How My Belly Button Piercing Was My First Real Act of Bodily Autonomy

By Andrea Francesca Verginella Paina

”Spring break forever, bitches”. The words that inspired my belly button piercing. And no, this is not a preamble to a cool spring break story.screen-shot-2017-05-29-at-3-42-53-pm

I was sixteen and had just watched the movie Spring Breakers by Harmony Korine with my best girls, and we left the theatre feeling electric. What was cooler than seeing four trashy girls with ”normal” bodies shooting guys in neon bathing suits? The main thing I noticed about the girls from the film, is that they all had a pretty little diamond hanging from their belly buttons.

I had been on the fence about getting a belly button piercing for a few months because I was starting to get into a throwback trash style, and a few girls from high school had them. I asked some of my girlfriends at school one day whether they thought I should get one, but they told me ”no” because my stomach wasn’t flat enough. I was thin, but I was going through puberty and my body was still figuring out it’s shape, and how to adjust – so, at the time I had skinny legs and a nice little buddha belly.

So, I didn’t get the piercing. That’s how ashamed sixteen year old me was of my body.

However, after seeing these four bellied girls on screen, their rhinestone-dressed navels shining in the sun, I decided in that moment that I would get one for myself the next day.

I thought about asking my parents for their permission, as I usually did when I got a piercing, but I realised that now that I was sixteen, it was legal to do it alone.

The next day I marched into that $15 piercing place in Kensington market, determined to have a hole in my belly. After seeing that little shine on my own stomach, I felt hotter than Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson having a threesome with James Franco.

screen-shot-2017-05-29-at-3-45-14-pmWhen my mom saw it, she was shocked but understood that this was the first decision I had been allowed to make about my body without anyone else’s input. Naturally, my dad freaked out. It’s hard for parents to lose control, they’ve spent years adapting to having to make sure that nothing happens to this little being they’ve given their love to, knowing that they have to make every decision on their behalf, and hoping it’s the right one. As soon as your parents get used to that… their child begins to start making their own choices.

This was my moment, my step up to womanhood. And you know what? I might never have flat abs, my FUPA may never change, but I still rock the hell out of my piercing.


About the Author

Photo on 2017-11-18 at 4.04 PM #2

Andrea Francesca Verginella Paina is 21 year old Canadian Feminist living in Milan. She is a stylist that is obsessed with nude selfies, good food, pigs and pleasers. Her dream is to one day open a lingerie & sex shop that acts as a safe space for women + femme presenting + gender non conforming people.

Follow Francesca:

Instagram: @diamondzinmypssy


(All images authors own)

Author: Gender + the City

Intersectional Feminist digital magazine

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