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To have and to hold
By SHARON FINK
Published June 9, 2007
Shakia Peterson of Clearwater shows off her favorite purse, which was a birthday present from her best friend. One reason she likes it is because it’s reversible; the other side is solid brown. Her picture was taken for the YWCA of Tampa Bay’s Purses & Passion fundraiser by the St. Petersburg Times’ Lara Cerri, one of the professional photographers who participated in the project.
Women are passionate about their purses because that's where we carry our lives - whatever our lives are at any given moment.
Sometimes our bag holds a scaled-down version of all our worldly possessions. Sometimes it's just lipstick and a credit card.
Women are passionate about their purses because they tell the world who we are: Label slave. Student. Celebrity watcher. Businesswoman. Mom. Low maintenance. High maintenance.
Women are passionate about their purses because they don't come with any rules or have to adhere to any dress codes. And though shoes can hurt our feet and clothes can make us look fat, bags do no such damage. They are the most democratic thing in fashion.
The YWCA of Tampa Bay is celebrating this tie that binds all women with a "Purses & Passion" fundraiser this weekend, featuring photos of 100 bay area women and their purses (including me). The idea has been used by other Ys across the country for the past few years - this is the first time in the bay area - and it has been a notable success. Which gives us all another great reason to be passionate about purses.
The YWCA of Tampa Bay fundraiser includes a photo exhibit of 100 women and their purses, shot by professionals and amateurs, from 6 to 9 tonight at Studio@620 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, and a brunch from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Admission is free to both events. Reservations are required for the brunch; call (727) 896-4629, ext. 31. For more information, go to www. pursesandpassion.org.