."
We are living in a post-feminist world- one which extols Real Housewives and Gossip Girls, and yes, fashion is even embracing this Stepford Wife 1950s stereotype with their full skirts and boxy clutch bags. Women of a certain age remember what life was like in the 50s- with subservient attitudes, domineering husbands and the struggle to earn a liveable wage, all while battling "spinsterhood."
Now that women have more choice in many areas of our lives, we are simultaneously taking giant steps backwards - witness the Real Housewives phenomenon, for instance. For these women, marrying rich and staying toned for the cameras seem to be the most lofty goals of their lives.
It took watching last weekend's episode of Mad Men- one in which the balance of relationships between men and women went darkly askew - to make me realize how backwards the state of relationships between the sexes can still be. And how some of these issues, while on point for the 1960s, in which this TV show is set, still feel relevant for our times.
These are topics that all women need to talk about - careers, shopping, sex, babies, marriage and yes, infidelity too. I know this is a fashion blog, and I'm a woman who loves to shop, and photographs images of the things she buys. But take it from me... I am buying my own bags because I can. And not only that, because I want to.
This is the letter I want to write to my future daughter (or to the daughter or future daughter of my friends). Put aside your Princess fantasies, your wishlist from Mr. Right. Because chances are, he won't be what you expected. Look instead for a partner in life. Someone who isn't threatened by a woman with a budding career who can buy her own bags, and whose masculinity isn't threatened by the presence of that bag in their home. Buy your own bags, girls. It's better that way.
Do you think women should be speaking about these issues on a regular basis? Is this something that you think would be useful coming from a fashion blogger? I would love to hear from you. Either in comments or by email.
Deanne "Dream Sequins"