Nobody wants you to look into her purse. Not that she is covering up anything.
If we’re clear, my bag is actually filled with lipstick, wallet, a bottle of water, iPhone, air pods, hand sanitizer, and some m&m’s candy bags, sometimes I bring my laptop. My handbag possibly nearly equivalent to yours, however it is mine and I don’t need it being seen through by others.

Transparency is bold. Showing the world who you are, and living authentically and in your own way, takes guts. It means you’re at peace with your decisions, so you don’t matter what someone else thinks. But living in a transparent way is not the same as dumping one’s content in a structured saran wrap form.

You have to hide things in order to exist as a grown-up. Maybe you want a new job and don’t want your current boss to know about it, or maybe you can’t stand the person who is eating egg salad next to you on the plane but you still have three hours left on the flight. Some of the things we hide are big and most of it would seem meaningless to anyone else. Transparency depends a great deal on where we are and with whom we are. It may take eons to let our guards down enough for someone to meet the absolute 100 percent of us. Which is fine: We are the sum of our self-curations, and it can be as easy to recognize authenticity.


This is the romanticization of transparency: it’s hardly a real look at someone else’s life. Nobody with a clear bag will dump the regular contents of their purse or lifestyle into a glorified display case that strangers can comb through. Leading with a transparent bag is the same as advertising one’s own commitment to absolute authenticity through social media: a lie. And no matter that lie exists to maintain an aesthetic or to maintain a public version of self, it’s just an adult extension of our high school locker ethos: look at who I am, look at what I like, look at what I think is neat. (And just like me please.) All of which are great reasons for putting forward a specific self, but none of which signifies being completely transparent to anyone. Even if they have a bag which is transparent.

Another avenue of performance is a clear bag, similar to how we choose our outfits to decide who we’ll be for that day. It doesn’t make anyone superior to be forthcoming in a way that makes you comfortable, while being transparent about just how untransparent you are doesn’t make anyone worse.

Am I ready for the world to see my wallet and notice that I carry hand sanitizer because I’m worried about getting infected, understand my penchant for m&m’s? Definitely not. While I may be honest about the boring content of my handbag, I’m the one who gets to decide how to find out about it. But yeah, I am being open, at least.

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