The cultural views of the navel vary significantly. In some cultures the navel is seen as sexually and culturally significant, and its exposure has been subject to a variety of cultural norms and taboos , based on concepts of modesty.
The views, customs and fashions relating to the navel change from time to time, and such exposure has become more widely acceptable, as reflected in design of clothing. The public exposure of the male and female midriff and bare navel has been taboo at times in Western cultures , being considered immodest or indecent.
It was banned in some jurisdictions. Community perceptions have changed and exposure of female midriff and navel is more accepted today and in some societies or contexts it is both fashionable and common, though not without its critics. The exposure of the male navel has not been as controversial nor as common, and is usually in the context of barechestedness.
Exposure of the navel by females is commonly associated with the popularity of the bikini , of the crop top and low-rise clothing. During the s, Joan Collins was prohibited by the censors from exposing her navel in Land of the Pharaohs To get around the censors' guidelines, she wore a jewel, a ruby, in her navel. I got a terrible infection from it. By the s, community standards had changed. Marilyn Monroe was allowed to expose her navel in Something's Got to Give and later commented, "I guess the censors are willing to recognize that everybody has a navel.
No , wore her iconic white bikini , which exposed her midriff and navel. However, when Annette Funicello was cast in her first beach movie Beach Party , Walt Disney , who held her contract, insisted that she only wear modest bathing suits and keep her navel covered, to preserve her wholesome persona, though she was the only one of the ample number of young women in the film not bikini-clad. The Hays Code was abandoned soon after, and with it the prohibition of female navel exposure, as well as other restrictions.
The influence of the National Legion of Decency had also waned by the s. With the withdrawal of the Code and the change to a classification regime, the ban on the exposure of parts of the human body that had previously been regarded as immodest or indecent was withdrawn; and with it there was an increasing level of body exposure over time. The exposure of the navel ceased to be controversial in the context of a general increase in nudity.
During the late s, Disney 's animated heroines began exposing more skin as well. In the musical-fantasy film The Little Mermaid , the lead protagonist, Ariel , revealed her navel while wearing only fins and a seashell bra, a first in Disney's history. In , the United States Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters came into force, which, besides other things, prohibited female navel exposure on American television. After a few frames of her navel exposure went unnoticed, they decided to use fabric and skin-colored makeup to conceal her navel.
It featured a blonde-haired, bikini-clad model exposing her belly button posing on a rock above the caption "What to show your wife in Scandinavia". The image that appeared in most publications had the belly button removed. The first exposure of a navel in a TV series occurred in on the Dr.
Kildare series. Because it was the first short shorts ever on television and it had to cover my navel. Gilligan's Island actually gave censors headaches back in the '60s. Ginger 's cleavage, and Mary Ann 's navel were only allowed 3 seconds an episode. Gene had Mariette expose not one but two belly buttons in the sci-fi film Genesis II All I know is I got in trouble for showing my belly button, and every time I turned around after I went off the air, all you saw were Cheryl Ladd's boobs.
The American code of practice was suspended in Navel exposure became common in the culture of 20th-century music , starting in the s, with many successful female popstars  having appeared on and offstage and in music videos with their midriff exposed, usually wearing a crop top , including Madonna , during , she caused controversy when she wore a mesh crop top in her video for the song " Lucky Star ". People magazine wrote that Madonna made the bare navel her trademark. Actress Cher wore an Indian princess outfit with feathers and beads around her navel for the 58th Annual Academy Awards event in California -based fashion designer Christine Albers commented, "the look is good for anyone who has a great body but especially for women who do a lot of stomach exercises.
Paula Abdul 's belly button was exposed in a fishnet see-through dress in the music video for " Cold Hearted "  and she appeared with a tattooed navel in the music video for " My Love Is for Real " in During the early s, Canadian country singer Shania Twain appeared in low-rise jeans baring her midriff and navel in her music videos and performances.
The article describes Miss Spears's navel as "a heated boundary between baby and babe". We ask which is more beautiful, the perfectly round belly button of Jane Fonda or Raquel Welch 's grain of coffee navel? Every star from Madonna to Shakira proudly displays their belly button. On the contrary, American columnist Kathleen Parker in an article about Katharine Hepburn once commented, "Young movie-going girls today don't have access to many in the mold of Katharine Hepburn. Instead by mall observations most are Britney wannabes—hip-hugged, tattooed, pierced and out there.
