02/17/2011 12:44 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Beauty and the Brain: The Case for Hillary and Handbag

So Hillary Clinton can't seem to win. She is not girly enough and now she is being criticized for being too girly by talking handbags, a subject very close to my heart but not entirely divorced from my head either. Apparently I am not alone. Handbags are very intimate places for women. She puts it this way:
"they can either be a great uniter or divider [of women] . . . no one should make fun of anyone else's handbag choices because this is like a deep psychological need, to organize and contain that which is important to you in your daily life."

I have been lucky enough to make a career of studying female iconography, in particular lipstick, which has been an obsession of mine and the basis for which I have started not just one but two of my own companies in the last 20 years. Where there is a love of lipstick there is often shoes and handbags.

Us girly girls (who yes, have minds too, although I am known to lose what is left of mine at times and fork over exorbitant amounts for the love of a handbag) tend to enjoy the "holy girly trinity." I have always told anyone unlucky enough to be seated next to me on this subject that unlike the sexier sisters (stilettos and lipstick), handbags are a conversation between women only so I am not surprised at all that a major (yet polarizing) figure of a woman, Hillary Clinton, loves handbags.

Shoes can be a dialogue with men, lipstick is a dialogue with the world and handbags is just between us. Apparently animals hear sounds that humans can't (and before Glenn Beck starts making the unflattering comparisons between Hilary and animals ) I mean this, handbags are a language men don't understand. Just try telling a man how much you spent on one.

They are a woman's world and for that I adore them. Unlike the home, which is sold to us as "our" world (an effective way to get us to do all the work inside the home), a handbag is emancipating. There are no limits to where you can go with it both physically and metaphorically. To a cocktail party, to pick up children or to negotiate with world leaders as is the case for Hillary. Think of all the amazing developments both macro and micro where handbags have been at the scene. From Rosa Parks on the bus to last week few weeks in Egypt to your own daily struggles and triumphs Handbags are as complex as the gender that carries them. Together our possibilities are endless, girly girl or not.