|A feature of all human societies, except perhaps the most primitive, is the wearing
of clothing or clothes, especially in public. The primary purpose of clothing is
functional, as a protection from the elements. In hot climates the functional need
for clothing is minimal, while in very cold climates it is very high.
In history, clothes have been from many materials - ranging from grasses to furs to
much more elaborate and exotic materials. Based on scientific research into lice it
is estimated that humans have been wearing clothing for 650,000 years.
People also decorate their bodies with makeup or cosmetics, scented perfume, and
other ornamentation; they also cut, dye, and arrange the hair on their heads, faces,
and bodies (see hairstyle), and sometimes also mark their skin (by tattoos,
scarifications, and piercings). All these decorations may contribute to the overall
effect and message of clothing, but do not constitute clothing.
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