Belly button piercing, also referred to as a navel piercing, has become a common piercing for both men and women of all ages. While it is more prevalent in females, there are some males who are choosing to express themselves with a belly button piercing.
While the actual terms sound like the belly button itself is pierced that generally is not true. The area above the actual belly button is generally pierced with a double puncture or complete piercing with a point of entry and a point of exit. Some actual navels can be pierced but only when you have an “outie” belly button; as many refer to it. When done properly there is minimal pain and it is a fairly quick procedure. As with any piercing you want to be sure the place you are having your piercing done is clean and follows standards that should be cleared with your local board of health. Only allow sterile needles to be used and never allow them to use a needle to puncture your belly button area unless you actually see it being removed from the sterilized, sealed pack in front of you.
The History of Belly Button Piercing
There is a huge discrepancy regarding the history of belly button piercing, which seems to have yet to be truly resolved. According to a pamphlet called Body & Genital Piercing in Brief, navel piercing had been taking place as far back as the Egyptians and according to the pamphlet the author, Malloy, claims that proof of this is in sculptures found in Egypt. Some believe that only the Pharos and those of Royalty were allowed to have their belly buttons pierced. However, most historians claim that this simply is not true and that there is absolutely no proof either in sculptures, drawings, or even mummies that would point to the art of decorating the body with navel piercings during this time. It is probably more so a procedure that began in other cultures as a decorative piercing and slowly generated more interest around the world, eventually to come to North America. For anyone to say they can truly give you the exact information on when and where belly button piercing began is probably telling you something that is not based on fact.
Pop culture seems to have embraced the art of belly button piercing when in 1993, model Alicia Silverstone performed in an Aerosmith MTV Video showing her newly pierced belly button. Word quickly spread that famous piercer Paul King had performed the piercing on Silverstone and young girls flocked to copy the look. Belly button rings were popping up everywhere and ever since has taken off as a way to express oneself and give off an air of sexiness.
Others claim that model Christy Turlinton rocked the modeling and fashion world when she appeared in a London Fashion Show with a belly button ring brightly shining for all to see. The very next day Naomi Campbell was said to have gone out and had her navel pierced also just to show that anything Christy could do, she could do better. While, again, it all depends upon who you talk to about when the fad began there is no question that it is not on a downfall anytime soon and it definitely can represent anything from a person’s personality to sexuality.
Who’s Getting Their Belly Buttons Pierced?
Oddly enough not only has the art moved from strictly slim, toned, model like women with flat tummies but people of every gender, form, background, and size seem to be enjoying the art of getting their belly button pierced. While the most popular age group for belly button piercing is between the ages of 16-24, some places claim to have pierced the navels of girls as young as 10. While most states have laws that would require a parent’s signature and approval for something like this, according to piercers it does happen. Many piercing parlors have seen an increase in belly button piercing in women over the age of 30 also. Some think it is because of the more accepted viewpoint on the art itself; while others think it’s a matter of generations who simply are more attuned to being pierced so it’s no big deal anymore for most. Even men are slowly coming to parlors for belly button piercings. While it used to be limited to mainly the gay community, more and more straight men are finding it to be just another way to make a statement about who they are and choose male oriented jewelry to wear like dragons, crosses, swords, and more to express themselves.
Caring for Belly Button Piercings
Caring for a belly button piercing is very important because of where it is and similar to an ear piercing, the rate of body rejection is fairly low. The most important step is to be sure your piercing is done in a legitimate parlor which is either licensed if your state requires it or has passed inspections with your local Board of Health officials. Once you have your belly button piercing you want to be sure to keep the area well dried, especially after bathing/showering due to the fact that fungal infections can happen in the area very easily when it’s left moist. It is not unusual for the navel area to redden and later even form a crusty surface around the area. This is not necessarily a sign of infection but if you have any question seek medical advice. It is often not uncommon to have a slightly milky discharge as the navel heals also; again, this is not necessarily a sign of infection but if you have any question seek professional advice. All in all it can take up to a year for your belly button piercing to heal completely; however, most take from 3 to 4 months to heal up. Your professional piercer should give you a complete set of instructions which include what they recommend you do for cleaning your belly button piercing. Just make sure to follow the directions closely and don’t hesitate to contact a professional if you question if your belly button piercing has become infected or looks strange.