Do you remember back when you were a kid (that may have been quite some time ago!)? Did you have a favorite pack of friends that you ran around town with? Kids who knew your darkest secrets, lofty aspirations, and deepest fears? Those kinds of friends are the ones we develop lasting kinship with because of the things you share and the vulnerabilities that you expose. Age and time may encapsulate those things and make them seem distant, but the importance remains in our memory.
Some groups cement their commitment with symbolic jewelry or clothing. In some cases that may mean members wear similar friendship rings or (as with the case of the wildly popular “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”) articles of clothing. The modern equivalent may be a shared song or even belly button rings.
Because belly button rings are popular with the young set to start with, it seems logical that cliques might adopt them as their symbol of unity and friendship. The mystique surrounding what may be a forbidden body piercing undoubtedly adds to the interest, and could lead the group to wear belly button rings all the more.
The symbol, whether a belly button ring or bandanna (as with some inner city gangs) or other item, may serve to exclude others almost as much as it sets to define or include the original group. In some instances, that exclusivity can have negative effects, particularly if the young adults aren’t mature enough to understand how others may feel or interpret the separation. Without necessarily intending to, groups which “hang” together can cause others to develop fear, envy, frustration, longing or anger by others. Parents of young adults should pay close attention to their kids’ state of mind and personal feelings. Provided your child is comfortable in their own individuality and enjoys activities, chances are they aren’t negatively affected by cliques, with or without belly button rings.