Wednesday, March 2, 2016

It is just a bag

"We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like"

I was looking through designer websites the other day, the likes of Céline, Prada, Chanel and all that. and I realised I was looking at all of these bags and shoes, with nothing I could even *closely* afford to buy.

I am a 23 year old student, unemployed and surviving on little allowance. Why do I think I need a Chanel bag in my life?

After living in the UK for a bit, I realised a huge difference in Malaysian women/girls and the British women/girls.We carry designer things a whole lot more. A *whole* lot. Bags, shoes, clothes, jewellery, headbands, keychains, scarves, everything! 

I was going through my Explore page the other day and not a single person on my feed was carrying a non-designer handbag. Not one!!! I was legit looking to see if I could count the number of people who carried a non-designer handbag. 


It could've just been my Explore page at that exact time but I hardly think that's the case. A lot of people my age (and younger) carry designer bags. A LOT. In the UK, you hardly come across someone wearing a Louis Vuitton tote to class. No one does that here! It's actually quite embarrassing if you did! Most of their bags are just normal high-street brands ranging from Primark to Urban Outfitters.

And it got me thinking why do Malaysians have this massive urge to always carry designer bags anyway? What is it that makes us want to buy one?

I understand the working women; they earn their money so they are completely entitled to buy whatever they want. (And for the girls who receive hand-me-downs, don't worry babes ain't talkin about you!)

But it's these girls my age and ESPECIALLY younger ones who *must* get that one bag or """they'll die""".

Why do we obsess over carrying a famous brand? Is it so that we can show to people that we can afford one?

But why do we care if people look?????

I was thinking about this last night and I was tossing and turning and evaluating my own behaviour. I admit to constantly open designer websites and see what's new (not that I can afford any). But then I just halted for a sec and said none of these are appealing to me right now but why do I still look to save and buy one anyway???

Man, the number of Malaysians who ONLY buy things so that the logo of the brand shows. Buying designer things have become less because of what you really want and more of what you really want to show. My brother worked in a Tommy Hilfiger store once (pretty sure he lasted like 2 weeks) and a customer came in and asked for his opinion between two shirts (for the sake of this story, Shirt A and Shirt B) and Zaim and his other co-worker chose shirt B.

The customer then said,

"Tapi shirt A ni logo dia lagi besar..."

Why are we engineered this way? Why do we feel the incredible need to justify the money we have in our banks through the things we wear?

Is it because we want to keep up with everyone else? But then again, why do we want to keep up with everyone else? Does that make us on the same level as them then? Are we just as rich as them? 

Malaysians have this innate need to constantly impress everyone around us. Why does it matter to us SO MUCH that we have to alter our own selves in order to mould with a group of rich people??? Why do we feed off other people's acknowledgement to contribute to our own satisfaction? Better question : why do we look for other people's acknowledgement in the first place? 

Are we jealous? Why are we jealous? Because some people have more money than us? Newsflash : There's always going to be people doing better than us. Do we crave for the little sneaky glares at our handbags as we lug it around? Does it give us a thrill when people say "Lawanya bag you!" or "OMG that bag!"?

I understand the thrill - some of these bags and shoes are really pretty and they all last for such a long time. That kind of quality obviously has to come with an expensive price tag. But at this age and time, is it necessary?

Do we really want them for ourselves or because of the satisfaction of being 'one of them'? What is so wrong in getting a bag that doesn't come with a designer logo. Are they any less pretty because it doesn't bare double C's or angry eyes (Fendi why I don't get it...)? 

Like I said, almost everyone (!!!) on Instagram has a designer bag it feels like. Some are head-to-toe in designer. I saw someone on Instagram who was flashing his HUGE, loud, obnoxious Louis Vuitton belt. Mate. Get it together, mate. H&M has a great variety of cheap belts. No one cares for belts, mate. They're just belts. 

This whole post is actually really for me. I need to slap myself out for comparing myself to these other girls and just understand that at this very moment, I can't afford things like that and it's fine. It's never something I should feel bad or embarrassed about. Get over yourself, Nadia and just live within your limit! 

This is also my personal letter to the girls like me who can't afford designer things. You know what? Screw it. Get over it. So what if we can't get a Céline handbag now? It's not the end of the world and you'll live just fine. So what if our friends have one? Can't we just do us and let them do them and be content with life? Can't we just end the meaningless competition there? I'm speaking to the girls who can't afford one but really really want one. Take a step back and reevaluate. We are not in the position to demand things from our parents. They don't owe us anything. Be more content with yourself and what you already have. If you feel that your happiness depends on having more luxury items in your life then we should really get our priorities right again. Let's not consume ourselves with greedy desires and just look around and count the blessings in our lives! There are so many things you should just be content with like the food you just had or will eat and the fact that you have a laptop or a phone that you're reading this on. Think about that and then slap yourself for forgetting that you are, right now at this very moment, already a lot more well-off than so many other people in this world.

Just take it as a way to motivate ourselves to do so well in life so we can not just only afford a nice handbag but to buy other and better things in life. A handbag or a shoe or a furry Fendi keychain should not be a measure of how you are in life. Not carrying one doesn't mean you are poor and doesn't mean you are any less classy or 'fashionable'. If people look down on you because you don't own anything designer then you're already doing so much better in life, hun.
Nothing to sweat about. 



  1. omg love this. I am too kecut to post social commentary macam ni haha

  2. You should though because you write so much more eloquent than I do! Hahah

  3. Ah this was so nice to read. Quite a few of your posts i can totally relate too. What you wrote was what i was thinking about a while back when i had a reality check for a minute. All these 'materials' that i can't even afford but want lol. We don't need nobody's approval on what we use or wear. Wearing designer brands is just not who i am at least at this age. I think it would be odd for my oh so ordinary self to be flaunting a classic Chanel flap bag or a Givenchy Antigona. They are beautiful bags!! Soo soo beautiful but i think can live without them ahahah. Maybe one day, when i have a job and earn my own money i will. This was lovely Nadia :) xx

  4. I feel like its more about showing off to themselves more than to other people. When people buy these designer and exclusive products, it is them telling them self "ah yes i am rich and i can buy this overly-priced thing. go me!"

  5. Nur Izzati - Thank you for always reading! Makes my day hehe. Yeah, I mean, it's nice to have as a present or anything like that but I think girls this young shouldn't occupy themselves too much with the idea of having a designer bag. Considering so many other people already struggling to have food on the table, we should always try being more humble. Besides, it's just a bag. Banyak lagi benda boleh beli dengan beribu ribu ringgit tu. :)

    Sabrina - There are SOME people who are like that - buying solely because it's a designer. Asalkan ada duit, nak je beli semua yang mahal. And this doesn't just apply to young girls, it's the adults who are doing this. The young are so consumed with MUST having it which is a shame - we should be doing other things and wanting other bigger things. Thanks for reading! xx

  6. wish there's a like button for this post. Good post nadia! :)