Not to be confused with ‘navel gazing’ the navel gaze is that which one does when casting one’s eyes on the central point on the body, the punctuation between the top and the bottom, the spot in-between.

The navel is  an erogenous zone with heightened sensitivity, and long considered very daring and sexy to reveal.

Is she an ‘innie” or an “outie” ?

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The navel (clinically known as the umbilicus, colloquially known as the belly button or tummy button) is in fact a scar, the one that marks the miracle of our birth. It has long  been a hot topic in the public media. It has been censored, banned, prohibited. Conversely, it has been encouraged, praised, and adored.

The navel’s place in history

During the 1950s, actress Joan Collins was prohibited from displaying her bare navel for the film Land of the Pharaohs by censors.

Joan Collins posing in costume for film Land of the Pharaohs  censored because she was showing her navel

In 1994, Art Cooper, editor-in-chief of GQ magazine said that his biggest seller in 1994 was the February issue with Geena Davis on the cover, on which she wore an Armani suit opened at the hips to reveal her navel.

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In 2001, the editors of Encyclopedia Britannica commissioned an article on Britney Spears that deconstructs her bare midriff. The article describes Miss Spears’s navel as “a heated boundary between baby and babe”. Apparently 17 million people logged on to see her striking belly button. A couple of years later, she too landed on the cover of GQ.

In 2001, the editors of Encyclopedia Britannica commissioned an article on Britney Spears that deconstructs her bare midriff. The article describes Miss Spears’s navel as “a heated boundary between baby and babe”. Apparently 17 million people logged on to see her striking belly button. A couple of years later, she too landed on the cover of GQ. While North Americans enjoy a little navel from time to time, when you look at the fascination of women’s navel’s in India -especially women in the world of Bollywood – it is clear that the navel is still fairly sparse in western culture. The verdict is still out on who has the sexiest navel (See Times of India- Bollywood’s top 10 navels), but we agree that the sari certainly adorns the belly button in style.

Anuska Sharma on cover of Maxim magazine 
Deepika Padukon on cover of India Today Rise of the Navel