Navel piercing

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Navel piercing
Belly button ring.jpg
Nicknames Belly-button ring
Location Navel
Jewelry Barbell, captive bead ring
Healing time

This article is about Piercings

Navel piercing (also referred to as belly button piercing) is a type of body piercing. It may heal quickly and with few problems, like an ear piercing, or may heal more like a surface piercing with the associated rejection risks and extended healing time. Healing of this piercing can also be complicated by irritation and damage caused by clothing, especially waistlines or tight clothing, or the position of the navel relative to the bend of the waist. The actual navel is not pierced when a navel piercing is performed. The most common form of navel piercing is through the upper rim of the navel. A true navel piercing requires the person being pierced to have an "outie" navel to some degree, and is extremely rare. Although there is an urban legend that an infection in a true navel piercing can travel inward to the liver or peritoneum, there are no known cases of this occurring.

History and culture

As a contemporary piercing, there is no direct evidence of historical navel piercing, although there is a great deal of historical evidence regarding the decoration of the navel, both for ritual and aesthetic purposes.

A simple barbell

Despite the possible long healing time and risk of rejection, this piercing is one of the most common and popular body piercings today. Popular culture has played a large role in the promotion of this piercing. The navel piercing first hit the mainstream when model Christy Turlington showed her navel piercing at a fashion show in London. The popularization of the piercing, however, is accredited to the 1993 Aerosmith music video for their song "Cryin'", wherein Alicia Silverstone has her navel pierced. It also played a major role in pop culture after reigning pop princess Britney Spears navel piercing appearance. The easy hiding of a navel piercing with clothing, even during the healing process, has contributed to the widespread adoption of this piercing, especially by young people.

Other notable celebrities with upper navel piercings include Hayden Panettiere, Beyoncé Knowles, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Vanessa Hudgens, Jordy Wordy, Christina Milian, Jessica Alba and Gisele Bundchen. A celebrity with a lower navel piercing is Keira Knightley.

It is often considered an indication of sexual promiscuity and it is usually a taboo to speak of it. It can also be seen as rebellious and trending towards the subculture of those involved in adult industries. This is likely due the high incidence of this piercing among pornographic actresses and models, as opposed to models in more mainstream fashion industries where body modification is generally frowned upon due the inconvenience involved in correcting undesirable modifications as compared to the addition of a temporary or fake.

Due to the popularity of this often-difficult-to-heal piercing among young people, especially young girls, this piercing is often done with improper, unsanitary jewellery or piercing tools, including ear piercing guns. Because many navel piercings are performed and healed semi-clandestinely, piercing studios, doctors and emergency rooms often have to deal with the results of improperly performed, poorly healed navel piercings.


Clip-on belly jewelry

Most kinds of ring or bar jewelry can be worn in a navel piercing, although they are most often pierced with a barbell, which is worn until the piercing has fully healed. A wide variety of decorative jewelry is available for navel - simple navel barbells, navel barbells with dangling pendants and navel barbells with attached belly chains.

There has been a special standard established for navel barbells, also called bananabells, or bananabars because of their curved shape. The standard bananabell is 1.6 mm (1/16") thick and 9.5 mm (3/8") or 11.1 mm (7/16") long. Or to make it even more simple 14 Gauge. The ball sizes are 5 mm at the top and 8 mm at the bottom of the shaft.

Although navel bananabells are different from full rings - like CBR (captive bead rings) that also can be worn in navel - there is tendency by the Internet body jewellery retailers and wholesalers to refer to them as belly button rings.

A new version of navel jewelry is on the market for those without pierced navels, which is based on the idea of clip-on earrings.


Prior to piercing, the navel is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and the location of the piercing is marked, while the person getting pierced is standing. The piercing itself is often performed with a clamp and a sterile, hollow needle. The piercer should thread the jewellery through the piercing following the needle.

In general, a sterilized clamp is first clamped on the skin above or below the belly button. Then the sterilized needle is pushed through followed by the sterilized jewelry that was chosen. New methods and advances in equipment often eliminate the need for clamping the skin prior to piercing.

See also

External links

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