Just a Bit of History
Waist beads are a traditional African accessory that consist of small glass beads on a string or wire worn around the waist or hips.
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.
Waist beads can be worn as 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.
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. 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.
How to Measure
Place measuring tape exactly where you want your beads to fall. Where the zero and other number meets is your measurement in inches