Should I Show My Belly Button?

An anatomical hole that makes all the difference


Every time the sun comes out, the question of whether or not I should show my belly button comes up.

I know until last June, when the resort season (see: Calvin Klein) first remarked they were going to be de rigeur, this query seemed insignificant. I also know that I’ve expounded upon the laminous relationship I, personally, have with my belly button (both via my dumb-ass book and a past-season post) but I think I’ll say it once more, just for posterity: I have, for the longest time, wanted to be the kind of girl who wears baby tees a la Jenny McCarthy circa Singled Out (please don’t judge me for being able to earnestly cite her as a childhood style icon).

This is, no doubt, a hankering that has been perpetuated by my mother’s disabling me from participating in one of the only trends that could have actually rendered me cool in 1994.

Granted, I was five, and double granted, I was doughy, but in 2014, at 25, it’s not like I’m not doughy. I’m just also not not doughy. And I haven’t stopped wondering about my belly button. My mom said I would, but guess what?

No abs, no care. Like, at all.

I feel as comfortable now as I did then letting it run free, this even in spite of a fundamental understanding that Amelia was probably right when she said that the thought of walking around with her “button” showing feels more intimate than going pantsless. I hate pants anyway.

It just presents the question of whether I look flashy or trashy so I’ll let you be the judge and ask one more time: should I show my belly button?

Would you?

Will you?

Lint party at my place! BYOMTS. (Text me if you need me to break down that acronym.)

Rosie Assoulin crop top, Madewell jeans, Newbark sandals and Dannijo daisy ring.

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  • Suzanne

    Leandra, what does BYOMTS mean? I don’t have your number to text to you.

    • Leandra Medine

      Bring your own MARCEL THE SHELL (see: “lint is a shell’s best friend”)

      • Charlotte Fassler

        WAIT. Is this the dialogue “Marcel the Shell theory” was supposed to ignite?

    • Bring your own

      – mojito to sip?
      – man to shave?
      – mum to see?

  • Amelia Diamond

    Bring Your Own Mononucleosis Trident Sugerfree

  • Rachel F.

    As a kid, I never wore belly tops because I have an outy (outie?) belly button, which, by the way, totally sucks. Even today, as an adult, I still feel like I can’t join the whole crop top trend because I feel weird exposing my protruding belly button.
    Do you know anyone with an outy (outie?) belly button? The only people I know of is my brother, Kelly Ripa, and Toni Braxton.

    • Mog Hill

      I have an outie (I like this spelling better, seems more fancy), I am unashamedly out and proud. Every time someone recoils in horror someone else seems to want to poke it. Odd. Wave it in peoples faces, you’re part of the elite. 😉

    • arsarca

      MEEE!!! I have an outie. I love it! You’re unique! Celebrate!

    • Jamie

      I think it’s spelled A-U-D-I.

      • Mog Hill

        No that would be a car manufacturer you are thinking of there. Easy mistake to make.

  • Magdalena


    I’ll diverge a little from the main subject of this post, but I saw the main picture and I loved the bracelets. The reason why those bracelets caught my eye it’s because I live in Mexico, and one of our many indigenous groups called “huicholes” make that type of bracelets with very typical figures of their culture. I don’t know if you have heard of them, but they’re very important to us, they’re considered a cultural patrimony. I’ll leave a picture of the bracelets I mention. I hope you like them!
    On the question whether or not show my belly button, I would show it if I feel like doing it, especially when it is 89.6 on a daily basis!
    Greetings from México! Love your posts!

    • Leandra Medine

      They are so very cool. I bought mine on a beach in the carribean.

      • wee willie

        I bought mine in a pound shop in Dubai ………….

        • phred phanackerpan

          I’m assuming you are referring to ‘a bracelet’ and not your ‘belly button’ ww?!

          • Magdalena

            Indeed I was referring to the bracelet, but I also gave my opinion on the belly button question 😉

          • phred phanackerpan

            Your post about the ‘bracelets’ is very interesting – thanks – as indeed is your comment about ‘belly buttons’. have a nice day in Mexico.

          • Debbie

            yes, I agree phred, but think the bracelets are more interesting than belly button comments. Have a nice day phred, The sun is shining here in Wales – but having to go off to bed for a while after busy night shift – hopefully I’ll catch more of the sun a bit later,xx

          • phred phanackerpan

            Thanks Debbie – an , yes – the bracelets are more interesting than belly buttons. I only posted in the first place for a ‘giraffe’ with ww. And he hasn’t responded.
            By the way – bonnie’s back commenting. Hope you manage to enjoy some sun later. TTFN xx

          • Debbie

            HI Phred, yes, managed to catch some sun, hope you did too?! Yes, heard from Bonnie too – good to hear from you, no doubt, this has cheered you up too?! It’s funny, we’ve never met but feels as though we all know one another well – the power of cyberspace! xx Take care and have a good weekend Have last night shift tonight so ready for wee dram tomorrow evening!! x

          • phred phanackerpan

            Yes – good news indeed about bonnie – it did indeed cheer me up – I did miss her. It’s great to have her back. And, yes – we four have definitely developed a ‘rapport’ ‘over/through/within cyberspace – amidst the ‘ether’. You too Debbie- and enjoy that ‘wee dram’. TTFN xx.

