A Safe Guide: The Navel

Before the 1993 release of the Aerosmith video for their song ‘Cryin’ 1 the navel piercing wasn’t one of the more commonly requested piercings due in part to the “if it protrudes, pierce it” credo that most piercers followed at the time. The first time I remember Jack Yount talking about navel piercings he called them “risky” because of the chances of migration or rejection and while he could be talked into performing the piercing would do his best to steer the client towards something a little more practical.

This excerpt from the 1984 tape ‘A Safe Guide to Practical Piercing’ features Jack doing a navel piercing on Sailor Sid Diller at Sid’s Silver Anchor Tattoo Studio.

Like our other archival videos, this clip features piercing and sterility techniques that are no longer considered safe practice and is presented solely for preservation and discussion. It should not be considered a how-to.

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Notes:

  1. Cryin was released in October of 1993 as a single from their April 1993 LP Get a Grip. The video, directed by Marty Callner, starred Alicia Silverstone, Stephen Dorf and Josh Holloway, went on to be a massive hit for the band, spending twelve consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Charts and earning the Video of the Year award at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards. In the video Silverstone’s character has her navel pierced by an influential West Coast body piercer- the influence of the video created an instant trend worldwide.

Shawn Porter has spent the majority of his life in the modification world. As a body modification archivist and documentarian, he has one of the most extensive collections of documents relating to the early American body modification community in existence. He edited the SPC website from 1995 to 2005, co-founded ModCon, was the host of ModCons 3.5 and 4, and created and hosted The Scarwars Project from 2004-2007. In 2011 Shawn launched Occult Vibrations, a blog devoted to traditional American tattoos with a focus on the occult and esoteric. He currently resides in Philadelphia with his Italian Greyhound, Bailey, and his wife Julia.

2 comments

  1. I had Jim Ward do my navel around 1987. I did not see another navel piercing until that video, then EVERY girl HAD to have it done. I’m sure this lone video was responsible for the proliferation of the modern piercing movement as we know it. There were almost NO piercing exclusively stores in the USA at the time of the video’s release. if I recall correctly, wasn’t the piercer Paul from Gauntlet?

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