I was highly interested when I saw the name Topanga trending on Twitter the other day. So many wonderful images flooded into my mind… oh sweet nostalgia. Being a child in the nineties I loved Boy Meets World, I mean who didn’t? That show taught me a lot about, well a lot of things. Danielle Fishel, the actress who played Topanga Lawrence, was a trendsetter and an icon for girls in my generation. She was intelligent and mature. Every girl wanted to be just like her, and her cover shot and spread in the April issue of Maxim proves that not much has changed. Even now I still want to be just like her. The only difference is now Danielle Fishel is not the same wholesome little girl she used to be. Now 31, she is all grown up: sexy, toned, and proudly showing off her beautiful belly button piercing.
Danielle sports a simple, sophisticated white gold, diamond belly ring in her Maxim shoot. She proves that body piercings look beautiful on people of all ages, not that 31 is old by any means, just that she has been sporting the piercing since she was a teen. Sophisticated and elegant jewelry makes any piercings’ transition into adulthood a little bit smoother and it’s very easy to update your look to reflect your age. A more professional approach to body modification styling involves basic steel, silver, or gold jewelry with petite rhinestones or diamonds. This subtle, yet still noticeable, look is fantastic with any professional or casual attire.
Danielle has been dealing with the topic of body piercing since very early in her career. Before her Boy Meets World success, she also appeared briefly on the popular television show Full House. She played Jennifer, one of the girls who pressured Stephanie Tanner into getting her ears pierced. I remember this episode very clearly. It advocated going to a professional to get your piercings done. That’s a very important message, and many teenagers and young adults unsuccessfully attempt at-home body modification. In the show, even though she begged, Stephanie was told she couldn’t get pierced. She then went behind her father’s back and allowed her friend to pierce her ears. Shortly after doing the piercing her ears became badly infected. The moral is that self piercing can lead to infection and other serious health risks. It is so progressive and awesome when television shows deal with real issues that real kids and teenagers face. I didn’t have my ears pierced yet at that point in my life. I remember having the “piercing” talk with my parents shortly after seeing that episode. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to have parents who supported my decision to get my ears pierced; they took me to a professional, and thus began my addiction.
I also remember watching Danielle on TRL (Total Request Live) back in the late nineties. Quickly into the interview she stuck her tongue out to prove that the rumors about her having a tongue piercing were un-true. She had mentioned in a teen magazine that she did in fact want to get her tongue pierced, but had not gone forward with it. In that same interview she revealed that she did in fact have her belly button pierced and had a small tattoo on her back. Again, this was one of the first times that I remember seeing a star, especially a girl, talking openly about their body modifications. TRL and the media at large would eventually be filled with pop stars that advocated acceptance of body modification in pop culture, and innovated the industry’s standards of beauty. Besides Danielle, other stars like Beyonce Knowles, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Alba, and Brittney Spears showed off their belly piercings for the world to see. Every magazine had at least one sweet and stunning girl showing off her midriff bling. These superstars inspired millions of girls worldwide to get their navels pierced. When wholesome girls began promoting body piercing in such a fashion it helped to make all piercings less taboo and more acceptable for an everyday person to partake in the trend. “Well, if she has it pierced it can’t be that bad” was a statement that many of my friend’s parents uttered. This was an epic win for my generation. Body piercing was no longer seen as a deviant behavior that was only meant for prisoners and bikers.
Watching old episodes of Boy Meets World is like looking into a time capsule from my youth. I tuned in every single Friday for TGIF. I am excited about Girl Meets World, the new show starring Danielle Fishel and Ben Savage (Cory Matthews). It’s very rare to be able to see a character’s development from child to parent,and now the tables will be turned and they’ll be dealing with the same (and different) issues that their own parents had to deal with. I know personally, I look forward to the day that my future children ask for their first piercing or tattoo. I’m definitely going to make sure that they are safe and smart about their decisions.
My hope is that Girl Meets World will still deal with real life coming of age stories, such as first love and body piercings, in the same educational, sincere, and optimistic way that the original series did. It is important for young kids and teenagers to have positive role models who are going through the same real life changes as them. It is also just as significant for people who are now mature adults to realize that your piercings can grow up with you and translate to a more sophisticated style. Danielle Fishel is a timeless beauty who has successfully transcended time and remained relevant in a highly saturated culture because she is relatable, genuine, and it doesn’t hurt that her adorable pierced belly looks better than it ever has.