A navel piercing (also referred to as a belly button piercing or an umbilical dip piercing) is a type of piercing located through, 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 around 6-9 months, or even more 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. It is worn by a lot of female celebrities including Britney Spears and Beyoncé.
In ancient times the body piercing was a 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.