|Nicknames Belly-button piercing|
Healing 6-9 months
|Jewelry Barbell, captive bead ring|
A navel piercing (also referred to as a belly button piercing or an umbilical dip piercing) is a type of piercing located in, or around, the navel. It may heal quickly and with no problems, like an ear piercing, or may heal more like a surface piercing with the associated extended healing time. Healing usually takes less than six months, and as long as it is cleaned, it will heal nicely. Unlike most surface piercings, this is one of the few that do not normally reject, although the rejection rate is higher than non-surface piercings, such as ear piercing. 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.
History and culture
In ancient times the body piercing was considered as sign of manliness and courage. The Egyptian Pharaohs believed the earring at the navel to be a sign of ritual transition from the life at the Earth to the eternity.
The history of navel piercing has been particularly misrepresented as many of the myths promulgated by Malloy in the pamphlet Body & Genital Piercing in Brieef continue to be reprinted. For instance, according to Malloy's colleague Jim Ward, Malloy claimed navel piercing was popular among ancient Egyptian aristocrats and was depicted in Egyptian statuary, a claim that is widely repeated. Other sources say that there are no records to support a historical practice for navel piercing.
The navel piercing is one of the most common 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 in 1993. 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 by body piercer Paul King. The easy concealment of a navel piercing with clothing, even during the healing process, has contributed to the widespread adoption of this piercing.
Navel jewelry has become more extensive in recent years. Many new designs, such as the ancient Bali jewelry designs, have been added to everyday navel cultures. Barbells remain the most common. The worlds first belly huggy was designed and patented by TummyToys® navel rings. Vogue fashion published an article in 2015 about the circular captive bead belly rings and TummyToys® snap lock clasps becoming the current trend for navel piercings. Most kinds of ring or bar jewelry can be worn in a navel piercing. Navels are most often pierced with a 14g curved barbell, which is recommended to be worn until the piercing has fully healed, the healing time is typically anywhere between 6 - 12 months. A wide variety of decorative jewelry is available for navels - simple curved barbells, captives, TummyToys® belly huggies, flexible PTFE and fancy long length styles with dangling pendants. These days real diamond and solid gold belly rings are also available in a wide range of styles. Most kinds of ring or bar jewelry can be worn in a navel piercing, both for top and bottom piercings.
There has been a special standard established for navel barbells (also called "bananabells" or "bananabars", a reference to their curved shape). The standard barbell is 1.6 mm (1/16") thick and 9.5 mm (3/8") or 11.1 mm (7/16") long and is most commonly referred to as a 14-gauge post. The silver caps on the barbell post usually measure 5mm in diameter for the upper and 8mm in diameter for the lower.
Although navel bananabells are different from full rings, such as captive bead rings (CBRs), which can also be worn in navel piercings, internet body jewelry retailers and wholesalers tend to refer to these barbells 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.
Although navel piercings are fashion symbols and may make the navel and midriff look more attractive, they carry the many risks of body piercing, notably: