Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Why is there a need to fill a blank canvas? Why must there be a dot of paint in it? Can’t it be left pure, white, serene…. And some might say “boooorrriiing!!!” :p

Well, the same goes for us humans. We have learned to decorate ourselves wonderfully since our caveman years. (Assuming our ancestors we once caveman) :P


Most pictures depict Adam and Eve with leaves placed at the right location. Then they showed caveman with animal skins for clothing. Whatever really happened back then, it is a fact that we, humans now need clothing.
One, for protection from the weather i.e. in the dessert, people have to wear long robe to cover oneself from head to toe to protect from the harsh scorching heat and sand.

Second, clothing is to cover oneself from the looks of other people. It is because we are embarrassed to be naked and in today’s culture, it is indecent and against the law to go around naked (unless you’re in a private home, naked colony, etc).
Third, it is for decoration. Look at how the business of apparel is thriving. There can be a pair of jeans for RM10 (I found one in DFO Clothing store) to RM300 jeans found in Guess outlet. What is the difference? Branding? Quality? Functional; it serves well but it is the image and “decoration” it serves that gives the extra value.

Therefore it boils down to my real topic: Decoration on human skin.

1. Make-up

Most women cannot live without make-up. I haven’t reach that stage yet but I guess as age catches up (with scarring, pores /”pot-holes in my case”… haha on my face), one will need to rely on this magic wonders to look young, pretty and attractive.

Men are no exception from this “decoration” especially in the entertainment industry.

Most of us have seen magazines or e-mail showing the difference of an actor/actress with make-up and without. Those pictures are enough to explain my point.

This form of decoration is mainly for the face although it is used to cover temporarily certain scarring on visible body parts at time.

2. Tattoo

Somehow, this painful skin scarring process is seen as a decoration by some people. The best example of this celebrity is Angelina Jolie with her tiger tattooed on her whole back. (Just to name one of her many tattoos)
Many girls in the US have little tattoo somewhere on their body. With a cute little heart shaped at the butt to the name of a loved one on her arm. Whatever style or pattern it is used, they find it beautiful.

I remember a colleague sending an e-mail to all of us which shows body painting. The interesting thing to note was it the body part which was involved. It was a “body painting” of the man’s genital body part. Would you find it beautiful? Anyway, to side track, my boss found out about the e-mail and reprimanded everyone on sending such emails internally.. ha ha..

3. Piercing

Earrings and nose rings are the most common piercing done world wide. I myself is guilty of piercing my ears. My mum just brought me to the shop one day and got my ears pierce. Yes, I am guilty of decorating my ears with earrings.

Then there is the piercing of other locations like: tongue, navel or even private body parts. The decoration for all these piercing varies according to one’s taste. This link I put here has very interesting pictures of all the piercing.

4. Body paint

This form of decoration is always seen during sports matches. The fans will paint their favourite team’s jersey colour on their forehead, arm or even for some extreme fans, on their chest!

However, for the modeling and entertainment industry, body paint is more extensively used. The best example I can think of is Rebecca Romijin as the blue mutant named "Mystique" in X-Men. She is naked literally, save for the blue paint on her body.

I once received an e-mail showing a naked woman walking along the street. (not in Malaysia of course). From afar, she looks fully clothed with a sleeveless top and hot pants. On nearer observation, the “clothing” is actually body paint. Have to look for that e-mail.

Final note

My point is why do we need to decorate ourselves? Why can’t we be the original pure white canvas? Why must we always think we are a blank canvas that requires decoration?

I can only think of one apparent reason: to look BEAUTIFUL in the eyes of our peers.

Sigh. We are stuck with our self-perception through the eyes of other people when in reality; God already sees the real beauty within us without all these decorations.

Here! Here! (Raising my arms) I am guilty of that too.

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