In the 1990s, getting a belly button piercing was all the rage. The piercing first made its way to mainstream pop culture in 1993 when model Christy Turlington revealed her pierced navel in a London fashion show.
That same year, Aerosmith released a music video for their song “Cryin’,” where Alicia Silverstone gets a belly button ring to help her get over a guy. The end scene of the video shows her jumping off a freeway overpass as if she’s going to commit suicide. However, the whole thing was a setup to get back at a guy—it’s her navel ring that saves her. Rather than free falling to her death, she is tethered to a cord through her belly button ring.
While this is a highly exaggerated way of displaying how a navel piercing gave her the confidence to get back at her ex, it’s not entirely false.
In this article, we’ll explore how a belly button ring can enhance confidence and show you are confident.
Reasons People Get Belly Button Piercings
People get pierced for a variety of reasons ranging from self-expression to fashion, wanting to fit into a subculture to simple ornamentation, and more.
In a recent study on how navel piercings affect body image and self-perception in women, 194 women were asked why they decided to get a belly button piercing. The study showed that the most common motivation was increased physical attractiveness; this represents 27.3% of all responses.
Some of the other reasons for getting navel piercings include:
- Control over body
- Need for uniqueness
- Positive attention from peers
- Attractiveness of piercing
- Hide a flaw
While this survey only represents women, these motivators can be pretty universal and apply to all genders. What’s interesting to note is that many of the motivators relate to body image and body autonomy.
Another interesting data point from the survey is the fact that after getting their belly button pierced, women felt:
- More like their selves
- More in control of their bodies and actions
- More satisfied with the shape of their bodies
- More satisfied with the size of their bodies
- More satisfied with the site of their stomachs
- More attractive to others
- More successful
- More comfortable in their bodies
- More comfortable when others saw their bodies
The Psychology of Getting a Belly Button Piercing
One of the beautiful things about getting a piercing is how it can change your perspective on your appearance. As seen in the study mentioned above, the largest motivator for women piercing their navels was to increase physical attractiveness. But it’s not like getting a piercing magically transforms you. So how does that work?
In a Seventeen article, Hannah Orenstein discusses how she was extremely insecure about her belly until she got her belly button pierced after seeing Brittney Spears’s. After getting pierced, she immediately went home and threw on some crop tops, stating that she felt hot.
It’s a psychological transformation that takes place when someone gets a new piercing that helps build confidence. Rather than having what you’re insecure about to focus on, a new piercing enables you to admire the jewelry you’re wearing in it. Instead of thinking about how your belly hangs over your pants, you can be thinking about all the jewelry options you now have!
Navel Piercings, Eating Disorders & Confidence
Many people recovering from eating disorders get navel piercings as a way to alter their negative thoughts about their stomachs and waists. Rather than focus on what they don’t like about their bellies, they can instead find something to love about it in the jewelry or the way the piercing looks on their body. This helps them overcome the constant negative thinking, helping them gain confidence in their body image.
Flaunt What You’ve Got
A lot of fatphobia still exists within the piercing and body modification community. But let’s get one thing straight: all bodies are capable of getting belly button rings. Just like Orenstein mentioned immediately changing into a crop top to show off her new piercing, there’s something about a belly button ring that makes you want to show it off. This is where confidence comes in.
However, even if you’re still too modest to opt for a cropped tee, you can still be confident and gain confidence. First, although a navel piercing is a common piercing second to earlobes, you still went through with getting one. This means that you had the confidence to go to a piercer, show them your stomach, and go through the slight pinch during the piercing process. You can still exude confidence even if the jewelry isn’t on display for everyone.
The Main Point
You can totally display your confidence by bearing your midriff and showing off your new belly button ring. But that’s not the only way to show your confidence. If you want to keep your new navel piercing as something just for you, you can still exude confidence in other ways.
But let’s be honest, it will get increasingly difficult to not show off the awesome jewelry you wear in your piercing. And with the wide variety of belly button rings we have to choose from, we don’t blame you.