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  • catherine stemper

Power Up

I was just surfing my Pinterest feed and I came across an article about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez being told not to wear large hoop style earrings nor red nail polish or lipstick, by Sonia Sotomayor, of all people. Why a powerful woman would tell another powerful woman to subdue her power symbols is beyond me, but I am sure she was just trying to help. This brings me to my point, empowerment.


The oldest found man made artifacts are not weapons or tools or utensils, they are beads. Beads do not provide shelter, or sustenance. But maybe they provided power. Those beads were made by ancient hands trying to differentiate, elevate one's self. Maybe they were traded, providing power. Jewelry has always been a symbol of power. Think about that. Jewelry is a symbol. It can signify wealth, independence or partnership, rank, status, and class. From wedding rings to military medals, jewelry is significant.


When I was in art school we spent hours, days, years, discussing the function of art. What does art do? Is art just decoration? Is jewelry just decoration? Is decoration important? Why do we decorate? Decoration is to beautify and inform, symbolize. Decorations can have important meaning.


Wearing jewelry has always been important to me. I wear my wedding rings to show my commitment to my husband. It is a safe guard, usually, against unwanted attention too. I wear my grandmother's ring to connect me to my heritage. Some people wear a religious symbol. Others wear a certain gem to symbolize something. We all have a favorite pair of earrings, necklace or bracelet that empowers us, or maybe its a pair of shoes. Empower yourself.


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