For my 16th birthday, I only wanted one thing: my bellybutton pierced. I wasn’t badass enough to find an unhygienic place that would do it illegally (must be 18+ to get piercings here), so, goody-two-shoes that I was, I begged my mom to take me. She was not on board with it at all but gave in because, as she even admitted, on the spectrum of ridiculous things teenagers do, this wasn’t so bad. However, she made it very clear to me that she thought it was a stupid and unnecessary piercing.
I didn’t think it was stupid or unnecessary though. I really loved it. I liked having a little barbell in it, with a sparkly purple stone. Then I went to college and my boyfriend gave me a hoop with a freshwater pearl on it to put in there (I thought this was extremely classy, which is hilarious, since it was a freaking bellybutton piercing).
Then, somewhere around age 24, I realized the piercing wasn’t really doing anything for me. I actually remembered back to high school when I found out my physics teacher had her bellybutton pierced, and it totally weirded me out. I then realized now I was a teacher with a bellybutton piercing and I didn’t care to be. Not that I would judge another woman for rocking it into adulthood, I know many people that still do, but it just wasn’t me anymore. So I took the jewelry out and didn’t think anything of it.
I had sort of assumed the hole would miraculously heal shut and disappear, just like some of my old ear piercings, tongue piercing (oh man can’t believe I had that, yikes) and even my nose piercing did.
However, if you’ve had your bellybutton pierced, you and I both know that it most certainly doesn’t go away. In fact I could probably still put jewelry in there if I wanted to. But you’ll see in a second why I would never, ever do that.
Anyway, the little dot above my bellybutton never bothered me. I was never that into my stomach. I wasn’t strutting around in cropped shirts on the regular or anything, so whatever. It was all good.
Belly circa October 2012.
Then I got pregnant, and one of the first things my best friend Kari warned me about was the disintegration of my bellybutton. At this point she had a one year old and was still (half-jokingly) mourning the loss of her pre-pregnancy bellybutton. She had also had a piercing back in the day, and told me that this was the very worst part of the bellybutton’s demise.
Oh maaan was she right.
In general, I’m really okay my belly’s weirdness. Linea nigra is fine with me. I know that it’s normal, natural, etc. Like a rite of passage. And my bellybutton itself is weird as hell, all flattened out, brownish, with the visible slit above, but I actually think it’s kind of cool. I always wondered what was happening inside there. But above that bellybutton slit… is just this weird extra hole that is now getting oddly brown and, dare I say, crusty? And the fact that I decided to put that hole there because I thought it looked cool, just makes me shake my head at 16 year old Carly.
So, just as I’ve done so many times before, I now need to admit to my mom that she was totally right. It was a pretty stupid and unnecessary piercing. But hey, I genuinely loved it at the time. I really did. So I guess I need to accept the way it’s playing itself out on my tummy today. And if I ever have a daughter begging to get her bellybutton pierced, I’ll show her these pictures before letting her make up her own mind.