Waist Beads; it’s perceptions, it’s truth and what both sexes think (Part 1)

This exclusive has been put together by the creative genius of seasoned novelist, journalist and writer, Tosin Clegg through a compilation of research methods, cuts from Healthline.com on waist beads and public opinions. 

Get familiar! 
The popularity of waist beads gained ground a while back and suddenly took over the edge. Several ladies took the flow and glammed up their waists with its fantasy and thrill. Gradually it started becoming a part of the modern age despite it been something that was well appreciated during the times and seasons of our mothers and the mothers before them. 

But what brought about a lot of fear was the rising rumor of its dark spiritual relations claiming it has way deeper connotation to women who wears them. The rumor states women who wears them have a dark side to it and what it’s wear relates to. Some feel a woman who wears that has a call to hold down a man to her feminine dark wishes captivating the him that lays with them and a lot more.  

Another fear pointed through a lot of men is the seemingly annoying adornment of multiple waist beads strolling up to more than five beads on the waist. From talks and reviews a lot of men have frowned at this and more or less have requested they should be taken off before going further with an sexual engagement. For some ladies they feel having so much is a thrill, others probably have a few and someone mildly keeps one on check on their waists. But is this enough concern for men?

In all these what really are waist beads about? And are they as dangerous has it’s been popularly claimed? Because the perceptions about it today is something of mild concern and of a need to be identified and understood. Even if we must agree some women are using it for their own selfish reasons a lot more are just in the atmosphere of its thrill and pleasure on their waists. 

What is defined as waist beads?

According to Healthline, 
Waist beads are a traditional African accessory that consist of small glass beads on a string or wire worn around the waist or hips. They come in different colors and shapes and may also include decorative stones, crystals, or charms. 

Waist beads have been worn for centuries by women in many West African cultures. In more recent years they’ve gained popularity among women in the West. They’re also referred to as belly beads, waistline beads, or beaded waist chains. 

In Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and other West African countries, waist beads are a symbol of femininity, fertility, sensuality, and spiritual well-being. Today, in both Africa and the United States, women use waist beads for aesthetic and practical purposes.

Recognized usage and more.

Healthline.com further started reasons why waist beads are worn; 

Weight awareness 

Waist beads are commonly used to gauge changes in weight. Rather than step on a scale, people can use waist beads to stay aware of any weight gain or loss in the abdomen. 

Waist beads don’t stretch. If you were to gain weight, the beads will sit higher on the waist or feel tight. Conversely, if you were to lose weight, the beads will feel loose and fall further down to the hips.

Unlike the numbers on a scale, waist beads are more compatible with body positivity. Women of all sizes and shapes can comfortably wear waist beads to adorn their body. 

There are even adjustable waist beads available if you don’t want the beads to fit differently based on your weight or changes like bloating. 


In parts of the world where waist beads are a cultural tradition, the beads are often associated with womanhood, maturity, and growth. 

In Ghana, babies are traditionally adorned with waist beads during their naming ceremonies. Only girls, however, continue to wear the beads as they grow older. 

In many West African traditions, mothers tie a pair of waist beads onto daughters during their first menstruation to symbolize their passage into womanhood. 

Outgrowing a pair of waist beads may also mark the transition into a new stage of life. The beads a girl wears during puberty will differ from the beads she wears after her first child, for example.

Intimacy and fertility

Many women around the world use waist beads in intimate settings to enhance their sensuality. Waist beads may also be closely associated with fertility. Some women wear specific beads during sex when they’re trying to conceive. 

Among the Ashante and Krobo cultures in Ghana, larger beads or bells are added to a woman’s waist beads once she’s fertile so she makes noise when she walks to alert potential suitors nearby. 

In other cultures, waist beads are worn under clothing for only the wearer and her chosen partners to see, similarly to a special set of lingerie. 

Special waist beads are also available for pregnant women. They’re thought to provide protection for the mother and growing baby.

Heritage and pride

While women of all races and ethnicities wear waist beads, this accessory has unmistakably African origins. Waist beads are a popular way for Black women in the diaspora to connect to their ancestors and celebrate their heritage and cultural practices. 

Today, the usage of waist beads by Black and Brown women in the West has evolved into a cultural tradition of its very own, one that reflects the diasporic experience. 

Many women in the diaspora don’t have direct knowledge of their West African lineage due to the transatlantic slave trade. Reclaiming waist beads also means Black women can reclaim the opportunity to walk in their ancestors’ footsteps. The beads are a constant physical reminder that heritage is never as far away as you may think, and it’s up for personal interpretation.


Waist beads can help a person become more aware of their stomach and posture. The beads fit quite differently depending on how one is sitting and breathing. They can serve as a reminder to sit up straight, engage your stomach muscles, relax your back, and breathe properly.

A step further

With these points highlighted we can’t say if perceptions have been changed yet but we can be sure knowledge has been acquired through the report so far.  In the concluding part of this report we would shed lights on people’s perceptions about waist beads and the way forward. 

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