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Navel piercing

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A navel piercing (also referred to as a belly button piercing) is a type of body piercing located in the navel. It may heal very 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. Although, if it becomes infected, serious complications may result, including permanent scarring or even death.[1][2] Unlike most body 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 piercings.

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 getting more popular these days. This kind of piercing is popular with, but not exclusive to females.

History and culture

Cryinvid

A screenshot of Alicia Silverstone's character getting a navel piercing in the music video for "Cryin'".

This 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 in 1993." The popularization of the piercing, however, is accredited to the 1993 Aerosmith music video for their song "Cryin'," wherein actress Alicia Silverstone has her navel pierced by body piercer Paul King - This piercing actually took place live on set during the filming of the video. The easy concealment of a navel piercing with clothing, even during the healing process, has contributed to the widespread adoption of this piercing. These days belly button rings are becoming really popular with the 12-15 age group, but some get it as young as 9.

Jewelry

Bauchnabel-Piercing

A simple barbell

Most kinds of ring or bar jewelry can be worn in a navel piercing. Navels are most often pierced with a curved barbell, which is recommended to be worn until the piercing has fully healed. A wide variety of decorative jewelry is available for navels - simple curved barbells, barbells with dangling pendants, and captive bead rings are common examples.

There has been a special standard established for navel barbells (also called "bananabells" or "bananabars", reference to 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 and is most commonly referred to as a 14-gauge post. The silver caps on either side of the simple 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 - like captive bead rings (or CBR), which can also be worn in navel piercings - internet body jewelry retailers and wholesalers tend to refer to these barbells as belly button "rings".[3]

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.[4]

Risks

Although navel piercings are symbols fashion and may be seen to make the navel and midriff look attractive,there are some risks involved such as:

  • Infection if brand new it may take up to 6-9 months before you may take it out due to healing process , sweat and bacteria may cause infection. Bacterial infections can result in cysts.
  • They present a risk of scarring.Skin tissue rarely heals to match the surrounding tissue. It heals in varying thickness, in different ways for different types of people, and forms different types of scarring for different kinds of 'damage'. It is likely that any piercing worn for a significant time (months to years) will leave a scar if removed.[5]

The above are just a few.There are many other such risks in body piercing. Sometimes these piercings could result in serious injuries during certain accidents. In October 2007, Jessica Collins from Radyr, Cardiff, was almost killed when her belly button stud tore through her stomach “like a bullet” during a car accident. The seatbelt she was wearing forced the metal stud through her body almost to her spine, causing serious internal injuries.[6]

Navel piercing in popular culture

The act of navel piercing has appeared in a number of movies and TV shows, and a number of celebrities have had their navel pierced especially for a specific movie or TV role.

  • In addition to a number of other piercings, model Claudia Schiffer had her navel temporarily pierced especially for her role in the 1999 movie Desperate But Not Serious.
  • For her part in the 2001 movie My First Mister, actress Leelee Sobieski had a number of temporary body piercings done, including her navel.
  • In 2002, a 16-year-old Mischa Barton had her navel pierced especially for her role as Natasha 'Nat' Wilson in the movie Octane, but then let the piercing heal up again once filming was completed.
  • The 2003 movie Thirteen includes a scene in which the character of Tracy, played by Evan Rachel Wood has her tongue and navel pierced. Although Wood wore a fake tongue stud and the piercing was simulated, the shot in which she has her navel pierced had to be captured in a single take as she had agreed to actually have her navel pierced for the role.

References

  1. Lewiston, Maine, Sun Journal - Aug 8, 2005
  2. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Dec 6, 2006
  3. Belly Button Rings Guide - Find The Best Navel Body Jewelry Online!
  4. Diamond Vues: Snap On, Snap Off, For Body Jewelry!
  5. Common Problems of body piercings
  6. Girl almost died in crash as navel stud shot through her ‘like a bullet’!

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