          • wee willie

            That’s the spirit Debbie ,but only a wee dram ?
            Been off the malt for a few weeks but bumped into my X ( nu 3 ) yesterday. Tried to dodge her but she caught me .Got a load of grief as usual .So am back on the single malt again .It helps to forget.
            Hope you have an easy night tonight .God bless wee dram.Sorry I mean wee willie………….

          • Debbie

            Hello stranger!! nice to hear from you – reading your post put a smile on my face before I drift off to sleep – yes only a wee dram wee willie as working long day tomorrow – so have a couple extra for me!! Have a nice day – the sun has disappeared – typically wet in Wales today – good sleeping weather though xx

    • Erick


  • A.m. Harlow

    i have a soft belly but idc i wear crop tops all the time im not afeard

    • A.m. Harlow

      the less clothes the better (:

  • Depends whether your belly button is an innie or an outie!! 😉

  • Leandra, yes you can – yours a beautiful belly button, imo.

    I won’t, not because I have any feelings about showing it but because I am gradually retreating into the blissfully concealing folds of my garments and liking it 🙂

  • No. Unless you’re 4 and going through a “let me pull my shirt up and flash people my belly button” phase, keep it covered & keep it classy.

  • Emily Tolzien

    Bring Your Own Muffin Top, Sexy … my guess was not close.

    • Leandra Medine


  • Sarita Williams

    I’ve kind of fought with this trend, as well. Having always been (as you so adequately put) doughy but not doughy, I was always afraid that passersby would secretly point and judge me because I’m not toned like the models and celebs that where them all the time. However, now being 25 almost 26, and with ever growing confidence, I’ve become way more comfortable and don’t mind showing off my belly button these days either. Six pack abs be damned!


  • according to Billy Joel you can dress trashy when you spend a lot of money. DOOOOO ITTTT, it works for you because you’re body is very proportionate.

  • Not trashy! I too have loved crop tops since the 90’s. I wanted to be Cher from Clueless…. I say do it..

  • Savannah

    Totally irrelevant Leandra, but I was on and this top reminded me of you!

  • Androbel

    yes… you are skinny and I love your colorful bracelets!!

    Xo, Belen


  • florian

    we say “de rigueur” (trust me I’m french ;))

  • Rachael King

    Do it! You look great, your belly button is not offending me at all. I too subscribe to this trend though I prefer to show the part above my belly button (the least doughy part). I think it looks best if you’re not super toned actually, more of a fashion statement than a “look how many hours I spend at the gym” statement

    • Patricia De Carvalho

      Firstly, Leandra you could wear a paper bag and it would look effortlessly sexy. And I bet you could make it into a dress, start a new trend, AND not have to wear pants.

      But on the belly baring…Rachel I completely agree, I LOVE crop tops paired with a high waist bottom. It’s a little daring in a “just showing a sliver of skin” kind of way while still being flattering.

  • monkeyshines
  • maud.schellekens
  • Long as you don’t have a muffin top or unloveable handles then you’re good.

  • You should show your belly button, as long as it’s clean and has no nasty bits of food crumbs in it from the night before 😉 lol.

    • Lauren

      @disqus_gbojQHWFkE:disqus — Dude, I totally love your blog! Do you still write new posts?!

      • Lauren

        @Bisous Natasha*

      • Yes I do ! I’m still alive 😉

        • Lauren

          Really? I follow you on bloglovin’, but it never updates me when you put out a new post. I checked out your website and I see a slew of new posts. Do you not post on bloglovin’ anymore?

        • Lauren


  • KittenRainbowMagicKatie

    You look great!

  • I used to care a lot but now that ’90s are back and belly buttons are showing I’m like ‘ain’t nobody got time to think about what people care’ #YOLO (literally).

  • Particularly enjoying the juxtaposition of the belly-button-shaped necklace with your actual button, It’s like a third eye!

  • What about the men’s crop top comeback that was predicting? I can’t.

  • thegoodwoman

    you can 500% show you’re belly, you are always effortlessly sophisticated. Now i feel the need to show mine, but i’m in the antipodes and its Baltic here! too cold for bellies!

  • andreajonsdottir

    I’m gonna go for the belly button look…! Welcome back to the 90s (HEY-YO)

  • Georgie

    Beyootiful! And I love your crispy clean white top!

  • Le-Go

    As long as you don’t wear muffing top making jeans everyone can show a little belly button.

  • Jimbo

    why not but I find it one of those things that the more you look at it the weirder it is!?

  • Marjorie Gavan

    Show them belly button. The crop top trend is really cool in my opinion.

  • Aapa

    MTS is the French acronym for STD so I got a little confused.

  • Lucy Martin

    You got this. I think if your rolls are bigger than your boobs (my scenario) then i’d just save the exposure for the beach (when people are emotionally prepared to be around your body). SUMMER 2014 HERE I COME.

  • Kate

    Where can I find the bracelets in the post photo?

  • curvasian

    Are you joining the #bodydiversity movement? If yes I have to say “you go girl”.

