Yes, I'm 31, and Yes, I Just Got My Belly Button Pierced For the First Time

Aviel Kanter

I'm a true child of the early 2000s. In the early aughts, you would have 100 percent found me sporting all the most bitchin' trends, from a bedazzled flip phone to micro denim skirts to those Steve Madden platform sandals. And of course, who could forget that most unholy pairing that defined the early 2000s: low-rise jeans and a crop top.

And like any good Britney- and Xtina-loving tween, I was desperate for a belly button ring. You know the kind: that big silver bar adorned with translucent balls on either end (I would have chosen blue). Predictably, I was laughed out of the room when I casually brought up the topic of a belly-button piercing to my parents. ("Keep dreamin', sweetie" were the exact words.) So for the entirety of 2003, I forlornly walked past the windows of my local Limited Too, watching all the cool girls showing off their newly bejeweled navels, silently cursing my mother for dashing all of my dreams.

Of course, like anything you just had to have as a teenager, the idea fell off my radar as I got older - until now. Why, you ask, would I want to resurrect this relic of my youth as I enter my early 30s? Well, for one thing, piercings have gotten way more chic. No longer are we talking about big, chunky bars with screw-on balls - dainty is now the name of the game for piercings, from ears to, yes, the navel. Plus, when you have friends who are professional piercers, it's easy to keep up with the latest jewelry trends.

So once the idea of a belly-button piercing got lodged in my brain, I turned to my friend Joshua David Harris, a piercer at 108 Studios, to take me through the process. Here's what you need to know.