Vintage map

Browse all

The great comeback of the belly button piercing

The sparkly little ring is becoming (again) the favorite accessory of celebrities

The great comeback of the belly button piercing The sparkly little ring is becoming (again) the favorite accessory of celebrities

From ancient Egyptians who used it as a symbol of nobility and beauty to India, where there's a long-standing tradition associated with Hindu mythology, from Beyoncé to Ice Spice, women have been getting their navel pierced for centuries. In the 1990s and the early 2000s, it was all the rage. Making it mainstream were Christy Turlington, the first model to reveal that sparkling jewel during a fashion show in London in 1993, and Alicia Silverstone who, in the video for Cryin' by Aerosmith, had it pierced by anthropologist and professional piercer Paul King.

Decades have passed since that heavily rotated video on MTV mesmerized millions of kids in front of the screen, suggesting to them that a small hole peeking from a t-shirt could be a simple gesture to be cool and, at the same time, annoy their parents. It's no coincidence that rebellious little ring placed in the belly area, always considered sensual, began to disappear with the advance of the new millennium. A victim of the same misogynistic social stigma as the tramp stamp, that tiny accessory was enough to brand those who wore it as "easy" and promiscuous, an image that was not wanted to be associated with the increasingly younger artists coming out of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Thus, gradually, the navel piercing, also known as navel piercing, lost its popularity to become the faded polaroid of the era when the Spice Girls and Lindsay Lohan filled the pages of magazines.

The Navel Piercing in 2024

For some years now, however, the navel piercing has returned to appear on the bodies of pop stars. Fake, real, or attached to clothing, the sparkling little ring fits in as the perfect accessory to complete the renewed fashion interest towards low-rise pants, cropped tops, and visible thongs. At the Vanity Fair Oscars after-party, stars like Vanessa Hudgens with her baby bump have shown that in 2024, the piercing is a must, with transparent and sexy looks. The red carpet and see-through dresses have revealed the piercings of Addison Rae, Julia Fox, Priyanka Chopra, Charli XCX, while Ice Spice, Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion, Hailey Bieber, Mia Regan, and Billie Eilish regularly flaunt it on their Instagram profiles.

A new approach to navel piercing

There's no more slut-shaming. No rebellious twist. Today, the navel piercing is just an aesthetic whim to indulge in with the same ease as changing one's hairstyle. And for those afraid of needles, there are fake piercings or specific garments, like the one worn by Margot Robbie at the Saltburn premiere. The actress arrived at the event wearing a look from the Fall/Winter 2023 couture collection by Schiaparelli, featuring a pair of extra-wide trapeze trousers in velvet twill and a transparent bronze-colored corset on the top, adorned with a fake golden navel piercing.

What to Know Before Getting a Belly Button Piercing

It might not seem as daring as a clitoral piercing, but before proceeding with a navel piercing, there are several aspects to consider to avoid regretting the decision or, worse, suffering from annoying infections. You need to choose the placement, the type of jewelry, and who to trust to perform the piercing. It's best to approach the piercer with a clear mind, gathering information about what the post-intervention process entails, how long the wound takes to heal, what the cost is, and many other small details useful for making an informed choice.

Different Types of Belly Button Piercings

The belly button piercing is a small hole made in the area around the navel, where a small piece of jewelry is applied. The most common types are two: the navel piercing, where the hole is made vertically from top to bottom through the upper part of the navel, and the inverse navel piercing, where the skin is pierced in the lower part of the navel. The choice depends not only on personal taste but especially on individual anatomy and the professionalism of the piercer, who, based on the suitability and shape of the navel, advises where it is best to perform the piercing and, consequently, what jewelry to insert.

Where to Get a Belly Button Piercing

Forget the DIY method from the '90s. The first rule is to choose a safe place and rely on a specialized studio that has ASL certification and operates following the hygiene and health requirements set by the Ministry of Health's Guidelines for the execution of tattoo and piercing procedures. To avoid the risk of infections or diseases, the piercer must use disposable needles and sterilized tools, just as the working environment must also be sterilized.

The Piercing Procedure

First step: consult a serious professional. One should never forget that it is a very delicate area that can easily become infected, so it is necessary to turn to an authorized and experienced piercer. Second: make an appointment during which to have an informed discussion. Third: it's time to make the hole. After your anatomy has been examined and the ideal type of piercing for you has been determined, most piercers clean and sterilize the area around the navel, then make a mark with a marker on the point that will be pierced with the needle. Now, it's the turn of the approximately 15-millimeter needle to be inserted through the skin, placing the bottom part of the jewelry in place. Once the needle is removed, the piercer screws the ball into the top part of the piercing, thus securing the jewelry.

@piercerferrante_domusink Navel piercing #navelpiercing #piercing #piercingtorino #navel #fyp #fypシ #perte Can't Get You out of My Head - Ugg'A


Always remember that a needle is penetrating your navel, so the piercing won't be painless. Moreover, everyone's perception of pain is different and is often influenced by how relaxed one is. So, it depends on individual pain thresholds. In short, if you're afraid of needles, the experience might not be pleasant. That said, the procedure is quick, and you might experience an intense pinching sensation for a few seconds, followed by discomfort that fades over time.

Healing and Post-Procedure Process

Most belly button piercings require eight to twelve months to fully heal. The first 4 weeks are the most delicate. Avoid touching, moving, or rotating the jewelry because hands are often carriers of bacteria. It's also important to avoid bathing in the sea, swimming pools, and generally coming into contact with unclean water. During this post-procedure period, hygiene is extremely important. To keep the piercing free from infections, it's necessary to follow the piercer's instructions and clean it regularly. Usually, during healing, cleaning is done gently twice a day with a sterile saline solution and the use of a sterile gauze. Among other small daily precautions are not sleeping on your stomach and wearing comfortable clothes that won't snag on the jewelry. The belly button piercing is no more subject to infections or irritations than any other piercing, and any possible problems are eliminated by turning to a serious and qualified professional and following a correct post-procedure process. However, if you notice a local inflammatory reaction or pus, consult your doctor.

Types of Jewelry and Prices

The belly button piercing is done for aesthetic reasons, so you can choose from various types of hypoallergenic jewelry, depending on the exact position of the hole. Generally, you opt for a ring only when the hole is already stabilized, while you start with a curved barbell in titanium or gold, which may include one or more stones. The choice of decoration affects the costs of the piercing, which range from €40 to €100. A piece of advice: for the entire first year, it's better to change the jewelry at the studio where you got the piercing.