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History of the Belly Piercing

by Hadas Milrod on March 11, 2024

The history of belly rings, also known as navel piercings, is fascinating and spans across various cultures and time periods. While their exact origins are difficult to pinpoint, navel piercings have been practiced for centuries and hold cultural significance in many societies.

  1. Ancient Cultures: Navel piercings have roots in ancient cultures dating back thousands of years. In Egypt, for example, it's believed that navel piercings were adorned with precious stones as a symbol of wealth and status. Similarly, in India, navel piercings have a long-standing tradition and are associated with Hindu mythology, where they symbolize fertility and beauty.

  2. South Pacific: In certain South Pacific cultures, navel piercings were and continue to be a rite of passage for both men and women. These piercings often hold spiritual significance and are believed to protect the wearer from evil spirits.

  3. Western Pop Culture Influence: In the modern Western world, navel piercings gained popularity in the 1990s and early 2000s, particularly among young people influenced by pop culture icons and celebrities. Celebrities like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera famously sported belly button piercings, which helped catapult them into mainstream fashion.

  4. Fashion and Self-Expression: Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, navel piercings have remained a popular form of self-expression and body adornment. They are often associated with notions of youth, rebellion, and individuality, making them a staple accessory for many individuals seeking to express their personal style.

  5. Body Modification Movement: Navel piercings are also embraced within the broader body modification community, alongside tattoos, ear piercings, and other forms of body art. Within this community, piercings are seen as a means of self-expression, empowerment, and reclaiming ownership of one's body.

Today, navel piercings continue to be a popular choice for individuals of all ages and backgrounds. While their popularity may have fluctuated over time, their cultural significance and appeal as a form of self-expression remain enduring. Whether worn for aesthetic reasons, cultural significance, or personal meaning, navel piercings continue to hold a special place in the history of body adornment.