Today, the love for huge handbags due to celebrity influence is dominating the fashion industry.
Despite causing some health problems, consumers are scrambling to buy more and more oversized bags.
Nowadays, women carry large bags to keep their wallets, an entire make-up bag, diary, mobile phones, a couple of tissues, water bottles, plus a bunch of keys for the house and office. Sometimes, this even includes a laptop.
Like many of her friends, Claudine Teta, 27, a student at Kigali Independent University (ULK), says that she is obsessed with carrying oversized bags and that her love for such sizes makes her feel comfortable and trendy.
“I must be honest that I don’t feel comfortable carrying a small handbag. I feel like I’m not a lady enough, that’s why I have bought dozens of huge ones,” says Teta.
The trend is spreading like fire, from Europe, Asia and now in Africa. But not all buyers are aware that carrying heavy bags for long periods of time can cause some health issues.
“Women tend to hesitate and bear the pain because they have seen female celebrities in Europe carrying them,” says Jacqueline Kabera, 34, manager of Trendy Boutique in Nyamirambo.
Dr Allan Agaba says that carrying heavy handbags all the time can cause injury to your neck by stretching the nerves.
And it also affects the body’s stance as you hike the shoulder up and, over time, this can shorten the muscles resulting in a twisted or lop-sided body position that in turn can lead to back pain.
Dr. Everest Kayitare told the Sunday Magazine that carrying heavier bags on the shoulder can lead to a more serious body complication called Scoliosis. He says that the illness is a medical condition in which a person’s spine is curved from side to side.
“This condition is most caused by the imbalances of the weights. It can also affect the backbone, because the muscles can no longer support the back,” says Dr Kayitare.
These doctors suggest that if you decide to carry big bags, some of these precautions must be taken:
Try and minimize how many things you put in your bag. Leave out whatever you think is not necessary for that day.
Don’t carry your bag in the crook of your arm, because it is harmful for your back.
If you are carrying a huge bag on your shoulder, try to alternate the sides, to also avoid straining the body.