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|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 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 
In ancient times the body piercing was considered as sign of manliness and courage. The Egyptian Pharaohs brought earring at the navel that was 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 Brief 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.
Many popular navel jewelry has become more extensive in the past years. Many new designs, such as the ancient Bali jewelry designs have been added to everyday navel cultures. The most common still, are barbells. 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", 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 (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".
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:
- Infection: A new piercing may take up to 6–9 months before it can be taken out, during which time sweat and bacteria may cause infection. Bacterial infections can result in cysts.
- 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.
- Adaptation challenges: A person younger than age 16 faces additional risk in a piercing. "Paco", a piercer at Hot Rod Piercing Co. in Pittsburgh, has said that he will not pierce anyone younger than 16, even with parental consent. "Their bodies are changing as they're growing. For example, as a teen gets taller, her bellybutton piercing might migrate to the top of the navel. So you really should try to discourage it, even if they have their parents along."
- id=saQkAAAAIBAJ&sjid=HXIDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6736,2058043&dq=navel+piercing+death&hl=en Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - 6 December 2006
- "THE PIERCING SUBCULTURE – A RISKY OBSESSION OR AN OBSESSIVE RISK". FASHION LIFESTYLE. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- Angel, Elayne (2009). The Piercing Bible: The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing. The Crossing Press. ISBN 1580911935.
- Ward, Jim (23 January 2004). "Who was Doug Malloy". BMEzine. Retrieved 7 May 2010. Unknown parameter
- Miller, Jean-Chris (2004). The Body Art Book. Penguin. ISBN 0425197263.
- Vale, V.; Andrea Juno (1989). Modern Primitives: an Investigation of Contemporary Adornment & Ritual. Re/Search Publications. ISBN 9780940642140.
- "Navel piercing. Unlike the other body piercings, this one has not been recorded in history." (Parents 2007, p. 151)
- Aerosmith - BME Encyclopedia
- Gretchen McKay (29 December 1999). "Pierced and forbidden: Students, parents poke holes in Hopewell's ban on body jewelry". PG News. Retrieved 17 March 2012.