With the current buzzword-like popularity of the body positivity movement, women everywhere have arguably been learning to love and embrace their bodies in a whole new way. It's absolutely no surprise, then, that these gals are feeling freer to adore their non-flat, gorgeous bellies by getting a plus size navel piercing. You know, something to add a little sparkle when we are rocking the crop tops and no longer feeling afraid of flaunting our identities.
After writing a piece about having a plus size navel piercing (something I got as a 16-year-old teenager and have loved and showcased ever since), I discovered a slew of fellow plus size women who had interest in getting one but felt that they never could actually go through with it. The reasons included, perhaps unsurprisingly, not having flat tummies, subsequently feeling embarrassed to show those tummies off, or not even believing that it was an option for them. It's amazing to see the things we close ourselves off from when we are plus size. So many of us automatically accept that certain things that accentuate our bodies "aren't for us," because that's what society says, right?
Well, I'm here to tell you that a glittering navel is for you. It's time to throw away all your pre-conceived notions of the things "fat people can't do" and embrace your body, your freedom, and your right to body jewelry. Really, there's no better way to show off that gorgeous chubby belly of yours while you're rocking that crop top than having a pretty piece of jewelry to look at.
After reading my aforementioned article, fellow plus size lady Marie J of Hole Look Piercings and Tattoos contacted me in the hopes of sharing her knowledge and experience with plus size piercings. Marie works in a piercing shop in Alaska, and has a "passion for education when it comes to safe piercing, especially when it comes to plus size piercings," as she notes in her email. She adds that, "'Can I get pierced even though I'm fat?' is [her] number one asked question when fat babes come into [her] shop or on online forums."
I decided to ask Marie (who also happened to document her own plus size navel piercing experience) for some more advice on things to consider if you're thinking of getting one. Here are just six things she suggests you contemplate.
1. Piercings Are More About Anatomy Than Body Type
According to Marie, humans of all shapes and sizes come into the shop she works at for piercings. Contrary to popular myth, however, whether or not a belly button piercing will work for you has nothing to do with weight. "What it comes down to is the anatomy in the area you are piercing, much more than someone's overall body type," she says.
For instance, your belly button type (outie versus innie) is far more correlated to how easily you can get pierced than having a visible belly outline. "If it’s something you want, go for it," Marie adds. "Worst case scenario, you can’t, but guess what: You have the entire rest of you chub-tastic body to work with!"
2. Your Piercer Should Be Able To Tell You About Their Experience Level
Whenever you're getting a piercing — regardless of your size or anatomy — you should find out as much logistical information as you can about your piercer. "First and foremost, look for someone who will treat you with respect, answer all of your questions, and take the time to make sure you are comfortable," Marie tells me. For plus size individuals feeling reluctant to get pierced, it's important to figure out whether the person doing it is body positive and happy to work with all different types of bodies. "In the end, you have to ask is the shop clean and comfortable. If not, take your business elsewhere," Marie adds.
3. Aftercare Will Be The Same
If you're worried that having a big belly will make aftercare for your piercing harder or somehow worse, don't. "Proper aftercare is one of the most important things you can do to keep your piercing happy and healthy," Marie notes. "Avoid scented body washes and lotions, stick with non-antibacterial soap (personally I like Dr. Bronner's baby soap). Your piercing shop might have a saline spray you can purchase which is very convenient when you’re on the go, but I recommend mixing up your own saline solution and soaking your navel for five to 10 minutes once a day," she adds. The importance of keeping up with aftercare is the same for all individuals.
4. You Might Have To Order Custom Jewelry
Belly Button Ring Emerald Green Swarovski Crystal Flower Charm, $15, etsy.com
If the worst thing that can happen as a result of getting a navel piercing when plus size is having to buy new jewelry, I think we're all pretty good. "With all piercings, it is anatomy based. You need to be sure your piercing is able to breathe and is easy to clean. This can be especially tricky when it comes to B/double tummies," Marie points out. "Look at the navel itself: You want a nice, defined curve on the top of the navel. Sometimes, standard lengths won’t work with your anatomy. This doesn’t mean you can’t get it done, but you might have to order custom jewelry to fully achieve the aesthetic you are looking for," she adds. All in all, an excuse to buy a new ring isn't such a bad deal.
5. It Can Be A Really Nice Experience
As plus size people used to being marginalized, it's sometimes easy to fall into the trap of thinking we either won't be able to have certain experiences, or that certain experiences will be inherently negative because of our size. Marie had a grand old time getting her own navel pierced, though. "Other than the mild harassment (which is to be expected when your friends pierce you), it was a smooth, fun experience," she says. "[My piercer] asked me to lay down, stand up, and sit, so she could take several measurements beforehand to make sure we had the right jewelry." Although she ended up with a ring that wasn't what she had originally planned due to her anatomy, the final result was still cause for joy.
6. It's Inspirational To Fat Babes
Crystal Bow Belly Button Ring Jewelry, $14, etsy.com
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when deciding whether or not to pierce your plus size belly is the impact it will have on those around you. "Honestly, the navel was not one of the piercings I was dying to have, but I wanted to inspire fat babes," Marie tells me. When you allow marginalized bodies to do the things all other bodies are allowed to do, you help create visibility and acceptance. Marie wanted to be able to say, "Hey look! I’m fat, stretch-marked, and I have mine done! Look how cute it is," and there's no doubt her choice will inspire many to come.
Images: khaleesidelrey/Instagram (2); Courtesy Marie J