by Leina Ussin
Waist trainers. Waist snatchers. Body Shapers. Waist Belts. Waist Cinchers.
The list goes on and one of the numerous amounts of products made available for women to create the “perfect figure.” We suck in, pull it together, and zip up all the access body weight we embarrassingly carry around in hopes to fit into society’s version of the perfect woman. I can confess that I too have fallen victim into this entrapment of creating the perfect waist. I have purchased the belts, the trainers, the bodysuits, all in hopes that my size 32 ½ inch waist would soon shrink down. I’ve suffered from the scars and bruises that are left behind after hours of waist training, only to realise this kind of torture just isn’t for me. Fortunately, I am not one who gives up easily, and my determination to lose weight introduced me to a new journey in my life I am excited to explore.
I stumbled across waist beads on one of my many Google searches and was intrigued upon what I discovered. Throughout my years, I would randomly see women with small waists wearing them with their bathing suits or crop tops, and would think it was so sexy! But I had no idea the deeper history waist beads had.
It is believed that waist beads originated back in Egypt, and were worn by women to enhance their femininity, their social status, and their sensuality. They could be out for the world to see, or hidden away for only the woman’s husband to enjoy! In Nigeria, the Yoruban tribe is another culture where women are known to use waist beads to celebrate being who they are. Women!
Multi-coloured beads, dipped in oils, with healing stones would be placed on a cotton string, and draped across the stomach or the hips of these women. Their waist beads possessed a power that would protect them, enhance them, and let those around them know who they were! Strong, powerful, beautiful, vital women, whose beads enhanced their spirituality, and if a glimpse of these beads were ever seen by a man, it enticed them!
And with all the power around two pieces of string, it also helped them keep their weight intact. Traditional waist beads cannot be removed. They are placed around the stomach, and when you gain weight, they simply roll up towards the chest area. And when you lose weight, they roll down to the hips or sometimes slip right off. It was a personal reminder created by women, for women to keep their curves and body in check.
And much to my delight, it has made its way over here, to the USA. I am ecstatic to say as of June 22nd, 2019, I have been beaded. I met with a local woman in Austin, Lizz Lewis-Fletcher, who made the traditional waist beads for me that cannot be removed. Upon doing my research, I discovered that certain colors symbolise certain meanings. Aware that they vary from culture to culture, I decided to stick with two colours I felt would benefit me the most. White, which stands for purity, light, and truth; and pink which symbolises care, beauty, love, and kindness.
It’s been a few days, and it has definitely been an interesting process. I am paying closer attention to what I eat, as well as my posture. I’ve discovered different ab exercises I can do while sitting down, which is easy since my waist beads are literally in the middle of my stomach. I look forward now to wearing certain things because my main concern is not my stomach. It’s my waist beads! My goal has always been to have a smaller waist, but now getting my waist beads below my belly button is a new personal challenge!
Now, I am not saying trash your waist shapers and trainers! If you have them, and they work for you, stick with it! Getting in shape and being healthy is always a priority! My main purpose for sharing this was because of the powerful history behind this item that I once passed off as simply another form of beautification. So, whatever shape you’re in, no matter where your journey is taking you if you feel you need a little healing or rejuvenation support, I suggest getting yourself a pair of waist beads for assistance. They come in so many different colours, with so many different healing stones you can add that best represents what you need in your life! Plus, they’re the sexiest addition to your body! So, maybe do your own research and see what works for you!
There’s never been an issue about wasting time on your waist!