TikToker Ridiculed for Calling Handbag ‘Luxury’ Opens Discussion on What It Means for Kids of Immigrants
The word “luxury” can mean different things to different people.
For those who are affluent, this can mean globe-trotting vacations, top-tier cars, high-end clothes and expensive accessories. But for others, luxury can be something they must save money to buy.
This is even more prevalent for the children of immigrants, as every penny can make a difference when starting over in a new country. For many Latino children, asking for luxury or expensive items was often not an option, leaving many to grow up feeling guilty for splurging.
Such was the case for a young TikToker who was recently ridiculed online after posting a video celebrating a purchase she made. Thankfully, the internet came through and social media got a crash course in not judging people for their idea of luxury.
This TikToker just wanted to show off her new purse
The video also has the caption “thank you dad” after Gabriel’s dad worked tirelessly to afford the bag for his daughter.
The 30-second video attracted a lot of positive attention online. Many people congratulated Gabriel on finally being able to afford a bag she really wanted.
A handful of commenters got nasty on the true meaning of “luxury”
In contrast to her supporters, some people used it as an opportunity to mock her for her idea of what a luxury bag costs. The TikToker called out one account in particular, @cressy, for their comment, “Who’s gonna tell her?” with a laughing face emoji.
Instead of getting angry about it, Gabriel posted a heartfelt video about her complicated relationship with money. Anyone who grew up in a similar situation knows exactly what she means. But apparently, people like @cressy need a reminder that not everybody grows up with handbag money to spare.
In the second video, Gabriel opens up about how hard it was for her family to become financially stable. She reveals that something as simple as a loaf of bread, which they often couldn’t afford, was a luxury to them.
She watched her parents work their way up from nothing, and she couldn’t be more grateful for her new gift.
Her followers came through in full force to support her
Gabriel’s follow-up video touched the hearts of viewers who know what it’s like to receive a gift you truly appreciate — even if it doesn’t cost thousands or even hundreds of dollars.
“Got my first luxury bag halfpriced and at 21, because I never had money, too. Back then it was 65€. Was so proud,” one commenter wrote. “Don’t let others tear you down!” Another wrote, “Enjoy your bag. Every gift from a parent is priceless.”
Others were just happy to know that Gabriel’s father raised her right! “A gift from someone u love has far more value than the actual value of the item,” one person wrote. “U were raised well dear.”
Currently, it seems like @cressy has not replied to Gabriel or reached out to offer an apology. In fact, their profile is now in private mode. They even changed their username to @valentineys! However, clicking on the original @cressy tag brings you right to the new page. Whoops!
Charles & Keith returned the favor by making Gabriel one of their models
When Charles & Keith founders, Charles and Keith Wong, caught wind of Gabriel’s story, they immediately invited her to their headquarters to show her around and talk more with her about the luxury brand.
The company decked Gabriel out in Charles & Keith apparel and gave her a firsthand look at their pieces, as well as the development and design process that goes into them.
But wait…there’s more!
If that weren’t enough, Charles & Keith tapped Gabriel to model for the luxury brand and become an International Women’s Day ambassador.
In a statement attached to her photoshoot, Gabriel wrote, “Women are like flowers: our time and needs to grow may not always align, but that is okay. We are like fields of poppy and lakes of lotus — diverse and bold in our differences, beautiful in our own ways.”
She ends the statement by writing, “This International Women’s Day, let us celebrate with compassion. Let us celebrate equality through equity, the way flowers do.”
It’s a beautiful message for young women everywhere. But also, @cressy must be pissed right now.
Latinas know a thing or two about working twice as hard for what they want
To paraphrase an old saying, women of color must work twice as hard to get half as much. Latinas are no exception. Many women of color only think about having luxury items when they work as hard as they can to get them.
Here’s a TikTok posted by a user named Kim about how she has to work twice as hard as a first-generation Latina to get the same opportunities as her peers.
Here’s one Latina taking some well-earned vacation time after working hard to get there.
A 2020 Pop Sugar article reminds Latinas that being proud of your purchases is okay.
“My Latinx peers and I are able to land jobs we actually enjoy and excel in, and if there’s any money left over, we can use it for ourselves,” the article reads.
“It’s an interesting combination of the millennial ‘treat yourself’ mentality and the frugal upbringing many of us experienced that can sometimes pose quite a dilemma for the second-generation Latinx,” they added.
However, the article asks Latinas to embrace their buying power, their hard work and their ability to live as an American because their parents worked so much to make it happen. When it comes to luxury purchases, no matter how big or small, earning them really makes all the difference.