Innie or outie?

Did you ever look down and wondered what that tiny hole is doing in the center of your belly? Young and old reflect upon their belly button.

Story by Tina Priemus

Big chance yours is turned inwards. NBC News’ poll shows that 88% of their readers have an innie, a belly button that is turned inwards. Only 12% have an outie, a belly button that is turned outwards. As many people might mistakenly think, the reason your belly button looks the way it looks, has nothing to do with the way your umbilical cord is cut. “It’s not because of us or our skills that your belly button looks a certain way”, says midwife Rosa Lürsen.

Your belly button is actually your first scar.

A clamp is placed on the umbilical cord from about five centimeters of the baby’s future belly button. Then the umbilical cord is being cut off. Within a week the remains of the cord dry out and fall off. What remains is a little wound. Rosa explains: “The reason why different types of belly buttons exist, has to do with the way the wound heals. Your belly button is actually your first scar.”

Why most people have an innie and only some an outie is still being researched and has never been scientifically explained. Plastic surgeon Michel Cromheecke suspects it has something to do with the way the leftover skin shrinks, and that some babies’ skin doesn’t shrink enough to turn inwards. Whether or not your belly button is an innie or an outie, it’s unique in its own way.

Picture: Tina Priemus

Shahine (22): I was born three weeks early, so I used to think I wasn’t finished when I came out and that’s why my navel looks unfinished.

Picture: Tina Priemus

Jamila (27): I pierced my belly button when I was 13 years old. I hate that there’s still a hole.

Picture: Tina Priemus

Lian (56): The skin around my belly button is a bit loose, but I don’t mind because two little girls used to live behind it.