Friday, June 20, 2008

The Magic of Fashion, or How A Purse Opened My Eyes

This is another guest blog by another one of our ROCKIN' contributing writers, Patricia Lopez.

Patricia is a gypsy masquerading as a graduate English student who spends her free time watching flicker shows and trying to knit with her eyes closed.

So without further ado...This is her review of the Bag Borrow or Steal handbag rental service...

The Magic of Fashion, or How A Purse Opened My Eyes
By Patricia D. Lopez for Fashion Sanity.
I’ve never been considered by other people to be a fashionista. This is mainly due to my size. I’m a big girl which is enhanced by my lack of height. I usually wear jeans and t-shirts so it’s easy to assume that I know nothing about and have no appreciation for fashion. Like with many other instances of book cover judging, people who think this about me are very wrong.
I don’t know every designer but I do have a deep appreciation for their work. I first remember falling in love with Isaac Mizrahi’s work. I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched Unzipped and it has a permanent spot on my DVR. I’m also a confirmed cinephile. I watch movies and TV shows all the time. I’m practically unbeatable at Trivial Pursuit. Doubt me? Come on over and I’ll break out the board. Just don’t cry too much when I kick your ass.
It was a combination of my two loves, fashion and film, that brought me to my newest discovery. I went to go see the new Sex and the City movie and my attention was piqued by the mention of a new service out there. Carrie’s assistant, played by the resplendent Jennifer Hudson, told her about the website Bag Borrow or Steal. “It’s like Netflix for purses.” I thought it was a made up thing for the movie. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it for the rest of the afternoon. So when I came back home, I instantly when to my computer and did the Google dance with the name Bag Borrow or Steal. I practically jumped out of my chair when I saw that it was indeed a real site. They had everything from Coach to Burberry, from Gucci to Prada. I was even more shocked when I saw that their rental prices were extremely reasonable. You can borrow these fabulous bags for a week or a month. Really you can keep them for an indefinite period of time. At the end of each rental period they renew the rental price on your credit card and you get to keep that beautiful piece of wearable art for as long as your little heart desires.
I signed up for a guest membership just to check out the outlet section. I looked around and found bag after gorgeous bag, some up to 86% off!!!! When I picked my jaw up off the floor I noticed an invite in my inbox. If I upgraded my membership to a paid member, I’d get a code to take $20 off my first rental. I did and they did! That’s how I got my first bag from them. A beautiful BCBGMAXAZRIA hobo bag with leather so soft and smooth I wanted to sleep with it next to my pillow at night. I resisted this urge since I have two dogs that sleep in my bed. This bag is $25 a month to rent and $9 a week. I wanted to keep it for a month. I got my bag yesterday and learned a very, very important lesson to keep in mind when borrowing from this site. CHECK THE SIZE OF THE BAG BEFORE YOU BORROW IT. This bag is absolutely gorgeous but it was too big for my needs. I called up the customer service people and asked what would happen if I returned my bag before rental period was up. The very friendly and understanding woman on the other end of the phone explained that I would be given credit for the remainder of time in my rental period. I’ve called them one other time about a question that I had and that time I also spoke to an exceedingly friendly person. How ever they are training their customer service the phone and computer people could learn a few things. They were pleasant and helpful and answered every question in a clear and understandable manner. In other words, their customer service totally rocks. I have a stunning Cynthia Rowley bag on its way to me and I should have it within a few days.
For me though, the service isn’t limited to reasonable and quick delivery of beautiful things. It started when I got the box that held the bag that would have an impact on me. It was like receiving a treasure from the guys in brown. I opened the box and saw a layer of air cushions. Under the cushions was a layer of brown tissue. Under the tissue was a soft cotton dust bag. Inside the dust bag was the unbelievably exquisite bag. Inside the bag was another layer of air cushions. The only way that they did not care for the bag was putting a team of tiny little people inside the box to keep it from shifting around. Since there were no crumbs or miniature water bottles I have to assume that this step was skipped.
I must’ve spent several minutes just staring at and touching the bag. When I was able to pull myself away from the bag to continue my writing, I stopped every few minutes to look at it and exclaim, “It’s so beautiful!” The most profound impact the bag had on me was when I had to leave the house to go to class. I filled it with the items that I had to take with me and as I slipped it over my shoulder I felt a new sense of confidence. The bag hadn’t made me slimmer or my nose smaller or any identifiable physical change. I was so excited and happy to have this bag on my shoulder I suddenly didn’t care about what anyone else thought about me. I was struck by the inspiration to go and pull on a nicer pair of pants and a shirt that was not of the T variety. I left for class with my brand new bag and without a care in the world about how some random person I passed thought about me. I walked under my own steam feeling good about myself for the first time in a long time.
Many people underestimate the power of a new fashion item. But think about how you feel when walking down the street in a new pair of shoes or how you feel when you leave the store after finding a great new skirt on the discount rack. I grew up thinking that there was something wrong with me because I was always bigger than the other kids. In 5th grade I was taller than all the guys but as they grew up I grew out. I was always overweight according to those around me. Looking back on my childhood with my 33 year old eyes, I have a tendency to become very irritated with those voices of my past. There was nothing wrong with the way I looked. It was simply the opinion of others that clouded my view of myself. As I got older, I learned to accept myself, flaws and all. I realized that what my mother used to say is true. Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one and they all stink. So why would we base our self worth one someone else’s stinky asshole?
I’m sure that there will be moments in my future when I doubt myself. I am human after all. The important thing to remember is that I and every woman out there is beautiful and should be cherished, no matter what our outward appearance my show. Today’s world may base a woman’s worth on her weight or how well she fits into a preconceived mold. I say screw the fucking mold! Why should we conform to someone else’s ideal of how we should look? If we’re healthy and happy, it doesn’t matter if we’re a size 2 or a size 32. Go out into the world and be the beautiful, loving and gorgeous women that you are. I’m reminded of a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” She was a smart lady. People can say what ever they want. It’s what you choose to do with those words that count. You can let them in to destroy your sense of self and fester inside you. The better option is to let the words go where they belong, drifting away on the air. Words have no power that we do not give them. If you decide that someone is full of it, how much are their words really worth? Stand up tall and move forward like you don’t care about them or their words. And go get yourself a fabulous bag to go with that new attitude. You deserve it.

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