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What price, luxury? TODAY readers weigh in on youth mocked for flaunting Charles & Keith bag

Is an S$80 Charles & Keith bag a “luxury” item? Hundreds of TODAY readers discussed the definition of luxury this week, after a teenager was mocked on social media when she proudly unboxed her new handbag which she said was a gift from her father. Here’s a selection of comments.

A Charles & Keith boutique at Takashimaya Shopping Centre.

A Charles & Keith boutique at Takashimaya Shopping Centre.

Is an S$80 Charles & Keith bag a “luxury” item? Hundreds of TODAY readers discussed the definition of luxury this week, after a teenager was mocked on social media when she proudly unboxed her new handbag which she said was a gift from her father.

The 17-year-old, who goes by “Zohtaco” on TikTok, later revealed her family's humble background in response to the negative comments.

Support from readers was resounding, with many saying luxury is in the eye of the beholder, sharing their own versions of what they considered luxuries, and urging others to be kind. They also said a gift from one’s parent was priceless. A handful, however, accused the girl of seeking attention in her posts. Here’s a selection of comments:

MANY DEFINITIONS OF LUXURY

What is considered a "luxury" purely depends on the individual and not what society deems it to be. If a Charles & Keith bag is comforting or elegant to the girl which involved great expense to her father or family, then this is a "luxury" item. JOSEPHUS TAN

The term "luxury" is in the eye of the beholder. A child in a poor village would define an ice cream as a luxury treat. A teen who does not earn her own keep but saves up to buy something would call that bag a luxury. PAT KWEK

When I was young, Giordano was a luxury brand. When I started working, G2000 was a luxury brand. For a lot of people, having clothes to wear is already a luxury. ALWIN YEOH

When I first bought a Casio watch costing me S$25, that was a luxury watch to me. I remember trying my best to take good care of it but alas, it lasted only a few months. KIM MOON TONG

I’m 32, and only this year I managed to get my mom and me matching Kate Spade wallets just cos when I was younger I could never afford it. And it was my first luxury purchase. NURWANA SULAIMAN

'PRICELESS' GIFT FROM DAD

It was a gift of love from your dad and that in itself makes it priceless!
S.RANI PILLAI

Anything from your parent is a luxury! Having your parents around who love you is a luxury. Having a roof over your head and education paid for is a luxury. When I was your age, I did not have a daddy who bought me bags when my dear mother passed on. SHERLIN CHEE

The luxury I see here is a teen who can be so happy and grateful for a gift from her dad, regardless of the price tag or brand. That is priceless. In time to come, she may or may not be able to afford much higher tier products, but it will not matter if she holds on to the ability to be grateful and happy for whatever she has. EEDORIAN ZEN

I feel happy for her dad. He raised a beautiful daughter who appreciates the gift and doesn’t take things for granted. MOHAMAD YUSOF TISARI

CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE

Some people have a sickness in their foul hearts that they must belittle and ridicule others who are happy and contented. Why can't they just say, "Good for you" or "Nice gift from dad" and move on? MOHAMMAD ROSLAN

If she sees it as luxury, so be it. If you disagree, leave instead of spitting negativity. Don't go around crushing people's pride and joy just because you're privileged to do so. SEBASTIAN LEONARD

Luxury is a consumer’s perspective. Shame on the adults who left hurtful and nasty remarks on a young girl’s post. There is always someone richer and wealthier than us. SHIDA SHARIFF-LOW

In this world where you can be anything, please be kind. These types of toxic comments have a great impact on mental health. VIJAYALETCHUMI CHANTHIRAN

ATTENTION SEEKING?

At least she is famous now. Lesson learnt, not everything is worth sharing on social media.
ABRAHAM HENDEY

The price she's paying to get attention via social media. AARON KWEK

Tsk tsk… You post online, expect all sorts of comments, like it or not. But seems like you are achieving your goal of receiving many likes and follows. After you cash in on your social media status, you can then buy society-recognised luxury brands to show off. SOLMASTER CHAMELENIA

These comments were first posted on TODAY’s Facebook page. They have been edited for clarity, accuracy and length. If you have views on this issue or a news topic you care about, send a letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.

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