what is an outie vs innie

What is an Outie vs Innie?

When it comes to belly buttons, there are two distinct types that people commonly refer to as “outies” and “innies.” These terms describe the appearance of the navel, specifically whether it protrudes outward or is indented inward. In this article, we’ll explore the characteristics of outies and innies, the factors that contribute to their formation, and the common misconceptions surrounding them.

Outies: The Protruding Navel

An outie refers to a belly button that protrudes outward, creating a visible bump. This occurs when the scar tissue from the umbilical cord doesn’t fully retract, causing the navel to push outward. Outies can vary in size and prominence, with some being more noticeable than others.

Outies can be present from birth or develop later in life due to factors such as pregnancy, weight gain, or abdominal surgeries. In some cases, outies may be temporary and resolve over time, while others may persist throughout a person’s life.

Innies: The Indented Navel

An innie, on the other hand, refers to a belly button that appears indented or concave. It is the more common type of navel, with the majority of people having innies. Innies form when the scar tissue from the umbilical cord retracts inward, creating a shallow or deep indentation.

Innies are typically the result of the way the muscles and tissues around the navel heal after the umbilical cord is cut. The depth and shape of an innie can vary from person to person, but they generally have a smooth and inward appearance.

Factors Influencing Belly Button Shape

Several factors can contribute to whether a person has an outie or an innie:

  • Genetics: The shape of your belly button can be influenced by your genetic makeup. It is possible for siblings or even twins to have different types of navels.
  • Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the expansion of the abdomen can sometimes cause the navel to stretch and become more prominent. This can lead to temporary or permanent changes in the navel’s appearance.
  • Umbilical hernias: In some cases, an outie appearance may be due to an umbilical hernia. This occurs when a part of the intestine or fatty tissue pushes through the abdominal wall near the navel.

Common Misconceptions

There are several misconceptions surrounding outies and innies. One common belief is that the type of belly button a person has is an indication of their health or fitness level. However, this is purely a cosmetic feature and has no correlation with a person’s well-being.

Another misconception is that outies can be “fixed” or turned into innies through surgical procedures. While there are cosmetic procedures available to alter the appearance of the navel, they are generally not necessary unless there are medical complications involved.


Outies and innies are simply variations in the appearance of belly buttons. Whether you have an outie or an innie, it is important to remember that it is a natural and normal part of your body. Embrace your unique navel and don’t let any misconceptions or societal pressures affect your self-confidence!

Causes of Outies and Innies

While genetics and pregnancy are two common factors influencing the shape of a person’s belly button, there are other causes worth exploring:

  • Scar tissue formation: The way scar tissue forms around the umbilical cord can contribute to the formation of an outie or an innie. The healing process can vary from person to person, resulting in different navel appearances.
  • Umbilical cord cutting technique: The way the umbilical cord is cut after birth can also play a role in determining whether a person will have an outie or an innie. The technique used by healthcare professionals during this process can influence the final shape of the navel.
  • Body fat distribution: The distribution of body fat can affect the appearance of the belly button. Higher levels of subcutaneous fat around the abdomen can sometimes push the navel outward, leading to an outie appearance.

Embracing and Caring for Your Belly Button

Regardless of whether you have an outie or an innie, it’s important to take care of your belly button to maintain good hygiene and prevent any potential infections. Here are a few tips:

  • Cleanliness: Gently clean your belly button using mild soap and water during your regular bathing routine. Ensure that you dry the area thoroughly to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Avoid harsh products: Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials on your belly button, as they can irritate the delicate skin in that area.
  • Regular check-ups: If you notice any unusual changes in your belly button, such as pain, redness, discharge, or swelling, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation.

Appreciating Body Diversity

It’s crucial to remember that the appearance of your belly button, whether it’s an outie or an innie, does not define your worth or attractiveness. Each person’s body is unique, and these variations should be celebrated rather than judged.

Embrace your belly button, as it is a part of what makes you who you are. Remember that beauty comes in all shapes and forms, and it’s the diversity of our bodies that makes us special.

Addressing Common Concerns and Myths

There are a few common concerns and myths surrounding outies and innies that are worth addressing:

  • Outies are abnormal: While innies are more common, outies are not considered abnormal or a cause for concern. They are simply a variation in the appearance of the belly button and do not indicate any underlying health issues.
  • Outies can be “fixed”: It’s important to note that outies do not require any medical intervention or correction unless there are medical complications involved, such as an umbilical hernia. Outies are a natural part of a person’s anatomy and do not need to be altered.
  • Innies are superior: There is no superiority or inferiority associated with having an innie or an outie. Both types are equally normal and should be embraced without judgment or comparison.
  • Outies are caused by improper care: Contrary to popular belief, outies are not caused by improper care of the belly button. The shape of the navel is primarily determined by genetic factors and the way scar tissue forms during the healing process.

Body Positivity and Self-Acceptance

It’s essential to promote body positivity and self-acceptance when discussing topics like outies and innies. Our bodies are diverse, and there is no one “ideal” or “perfect” appearance. Embracing and accepting our unique features, including our belly buttons, can contribute to a healthier body image and improved self-esteem.

Remember, beauty is not confined to a specific standard or set of characteristics. It is found in the diversity and individuality of each person’s body. Let go of any societal expectations or pressures and celebrate the beauty that lies within you.


Understanding the difference between outies and innies can help dispel misconceptions and promote body positivity. Whether you have an outie or an innie, it’s important to embrace and appreciate the unique characteristics of your body.

Exploring Cultural Perspectives on Belly Buttons

Belly buttons, regardless of their shape, have been a subject of fascination and cultural significance in various societies throughout history. Let’s take a brief look at some cultural perspectives on belly buttons:

  • Ancient Egyptian beliefs: In ancient Egypt, the navel was considered a sacred symbol of creation and rebirth. It was believed to be the center of a person’s life force and a connection to the divine.
  • Navels in art and religion: Belly buttons have often been depicted in religious art, such as paintings and sculptures, symbolizing fertility, life, and spiritual connections. They can be seen in representations of deities and goddesses associated with motherhood and creation.
  • Cultural rituals and adornments: In some cultures, belly buttons are adorned with jewelry or decorative piercings as a form of self-expression or cultural tradition. These adornments can be seen as a celebration of the belly button’s unique appearance.
  • Taboos and modesty: In certain cultures, the exposure of the belly button is considered immodest or taboo. It is often covered or concealed as a sign of modesty or adherence to cultural norms.

These cultural perspectives highlight the diverse meanings and interpretations associated with belly buttons around the world. They remind us that the significance of our bodies and their various features can vary greatly across different cultures and time periods.

Empowering Body Positivity and Acceptance

Understanding the cultural and historical context of belly buttons can contribute to a broader perspective on body positivity and acceptance. By recognizing the diversity of beliefs and attitudes towards our bodies, we can foster empathy and respect for different cultural practices and individual experiences.

Ultimately, embracing our own belly buttons, regardless of their shape, and respecting the choices and beliefs of others is crucial in promoting body positivity and self-acceptance. Our bodies are unique and beautiful, and they deserve to be celebrated without judgment or comparison.

Final Thoughts

Outies and innies are simply terms used to describe the appearance of belly buttons. They are natural variations that should be accepted and celebrated. Whether you have an outie or an innie, your belly button is a part of what makes you uniquely you.


Remember, the shape of your belly button does not define your worth or beauty. Embrace and appreciate your body, including your belly button, as a reflection of your individuality. Let’s foster a culture of body positivity, acceptance, and self-love for ourselves and others.

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