When wondering what motivates people to decorate their bodies with jewelry, we should ask why some people refrain from all kinds of ornaments. A part of the population cannot be seen without jewelry and makeup, while another part prefers to remain plain and unadorned. The former wish to create in others an impression with the help of emotionally and aesthetically pleasing decorative elements while the latter wish to be valued for who they are, independently of all material signals. Working, businesslike people prefer a more minimalist approach to decoration, sticking only to what is necessary in order to inspire respect, while as a contrast to them, the hippie and punk styles utilize multiple decorations in order to express their specific ideology and feelings.
The basic motives for wearing jewelry are four. All four of them are simultaneously displayed to some degree, making the person’s erotic and personal sentiments accessible to the public.
- An aspiration for safety and security
- An aspiration for prestige
- An aspiration for sexual provocation
- An aspiration for beauty
These motivations are used as guidelines for picking out jewelry, consciously or not. Their intensity and importance vary for every person. And because the jewel has to satisfy these guidelines for every person, there are different designs, materials, shapes, sizes, and types of jewels.
When analyzing the motivations of a person by looking at the jewels he or she is wearing, you have to know that the shape and color of the jewels have a great significance, because they give out the emotional state of that person, while the value of the jewels only talks about the person’s material wealth.
- Small, delicate ornaments with precise workmanship speak of the need for protection and safety. The size of the ornament is not accidental. That which is small and weak must be protected; it needs care, love, and attention. This is exactly the emotional state that people looking for security and love are mirroring in their jewelry. They admire and like such jewels that are clearly made with love, effort, and endless patience. Such a dainty little jewel does not have to be expensive. Sometimes, and what is typical for hand-made jewelry, the ornament is made out of cheap metal, ceramics, wood, semi-precious stones or even fruit pits. These cute and endearing ornaments are for adults, and the teddy bears are for children.
- Prestigious jewelry shows an aim for significance. An expensive jewel is a wise investment with a small risk bound to its frequent use. The ornament which can pass as an investment has the advantage of demonstrating one’s fiscal abilities through his decorations, or the ones gifted to a partner or spouse. All such jewels – diamond pins, massive golden bracelets, chains, and rings – are a little snobbish and are not always an indication of good taste. Traditional expensive jewelry, such as a real pearl necklace, a diamond ring, a sapphire in diamond settings, delicate golden bracelets and chains, is a more tasteful sign of the traditional aspirations for prestige and high social status.
- Provocative decorations are a plain signal of sexual desires. A tattoo on the breast is not always artsy, but it is definitely a decoration. A leather bracelet is not always worn in order to protect the wrist but is also a decoration, a signal that we are looking at a rough and tough man. Steel chains worn on the wrist have nothing to do with jail and captivity but speak of a tough guy who is battling his own insecurity. All animal teeth and leather pieces worn on the neck, sequins, and leather jackets – are all decorations with undertones of sexual irritation. However, they are not an indication of wild and tough nature, but of a mild, gentle, playful, and attractive man, who is easily approached. Provocative decorations such as tattoos and makeup with extravagant elements are clearly meant to be attention-getters. The intentions of people who use such decorations have nothing to do with an aspiration for beauty but are meant to irritate the senses, to excite, provoke and stimulate.
- Aesthetically pleasing, stylish ornaments speak of a desire for beauty. Such jewelry is very tasteful. For example, you can wear either clips or earrings for pierced ears, as long as they are selected in harmony with your hairstyle and clothes. A wristwatch worn out of need can be a simple watch on a leather leash, or it can combine functionality and decoration in a detailed piece of art. The person using jewelry to decorate him or herself by combining elegant, tasteful, and stylish pieces which also correspond to his or her character and individuality is a person who truly appreciates the beauty and harmony in life.