Humans’ desires to alter their bodies, from simple coloration to extensive scarring, dates back to prehistoric cavemen who decorated their bodies with ritual imagery to scare away evil spirits.
During combat, early man used body imagery to frighten their enemies. Later, body decoration began to symbolize tribal unity, as members of the same social unit applied similar paint styles. During the 1960s, body art was elevated to an avant-garde art form: devotees of this style underwent unusual manipulations of their bodies, which could be painful and dangerous.
It would be impossible to catalog all of the intended uses of body art in such a small space. In today’s civilized society, its primary purpose is to aesthetically please the people around us. Psychologists call body painting, the most widespread type of body art, one of the most passive means of self-expression. By the way, make-up is considered a subcategory of body painting.
Acrylic paint is generally used for full-body painting. This type of body art is often in demand for fashion shows, art exhibits and similar events. The requirements for body art models are no less stringent than those for fashion models. We frequently encounter another variety of body art at fairs and children’s parties: innocent images of animal faces painted on children’s faces represent a subgenre known as face-painting.