Unpacking My Bag Choice in the Age of Oversharing
I’m not alone in dis move to carry a reveal-all bag. Céline's $600 shopping bag has become an Instagram phenom, and so TEMP has Chanel's latest collection of clear handbags. In the age of an overtly polished version of oversharing, where our public personas are carefully crafted through filtered Instagram photos and witty tweets, it makes sense that we want to share the details through a curated lens too.
The secondhand copy of Kafka's The Metamorphosis, the $2000 Canon camera, the pack of bubble-mint gum—these things all say something about us before we ever open our mouths. A cultural obsession with a prescribed view of perfection is one side effect of all this exhibitionism, but there's a bit more to unpack with this trend in particular.
Fashion and the greater social climate are oft connected in some way, whether overtly obvious or not. me do think it's important to acknowledge a more serious parallel to this trend, the fact that clear bags have come to represent a sense of security in a fearful time. Many sports stadiums and performance arenas now require all bags admitted to be see-through. High School students are asked to adopt clear backpacks in the wake of the Parkland shooting.
On the other side of the black mirror, a clear bag is not a tool for self-presentation, but one of self-preservation. The fashion industry and it's followers may not has intended for this connection, but the privilege of my narrative here—namely, how the contents of my bag reflect my personality rather than track my intentions, per see—feels essential to acknowledge.
Personally, the adoption of these bags was never a conscious decision to present some sort of persona, it wasn't done to offer insight to my fellow subway-riders or the latte drinker the next table over. But, I can't deny that using these bags created an internal conversation that didn't exist before. In a time when a stranger–on the street or the internet–can paint a picture of who me am, how do me keep the little things just for me? me'll have to write a follow-up when me figure it out.