If you’ve never received a strange present from a loved one, you’re lucky. Their heart will most likely be in the right place when they buy it, but it’s nevertheless something that you won’t end up using.
Honestly, hand on heart, I doubt none of you will have received a present like the one I’m about to bring to your attention.
Brace yourselves if you’re a bit squeamish…
One woman underwent a serious transformation, removing her belly button before giving it to her now ex-boyfriend as a present back in 2015.
Paulina Casillas Landeros, 23, did not get along with her family at the time, who disapproved of the lifestyle she led. They didn’t approve of the many tattoos and body modifications that she had, including a back corset and a split tongue.
The young woman from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, wanted to get back at her family and thought that removing her belly button – the thing that ‘makes us human’ – would be the perfect revenge.
I have always had problems with my family, I was not very close to them at the time. Body modifications fascinated me, there is something very transcending about them.
I was very angry, I wanted to cut all unions from everything and everyone. I wanted to dehumanise myself in a symbolic way, I wanted to do something controversial.
And that she did. Paulina mentioned that her actions ‘hurt a lot of people’ and her family were upset about what she had done.
The HR intern and tourism student then gave the unattached belly button to her then boyfriend, Daniel, as a token of love.
I was very much in love with my then boyfriend, he supported me through many difficult times, and he is one of the most influential people in my life.
It was something I did in the spur of the moment, we were young and stupid but that’s the way I felt. I put it in a small bag along with a note saying ‘I love you’, it was very emotional.
He has kept it and he will keep it forever because he knows the meaning behind it. We are good friends now but we will always love each other.
Paulina said she had the operation done by a professional, but claims he gave her ‘very bad advice’ on how to take care of it afterwards. As a result, it got infected and she ended up spending days in bed.
At the time, she couldn’t stand up, stretch or laugh and states it felt as though she was ‘quarantined’. It has now healed partly, but she says it will never 100 per cent recover, meaning it will never close entirely.
Since the removal, she does regret her decision which she now describes as ‘reckless’ and ‘impulsive’.
I do regret it when I put myself in my mum’s position, it must have been devastating for her, she was so sad. I can’t imagine how it must feel, your own child wanting to break all their connection to you.
If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t do it again, it was impulsive, reckless and I hurt a lot of people. Even though I did it for the wrong reasons, it has now taught me I should think things through before acting and it’s a nice reminder that characterises me.
At least she realises the impact it had on her family and has been able to take a lesson away from it all. And her belly button, obvs.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).