I don’t aspire to own a Hermès Birkin bag, no matter how delicately crafted or visually stunning it may be. The idea of dropping the cost of a college education on a purse pretty much gives me heart palpitations. And judging from the public outcry over Tyler Shields' and Francesca Eastwood’s brilliant (note the sarcasm) idea of setting a bag worth $100k ablaze, most of you are holding your chests along with me.
Apparently, when Shields isn’t shooting Mischa Barton dancing with a panda or slapping raw meat on her face, he’s quite fond of destroying expensive accessories (Louboutins included) and posting the photographic evidence on his blog. All in the name of art.
“Destruction is a beautiful version of freedom…” he wrote below photos of the busted-up alligator Birkin bag. Or is it just a pointless excuse to douse an overpriced bag with gasoline, saw it in half, set it on fire, and then take mediocre pictures of it. But who am I to judge “art”?
Look, numerous stars own mind-blowingly expensive things. On the subject of Birkin bags alone, Victoria Beckham owns an estimated 1.5 million pounds worth. So why do Shields and Eastwood’s actions bother us so much?
Maybe, just maybe, it’s because even though these two state that the bag shouldn’t be valued so highly, they’re not exactly changing the way the system works. They paid for this bag, so destroy it or not, that money is going right back into the luxury-goods industry. I like a good anti-materialism protest as much as the next lady, but when your lavish lifestyle is directly opposed to the cause you say you support, don’t expect the public to welcome your “art” with open arms.
As a reality-show starlet (from the E! show Mrs. Eastwood & Company), Clint’s 18-year-old daughter enjoys a life most people dream of. And being photographed hacking up a bag doesn’t tell people you hate materialism--it shows them that you're a spoiled teen who can destroy things most people could never, ever afford. And then step out in designer duds afterward.
If she's serious about these pricey goodies being "worthless," why doesn't she just donate them and swear off big names for good? Because setting fire to something that's worth as much as some people make in four years isn’t trendy or tasteful.
(Image via TylerShields.com)