The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Sex and the CU | Never fear, the navel piercing is here!

Natalie Schneider
Sex and the CU.

Here is a fun fact about me: I grew up a little bit bigger than everyone else. Not in height by any means — I stand at a whopping five feet most days — but I was always a little bigger in size than most of my friends. 

Thinking back to my formative years, I spent most of my days being insecure about my figure. I found this to be a common, if not canon, part of the life of a young lady. I felt confined in my body as if it was my only defining feature. 

Now I’m much older, and thanks to years of reframing my thinking about body image, I have become much more comfortable with myself. This was not an easy feat by any means. Sometimes I still find I struggle with accepting myself as I am.

If I had a nickel for every time I cried in the fitting room of a Forever 21, I would have many more nickels than I do as I am writing this. 

The internet is often filled with horrible things. From ex-vlogger Jason Nash begging for money on TikTok live to JoJo Siwa thrusting to a horrible pop melody, the internet is a dismal place. In all seriousness, the internet is the nucleus of unrealistic beauty standards that have caused me to constantly compare myself to others. 

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Most recently, the internet has been raving about Ozempic — a prescription medication most commonly used by diabetic individuals. However, the weight-loss side effects of Ozempic have been making it increasingly popular among those who want to lose weight. 

I will not lie to you, reader; I did my research on Ozempic. I do not need Ozempic — I thought I would feel better about myself if I lost weight in a fast way, but this is not true. Even at my thinnest, I felt insecure. 

I’m sure I will look back fondly on pictures from this year, even if I don’t feel my best now. No matter where you are in life, no matter size, height or anything else, people always envy what they do not have. 

This mindset has helped me radically accept who I am. This is how I look; I should deal with it. Still, it can be difficult to scroll through countless profiles of who you want to be. I was stuck in a cycle of self-deprecation until I found a post that changed my perspective.

The caption read, “Use your stomach as an accessory!” as a woman stood in frame with a crop top and the cutest jeans the world has ever seen. I felt inspired, so I called my parents to warn them of my plans. It was time for my fourth piercing.

After figuring out the proper term for a belly-button piercing was a navel piercing, I was filled with excitement. I type this with a newly pierced stomach and I can confidently say the piercing is working.

I have never cropped so many shirts in my life. I walk outside with an air of confidence I have never been known to have. I am unafraid to show my stomach and — most importantly — I feel like a baddie.

Having something sparkly to show off has helped me overcome something I was long cautious of doing. To those of you who have the resources and ability to acquire a navel piercing, do so. For those who cannot, your life is not over.

What I am realizing every day is that the baddie lifestyle does not come to those because of piercings, clothing or other accessories; it’s a mindset. 

If you’re struggling with accepting yourself in any form, reframing your thinking could help. Choose something you love about yourself and own it. Try on new hats, thrift cool boots or find the energy to be grateful you’ve made it this far. 

I wish you luck, dear reader.



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About the Contributor
Lillie Salas
Lillie Salas, Managing Editor
Hello! My name is Lillie Salas, and I am a sophomore majoring in journalism. I have been working at The Daily Illini since my freshman year. I began as a staff writer in features and then had the opportunity to be promoted to features editor during my second semester. I am so honored to work with such an amazing staff and I look forward to working with the Champaign-Urbana community to share our stories. For any inquiries, contact me at my email below.
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