Cultural appropriation or appreciation of African waist beads || The Toffie Shop

We receive many questions and comments about who is “allowed” to wear waist beads. As a Black-owned business selling an African product, many people understandably assume that the products we make are exclusively for Black women and no one else.

Given our mission is to celebrate womanhood, we believe that women (as a collective) deserve to wrap and appreciate their bodies with something beautiful. This includes waist beads.

That said, as with any cultural item/practice, we also believe it’s crucial to understand, respect, and credit the original culture and context from which something is coming from. This is precisely why Culture is our first and core reason for wearing waist beads alongside Wellness, Love, & Beauty. To wear them for Culture is to understand that they're more than colorful body jewelry, and in fact a sentimental and intimate accessory that actively serves its wearer in multiple capacities.

Reasons for wearing beads


We ultimately believe it’s important to remain inclusive in this area, and choose to include both those of the African diaspora and their allies when welcoming women to explore and wear our products.

To all our non-Black friends around the world interested in waist beads, welcome! For you to be here and reading this shows you care enough to do your research, and are on a learning journey as a socially conscious consumer - that’s great! We truly appreciate your admiration and consideration for our African roots/heritage. If still you have hesitations, we suggest honoring the cultural significance of waist beads by learning the history behind the practice from the various perspectives of the African diaspora and/or wearing your beads under clothing as Ghanaian women traditionally do (that's where our founder is from).
PS: We also recommend you buy your beads from Black-owned businesses (even if it’s not us, though we hope it is) because we believe it’s important elevate and support the Black creator/artisan community that stewarded this market for centuries before it began trending.

Shop Our Waist Beads

African waist beads with clasp from Ghana || The Toffie Shop