You know those magazine spreads and Instagram photos where a celebrity or editor "reveals" the contents of her purse? At first you think, Ooh, how fascinating, this will say so much about this person's inner workings and secrets! But then, most of the time, it's just a cute person whose stylish bag is filled with cute beauty products and fun snacks and impressive books, all laid out super prettily on a white background. Not exactly revealing — or realistic.
The fact is, although our purses have indeed been known to contain the perfect lipstick and a signed copy of Bad Feminist on occasion, they are often also stocked with an array of unglamorous necessities — or even a secret stash of, um, "beach reading." This is all well and good — until we find ourselves furtively sneaking around in order to access those hidden items.
When you want to bring a tampon or your deodorant to the bathroom with you, do you openly grab those items from your bag, or do you surreptitiously snag them when no one's looking? Do you carry your birth control or other important medication proudly, showing no shame when you pop a pill at lunch? In times of desperation, do you allow your toddler to open one of the six pantyliners you keep in a ziploc bag in your purse because playing with the sticky part will keep him busy for the entire ride to day care? You know I do. But it hasn't always been that way: If you ask me, we spend way too much time and effort trying to hide "taboo" items that, let's face it, are simply things we need to get through the day. Enough!
To pick apart all the reasons why we (adults! with important lives!) are still reaching for certain purse products on the sly, we spoke to nine women to find out each one's supposedly-embarrassing-item Kryptonite. Ahead are the common, useful, totally normal, completely un-shameful things that so many of us have snuck out of our bags — and why it's time to stop the secrecy.