  • Simone

    I kept checking the photos but sorry, where is the ‘dough’? I’ve seen more dough at a gluten free convention!

  • charmystique

    Bring Your Own Mini Tee Shirt!!!!

  • gail.

    I would like to feel confident enough to bare the button, but I don’t know that I’d go through with it (I prefer my “ini” remain prefixed with “tank”). As it may, I’ve left my twenties & am legit doughy, so perhaps that ship as sailed… or maybe I’ll board the CB/SJP train & bare my midriff (a much more rubenesque incarnation than the inspiration) in a half decade or so.

  • María

    Love this look. The shoes are amazing. And you definitely should show your belly button. xx

  • Ronja

    belly buttons are lovely. they are the trunks’ button noses. show it!

  • Were I to wear said belly button exposing top, my main squeeze and friends will take every opportunity to poke me incessantly. Is there crop top kung fu to prevent this?

  • Melissa

    Back in the nineties my belly button had more of a social life than I probably do in my entirety now . . . until I had to have an appindectomy . . and they scoped me . . through my belly button and put stitches in it. So I abandoned crop tops forever after that. If I tried to go back to them given my age and my douginess state, it would look like I was trying too hard, but if you don’t have a stitched up button then by all means go for it.

  • I think you look far from trashy, but unfortunately that’s not the norm for female-crop-top-wearers. Most women wear a too cropped, too tight top with insanely tight, low-waisted short skirts/shorts. You nailed it : a loose-fitting crop top with flats and casual bottoms. Hell, you could throw on some chic heels and I still don’t think you’d look trashy

  • Dreamy

    I find belly buttons really distracting. Like nipples. They’re like bulls-eyes, the target of my gaze. I think it’s both because the bullet hole punctuates the expanse of skin, and because they are almost as intimate and rarely shown as nipples.
    That said, nothing should come between you or I and our fashion desires. So I applaud your choice and look forward to bearing my button when England heats up…

  • Kristen

    You can definitely pull it off, Leandra you look EFFING FANTASTIC

  • Susan Jones

    Accessories you wore were awesome, the ring and the bracelet at its best. Just want to share it up lovely collections at

  • Vanessa

    Where did you get those bracelets? I love the colours!

    • Leandra Medine

      I bought them on the beach! in the carribean!

  • Aerris Marie

    Thank you for this post .. growing up hating my body I now can’t wait for the weekend or after work to strut my stuff in a crop top!! I too am concerned with how showing my belly button is perceived and I see from the comments below that this really is a topic that will always change in opinion on who you talk to. I say that as long as you done pride in whatever you wear — go for it — it will inspire other people to wear something similar they thought that they could never get away with. I absolutely LOVE that your tummy isn’t perfectly defined — you show that it’s not the type of stomach one should have, but how you put everything together overall — perfection again!!

  • Rita

    i always wonder why u look tanned in this outfit pictures (if we can call it that way),i mean sun tanned not fake tanned!!

  • Kristina

    That necklace! Where can I find it?!

  • Galactic_Eye

    Leandra, I just wanted to say that you have the prettiest smile, and are, in fact, quite attractive (to me…). I can’t speak for the world, of course. As the late great Jimi Hendrix once wrote/sang, “You can’t believe everything you see and hear, can you?” Don’t believe the hype, and yeah, you are beautiful. Your mind and heart make you beautiful, not to mention a smile that can light up another’s room, or heart even. Live your life the way you want to (another Hendrix sentiment, and the motto around 2 BILLION other people live by every day). I remember another saying, more vulgar yet something the late great George Carlin would say and appreciate, “Fuck what other people think! Most people are fucking stupid!”

    I have a 2 daughters, one who is 11, and the other 1. I’d like to think that as they grow up, they will learn inner peace and self-confidence, and a hard shell against the cruelty that is ever-present (through the wonderful words that come out of grade school children’s mouths, unknowingly, not thinking, w/o regard for other’s feelings). Seems like you have all that down now. It’s a process that is nurtured through time, age, and life’s experiences though.

    On that note, take care, and good luck in life.


  • Debbie

    I suppose if you are young/slim and have the confidence it’s okay but not sure whether its a good look on a 40 something. Maybe Im just a bit old fashioned – just think showing less leaves a bit to the imagination?!

  • tali

    You can! you’re only 25 . the question is whether it will be appropiate if you were a mom like me ,even though you have a great figure. I still don’t dare to fall into the “trends ” category and less feel confident to show (even when I was sixteen)
    Xo Tali from TLV


    Leandra…. where did you find this stunning native cuffs ….. I want them … trop beau


    oups ….got the answer down below…. Greetings from Brussels …. i have to go to the Caribbean i suppose…By the way, I order your book

  • I like your button. You should show it while you are still young enough to get away with it. Where did you get the shoes? I love um.

  • Susan Jones

    Accessories you wore were awesome, the ring and the bracelet at its best. Just want to share it up another lovely collections at

  • Honeybee

    I think you can! I won’t because I’ve had two kids and pregnancy isn’t kind on your midriff. (Ok, who am I kidding, I didn’t have the killer abs pre-kids).