Decorative cars spice up community at LC

STUDENTS AT Lewis & Clark have always loved decorating their belongings, from water bottles to laptops, with stickers. Many students also put stickers on their cars. If you stop to look, stickers of any genre, shape and size can be found on LC students’ cars. Bumper stickers and other car decorations have a wide range of purposes, which include allowing car owners on campus to display their interests, beliefs and personalities in a fun and artistic way.

In the mid-twentieth century, according to an Atlantic article, bumper stickers were originally used as advertisements and to convey political messages. Gradually, people started to create funny bumper stickers with no real agenda, such as the one seen on an LC Pontiac Vibe saying, “Don’t tailgate me or I’ll flick a booger on your windshield.” While messages like these do not serve a political purpose, they do succeed in putting a smile on other drivers’ faces.

Some of the stickers displayed on LC cars can be too small for other drivers to read. Their purpose is usually not to spread a message, but to visually spice up the vehicle. In this way, a collage of stickers can be used to simultaneously create an eye-catching work of art and display one’s personality. 

According to Athena Anderson ’24, who has stickers even on their car top carrier, bumper stickers are a form of self-expression. Although she picked out most of them for her car herself, like the iconic “Beer is for breakfast,” some of Anderson’s stickers are their brother’s, such as “Proud parent of a US army soldier.” They particularly enjoy this mixture because “not all of them are my vibe and it confuses people.” By blending genres of stickers from different sources, Anderson rejects other peoples’ expectations in a fun and subtle way.

Izzy Huggins ’24, on the other hand, loves the painted decorations and stickers on her Toyota Prius because of  the memories attached to them. 

“The decorations remind me of the best times in high school, living with my aunts, doing art and going to protests with them,” Huggins said.

Her car was decorated by her aunts, who got extra help painting it from all of the little kids in her family. Having decorations that bring up good memories is a great way to take advantage of the blank canvas most cars start as. Huggins’ favorite stickers, a goat and a guinea pig, are actually on the inside of her car. Decorations are not always a form of expression for others to see, they can also be something that simply makes the driver happy.

Bumper stickers are a meaningful and fun way for LC students to decorate their cars, and it is a joy to see how students’ stickers visually brighten up the campus.

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