Handbags – Why Women Love Them

It is entirely beyond the male species that we women require more than one handbag. How often has an ill-advised male uttered the words “An other handbag! Don’t you have enough already?” A question normally met with a rolling of the eyes, gnashing of the teeth and eventually a reluctant sigh as we realise that they simply cannot understand the importance of the humble African handbag. However when you think on it, viewed in its simplest form the handbag is merely a storage utensil so why do women love their handbags so much?

Psychologist Efua O’Brien thinks she knows why. O’Brien commenting on a study published in summer 2008 opined that it is not surprising that women love their handbags so much considering we carry our most treasured possessions in them. Therefore their value is so much more than merely perfunctory; there exists a genuine strong emotional component based on the desire to keep our valued possessions safe. Little wonder then that the Chloe Paddington and a million and one padlock toting look a likes where (and continue to be) such an overwhelming success: the padlock creates such a strong psychological link to security. Aside from which they are drop dead gorgeous and the ultimate in female status symbols, which is another reason why women are so invested in their handbags.

The handbag as a status symbol is not a new phenomenon; indeed the handbag started life as a working bag carried by artisans and street sellers of both sexes with the construction and embellishment of the bag strongly linked to social status. The most successful of these people carrying well constructed leather bags adorned with jewels and embroidery. Today things are a little more complicated there are different types of status not merely linked to ones income or net worth. Of course the ultimate in status is the designer handbag, carrying a designer handbag is a declaration of success and wealth. However it is much more rare to own a designer original than one might be lead to believe by reading the glossy fashion magazines. A recent study by Diamond car insurance revealed that only 1.1percent of us has spent upwards of Β£500.00 on a single handbag. It is much more commonplace to spend less than Β£50.00 per handbag and here we have to consider a different type of status and that is the fashion status. Most women if asked would admit to wanting to be considered stylish or even style setting, the envy of their peers for their fashion maven status. Since handbags are roundly acknowledged to be the ultimate fashion accessory carrying the latest styles and colours is important to us therefore one handbag will just not suffice. Carrying your essentials around in a hot handbag is a declaration of your style savvy and pride in your appearance. Whilst carrying them in a tatty old handbag or worse still a carrier bag (a fashion crime) is tantamount to saying I am too lazy to care about what I look like and who wants to make a statement like that?

However it is not solely about image it is also about femininity. If a woman requires something from her handbag a male partner will simply bring the handbag and not dare go inside. Is this simply laziness on the men’s behalf? We think not. Handbags are seen as exclusively feminine to the point where they are almost sacrosanct and men (bless their little hearts) generally speaking are pretty terrified by anything that’s is surrounded in aura of female mystery. So the handbag represents an ultimately feminine domain. When you think about it the real question here is not why do women love their handbags? So much as how did we ever get along without them?


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