Humans have been decorating themselves throughout the ages. The desire to look attractive resonates with nature around us. Our ancestors used locally available materials such as feathers, reeds, shells, and teeth to adorn their bodies. Modern-day jewelry is no different; whether it includes golden studs or scuffed boots, the intended purpose is similar to the olden days.
Psychological explanation behind wearing jewelry
Leading psychologists attempt to explain the human desire to decorate themselves. One notable individual is Maslow whose hierarchy of needs theory might apply in this case. The pyramid comprises several psychological factors such as esteem, love, belonging, and of course self-actualization at the apex.
If we are to examine jewelry from the Maslow point of view, it will fall under love and belonging. In the olden days, jewelry was a fine way of showcasing wealth and wooing gifts. Alternatively, jewelry also shows affiliation among different groups. Modern day equivalents to jewelry are necklaces, signets or engagement rings. Purposeful dressing with jewelry gives the individual the confidence of feeling themselves in any situation.
A good number of people add jewelry to their clothing as it seems to be the societal norm. The urge to wear jewelry has been practiced for tens of thousands of years. For a while jewelry was worn to depict a person’s status in society. Once humans’ fulfill their primary needs of shelter and food, they resort to the secondary needs of luxury and comfort. Jewelry lies within this bracket of needs.
Why do we wear jewelry?
Several leads show that wearing of jewelry began as mating rituals. Mating rituals such as seduction are common within the animal kingdom. I addition to strength, animals will display traits such are bright feathers to lure mates. When women adorn their bodies with jewelry, this is a way of attracting the man’s gaze.
Modern day use of jewelry
The desire to appear more attractive resulted in an appreciation for art. Jewelry developed into a unique form of style. Some individuals like the classic pieces while others are more drawn to fantasy jewelry. The sale of custom pieces remain highly popular for individuals who would like to wear a unique piece of decorative piece. Jewelry has transformed into a status symbol. Wearing jewelry pieces that are expensive are a way of showing off wealth. The same can relate to a person giving their significant other an expensive piece of jewelry. This is to show their worth. The design of jewelry and the materials used are more important than merely creating a fashion statement.
Some people today express their personal feelings in the form of jewelry. For instance, the best friend pendant which can be split in half and shared among two tight buddies. Over the years the meaning of jewelry has changed. Its meaning will depend on the situation it is being used. It can be used to send a strong message, reflect an opinion or express strong appreciation.