A woman can be quite a bagful!

A woman can be quite a bagful!

And what if we were to empty that woman’s bag, totally off-load? No, we don’t mean metaphorically – let’s not fall out with the whole world just yet – but literally. What would we find in there? And more to the point, what would it say about us? A baby’s dummy – sign of a slightly frazzled young mum, perhaps, who has bought herself some peace while she does her shopping? A SpongeBob USB stick – urgent work documents to deal with or holiday snaps to print? Wet wipes and antiseptic gel: clean freak alert? And the bag itself, is it big or small? Remember, shape and size are important: a cavernous shopping-style bag shows a tendency towards excess, while a small clutch points to a well-ordered existence. Such, at any rate, are the conclusions reached by sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann, who has devoted research and a book* to women’s handbags. Anna Wintour’s diminutive clutch reveals a visceral need for freedom, while Angela Merkel’s roomy holdall hints at a more sentimental, nostalgic personality. Which are you? The type to want to keep things light, or the type to seek the reassurance of having everything to hand? The reality, as you’ll have guessed, is always more nuanced: organisation fanatics have been carrying clutches inside totes for a good while now. Gone are the days of the holdall you can never find anything in. So is a bag the key to deciphering a life? Don’t be so sure. Their mystery – like the mystery of women, dear Jean-Claude Kaufmann – remains intact!

* Le sac, Un petit monde d’amour by Jean-Claude Kaufmann, Livre de poche, €6.60.



Pic : « Basket style nest ». Sous licence CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –


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