Trending on TikTok recently is a video of a 17-year-old girl celebrating a luxury gift from her dad – a Charles and Keith bag worth about $80.

In that video, the teenager, Zoe, can be seen at a Charles and Keith outlet excitedly receiving her newly purchased bag, and later again at home unwrapping and sharing her gift from her father with her followers.

“My first luxury bag,” she wrote in the caption, also adding “Thanks dad” in a later clip – clearly full of gratitude for the gift she received which she considered a luxury.

That would have been a nice point for that piece of content to end, except we don’t live in a nice world – and it’s especially not nice in the toxic cesspool that is the TikTok comment section.

“Who’s gonna tell her?” wrote one user, who also added a crying emoji – implying that the 17-year-old was wrong to think of her gift as valuable or even a luxury.

Others then piled on, saying things like “I guess Uniqlo is also a luxury bag” and even “I get that you come from humble beginnings, but calling C&K a luxury brand is just too much”.

While there were other supportive comments, Zoe responded to the negative comments by uploading a new video explaining her family background. In the face of online bullying, Zoe has won widespread admiration and support since then for showing maturity and wisdom beyond her years, such as by sharing how luxury is subjective and empathy is important.

The teenager was even invited to meet the founders of Charles and Keith for lunch and a tour around the company with her family.

Sharing her experience with Mothership, Zoe reflected: “Sometimes it’s hard to remember that value is subjective, and our perspectives may not always align — but I believe we should always strive for compassion and understanding, and to be an example of kindness and love wherever we are in life.”

Just like Zoe, we got to wondering: What are some things we can take away from this episode?

Online bullying is a problem universal to every people and country, but it seems to be especially pronounced in Singapore where toxic talk and cancel culture often colour online discussions.

When others speak poorly towards another online, we should be standing up for what is good. Jesus had empathy for others and did not hold back from speaking His mind when He saw things that were not right.

In spaces where “wins” are measured by how well you’ve put others down, could we begin to reframe and reflavour conversations by lifting others up? Being voices of encouragement and good will, people will see Jesus in us.

It all boils down to boldness. There are things that are priceless to us… But would we dare flaunt it if the world mocks us?

Our Father has given us a priceless gift as well. Do you know its true value?

Don’t be afraid to unveil and share what you have been given. You can, when you know whose son or daughter you are, and where your family comes from! 

  1. Have you ever been made to feel small?
  2. How did you feel at the time?
  3. How does your identity as a child of God change the way you look back on that incident?
  4. What are some gifts Father God has given you? Thank Him for them today!