The female navel has become the refrigerator man's continental divide. I hate to break it to you, oh future daughters-in-law, but everybody's got a belly button. Your inney- or outey-ness is not the stuff either of revelation or revolution. Exposed midriff is associated with the crop top , often in association with low-rise clothing. Another way that the navel may be exposed is via a deep plunging neckline dress or top that drops below the natural waist line.
Low-rise clothing started in the early s, when the British magazine The Face featured Kate Moss in low-rise jeans on its March issue cover. He stated, "Part of the success is the navel factor. I think the belly button is really an erogenous zone. Navel piercing  and navel tattoos  has become more common among young women. The trend of piercing or tattooing the navel became popular in the s. Contrarily, advice columnist Ann Landers commented, "Navels are neither sexy nor obscene.
I do not believe any female of good taste would wear an outfit where her navel shows. This does not include women in costumes or those on beaches in bikinis. The same goes for males. An adult male who wears hip-huggers so low rates zero minus 10 on the scale of taste—it's my opinion but it's one I feel strongly about. They keep a collection of belly button shots in different positions, and Photoshop them on to her whenever she's doing a bikini picture.
Since , the crop top evolved by which women started wearing it with a high-rise skirts, jeans, or shorts that are high enough to cover the navel. Actress Halle Berry wore a bandeau with matching pants at the MTV Video Music Awards , fueling the trend of wearing a bandeau top as an out-of-home dress. During the s, Mary Quant 's designs featured exposed navels and bare midriffs. The swimwear covered the lower abdomen and usually the navel.
Occasionally the swimwear would be worn immediately below the navel. The swimwear evolved to longer legs and lower waistline. Bikinis have become a major component of marketing various women's sports,  and most female athletes often wear a sports bikini that exposes the navel as the professional attire. Bulgarian athlete Ivet Lalova is known for her "tribal sun" tattoo around her navel.
The fashion later became increasingly popular through wearing styles, tops comprising modified sports bras without additional outergarments, sports bikinis , and cheerleading style fashions developing largely from the styles originating with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in the early s. Female tennis players are known for exposing their navels or navel piercings on court.
Why you should hide it, when it isn't necessary? Female beach volley ball players play in bikinis — does it bother anyone? Why else would Anna Kournikova, who has never won a singles title, be the most popular player in women's tennis? We have quite a few attractive women, and we should use our looks to our advantage. After all, what's so wrong with seeing an occasional belly button? Males often wear no shirt with low-rise shorts during practice.
This was somewhat upheld during practice of American football , which was carried over to wearing cropped jerseys during s broadcasts. Cropped jerseys became dormant for 20 years until male athletes returned to midriff exposure  for comfort purposes.
However, the NCAA has placed an official ban on navel exposure. In the Hebrew Bible the Song of Songs emphasizes the navel as an important element of a woman's beauty. The ancient Mediterranean, Hebrew , Israelite and Middle Eastern worldview commonly incorporated beliefs that shrines, important places such as cities or capitals , or other such places of prominence had a position of centrality to the world and hence equated to the child-bearing, life-giving navel of a mother.
In a similar vein, Jewish Midrashim state: "God created the world like an embryo. Just as the embryo begins at the navel and continues to grow from that point, so too the world. The Holy One, blessed be he, began the world from its navel. From there it was stretched hither and yon. Where is its navel? And its Jerusalem's navel itself? The altar. In Egypt, dancing in public with an uncovered navel is illegal, so many dancers wear a body stocking or netting to cover their skin.
While the West was relatively resistant to midriff -baring clothing until the s, it has long been a fashion with Indian women. There is a belief associated with the religious in India that navel-baring has a symbolic, almost mystical, association with birth and life, and that the display is meant to emphasize the centrality of nature in the nurture role. This has been depicted in many ancient Indian sculptures as a lotus emerging from the navel on which god Brahma is seated.
Although women in ancient India wore saris that bared the midriff, the Dharmasastra writers stated that women should be dressed such that the navel was never visible,  and navel exposure became taboo.
Indian sculpture emphasised the centrality and sexuality that emanated from the depiction of the woman's navel. One of the most stunning examples would be Didarganj Yakshi , a statue of a woman made during the Mauryan period. Carved out of sandstone , which gives it a natural shine where the navel is deeply embedded within the centre of the torso, drawing the focus of the viewer. A broad, fleshy, shallow navel indicates a lucky woman.
A woman with deep navel with a whirl to the right side is considered auspicious and is expected to lead a comfortable life. Husain once commented, "The belly button has always been in.