When you see a young woman walk into the train with a Louis Vuitton purse or a young man wearing a Hermes belt, you form an subconscious opinion about them. Now, do not lie. We all form subconscious thoughts about individuals flashing expensive items in the dirty New York City subway. The opinions formed about these people include "Wow they must be loaded" or "They probably have a huge apartment in the Upper West Side." We see these individuals completely differently then someone wearing a plain belt or a casual black purse. We judge based on looks. We cannot help it.
Just a week ago, I brought my Louis to class with me, and when I was waiting to get into an over packed train the man behind me started yelling "C'mon princess. Why are you even taking the train." This was all said while forcefully pushing me into the train. At that moment, I was not seen as a person. My item of choice spoke for me instead. Which is ironic because I received the bag as a surprise gift from my parents.
This is not the first incident where I noticed different treatment. Various days when I wear the bag, I see people staring at the bag instead of me. People do not care about how I look, what my personality is like, but instead they start to wonder "Hmm she looks young. How did she ever afford that?" or "It's probably a fake. No way she's rocking a new one."
Now, I understand why people would think that about me since I do look really young. People asked me if I was fifteen or sixteen before, and it is like, "NO. I AM TWENTY." So when you see an "fifteen" year old with an expesnive item you just judge them right away. It is like a little alarm goes of in your head and it starts to ring "RICH PEOPLE SYNDROME." You start to think that no way in hell can this fifteen year old afford to buy a bag like that for herself. So the other valid explanation you come up with is oh her parents spoil her.
*Side note no way in hell could a twenty year old who is a full time college student afford a bag like that either and yes my parents did spoil me by getting it for me. But that is not the point.
Once I started receiving odd looks for my item of choice-- I was determined to experiment. The next day, I decided to wear a plain book bag. And guess I noticed? People began making eye contact with me and not my item of choice. I blended in better with the people in the subway and did not get any weird looks.
What I learned from this experiment is that we are all too quick to judge someone. Just because someone has an expensive item it does not mean that they are cocky. Or if someone has a plain bookbag it does not mean they are poor. These are all just labels, and we need to start seeing people for who they are and not the items they have.