January 31, 2023

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TikToker hits back after being ridiculed for calling $60 bag ‘luxury’

  • Singapore TikToker Zoe Gabriel made a video thanking her dad for buying her a $60 bag.
  • Some commenters mocked 17-year-old Gabriel for calling the bag “luxury.”
  • Gabriel called the negative comments “ignorant,” saying she didn’t grow up with wealth.

A Singapore-based TikToker has responded with a tearful video to online haters after being mocked for referring to a $60 bag as “luxury”.

On January 8, 17-year-old Zoe Gabrielle posted a Video With an onscreen caption that reads, “My first luxury bag.” In the clip, Gabriel is seen buying a bag from Charles & Keith, a Singaporean fashion brand.

The video then cuts to a clip of Gabrielle unpacking her purchase and placing it on her shoulder. An additional headline below the post read “Thank you dad”.

Gabriel’s post exploded, garnering 6.7 million views, but received a mixed response.

While some people wrote positive reviews praising her and saying they loved her new bag, others seemed to mock her for using the term “luxury” to describe the item, which Retails for $76 on the fashion house’s US website. And 79.90 Singapore dollarsor roughly $60, on its Singapore website.

Some commentators have compared its description to “calling a fast-food restaurant fine dining,” highlighting fashion brands that have a similar price point but cannot normally be described as “luxury”.

Later that same day, Gabrielle responded to one comment that said, “Who’s going to tell her?” followed by a laughing emoji. She videotaped a response, explaining why she stood by her use of the term “luxury.”

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“Growing up, I didn’t have much. My family didn’t have much. We couldn’t afford simple things like bread,” she said.

She continued, appearing to tear at the clip, “Your comment said a lot about how ignorant you are because of your wealth. To you, an $80 bag may not be a luxury. For me and my family, that’s a lot, and I’m so grateful my dad was able to get me one.” He worked so hard for that money. I can’t believe I got the hate because of a bag I was so excited to have.”

It was met with an overwhelmingly positive response, receiving 2.1 million views and 171,000 likes, and commenters started writing positive comments under this video, as well as under her original post.

“The haters who make fun of you are simply so lucky to see things from another perspective and be happy for someone else. Don’t let it get you down,” wrote one commenter.

Another commenter said, “Nice bag. Having a dad who loves you is a luxury in itself.”

Gabriel said in a follow-up: “Thank you to everyone who has shown me love and support.” Mail of January 9, adding, “Remember to be kind and sympathetic and have the best day ever.”

@employee

Thanks everyone <3 Also a reminder that everyone's life experiences and financial circumstances will be different than yours :) Remember what's cheap to you may be everything to another 😃👍🏻

♬ original sound – zoe 🦋

Gabriel didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, however In an email to The Straits Times of Singaporesaid TikToker that she thought the negative response it initially received “highlights the blind spot of people who grew up privileged and take it for granted. They can’t imagine what it’s like to grow up with their peers in a middle-income background, much less poor.”

Representatives for Charles & Keith didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, but they told The Straits Times that after watching Gabrielle’s video, they invited her and her father to lunch with the company’s founders, who also come from “humble beginnings.”

“Our founders believe our products should delight, empower fashionistas and give them confidence, something we think she delivered so eloquently in her video and for which we are very grateful,” a company spokesperson told the outlet.

Zoe Gabriel has more than 44,000 followers on TikTok and she usually posts lifestyle content sharing information about herself with her followers, such as facts About her and her Filipino heritage family.

On TikTok, influencers have previously been criticized for talking about making large, expensive purchases, and faced accusations about being idiosyncratic or out of touch.

In October, Insider reported One influencer received backlash for saying she “accidentally” bought a $100,000 sofa, and later seemed to suggest the whole thing was a joke. In November, another toucher She said she spent $10,000 on Harry Styles in order to be close to the stage, which drew criticism from commentators who said the level of spending would be beyond the means of many ordinary people.

For more stories like this, check out coverage from the Insider’s Digital Culture team here.