Why Do We Wear Jewelry As Accessories
Most people add jewelry to their outfits without even asking themselves why they feel the need to wear these objects. Why do we wear jewelry? What is so special about a piece of gold, sterling silver or gemstone jewelry?
The need to wear jewelry appeared 75,000 years ago with trinkets made from leather, bones, feathers, animal teeth, shells or pebbles. These objects were crafted into basic necklaces, pendants, bracelets, beads and other decorative accessories.
It is believed that jewelry was first worn to display one’s social status. The use of jewelry became more popular as humankind became able to satisfy primary needs such as shelter or satisfy hunger. Sociologists believe that secondary needs such as comfort or luxury naturally appear once primary needs such as being warm or eating are fulfilled.
Why do we wear jewelry? It is widely believed that decorating one’s body with jewelry or other accessories is a remnant of a mating ritual. Seduction and mating rituals can be observed in the animal kingdom. Animals will display a trait considered as superior such as strength or a brightly colored feathering to attract a mate. Adorning one’s body with jewelry is for instance a way for women to attract the gaze of a man.
This need to adorn one’s body with jewelry is a lot more complex than what can be witnessed in the animal kingdom. People have a sense of beauty and a real appreciation for the jewelry pieces they choose. This need to appear more attractive developed into an appreciation for art and a need to beautify one’s body.
Jewelry also became a way to assert one’s style. Some individuals like classic jewelry pieces while others are more attracted to fantasy jewelry. Custom-made pieces are also a popular option for individuals who want to wear something truly unique.
Then why do we wear jewelry? Jewelry is of course a sign of one’s status. Wearing a piece of jewelry that looks expensive is definitely a way to show that one is wealthy. The same is true for offering a piece of expensive jewelry to a significant other. In these cases, the designs of the jewelry or the materials used are usually more important than making a fashion statement.
Jewelry has also become a strong symbol of one’s feeling. For example: The best friend’s pendants made of two-halves that separates, to be split amongst the two friends, and other heart-shaped trinkets are an excellent example of this. It is also common to give jewelry to your significant other to celebrate an occasion such as an anniversary or a birthday. At times when an individual cannot express his sentiments through words, he can replace these words and express his sentiments by giving a piece of jewelry as a gift, or imply a romantic gesture.
The meaning of jewelry has changed over the years and its uses too. Nowadays, jewelry still has many different meanings depending on the situation. For instance, jewelry symbolizes one’s feelings in the context of a gift but it can also represent one’s wealth when worn at an event. Jewelry also allows you to express yourself, to be unique or to make a strong statement. The diversity of jewelry available reflects the wide range of meanings we give to these objects.