Why do we want to decorate our Walls and Ourselves?

An individual’s self-perception is a representation of what others see, reflecting the image as perceived by the individual. When worn to show economic status, the items are often either rare or prohibitively expensive to others. This gives a person the feeling of adorning an elite status symbol.  These adornments are usually vibrant, colourful, and worn to attract attention or admiration. By understanding the inherent need people have to decorate ceilings and rooms as a reflection of self, we can gain insight into that person’s individuality and eventually personality. This is not a new concept or phenomenon. Historically, many upper and middle class women decorated and ornamented their own bodies and clothes to match with their beautifully luxurious home interiors, thus extending one into the other. This calculated method of decorating the home and body was meant to promote a wealthy person’s position in society.

The need to decorate, whether through tattooing, bejeweling or painting, provides distinctiveness. Just as jewelry, tattooing, makeup and clothing gives us individuality, distinctions, social polity, these decorative exterior surface markings as outward projections of body adornment are conceptually similar to the nineteenth century domestic interior bearing the fabulous taste, individuality and superiority of the inhabitant.

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