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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

SJU Naturals and ACSA host self-love and waist beads event

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The Hawk News
Members of SJU Naturals and ACSA make waist beads at Campion Student Center to highlight self-love. From left to right: Donavin Gomez ’24, Susan Mbombab ’23 , Caren Teague ’23. PHOTOS: MADELINE WILLIAMS ’26/THE HAWK
Members of SJU Naturals and ACSA make waist beads at Campion Student Center to highlight self-love. From left to right: Donavin Gomez ’24, Susan Mbombab ’23 , Caren Teague ’23. PHOTOS: MADELINE WILLIAMS ’26/THE HAWK

SJU Naturals and the African-Caribbean Students Association (ACSA) co-hosted an event highlighting self-love and the culture around waist beads Feb. 23 in Campion Student Center. 

Organizers of the event said they wanted to draw attention to the need for self-love among college students and the stresses of college life. 

“Self-love is being able to truly love yourself, no matter what you look like or how you feel about yourself,” said Millie Suero ’24, president of SJU Naturals. “I know a lot of people that can be self-conscious or dislike what they see in their mirror, but being able to actually love yourself, naturally, that’s what we’re trying to show.”

Susan Mbombab ’23, president of ACSA, said the two organizations co-hosted the event because of the many connections between the goals of both clubs. 

“Waist beads connect to African-Caribbean culture, while waist beads connect to SJU Naturals, because you can use it to monitor your weight [by measuring how much your waist expands], just an add-in to a healthier lifestyle without being so focused on the numbers and the negative side,” Mbombab said. “So, instead, you decorate your body, and it helps monitor yourself too.”

Mbombab said the significance of waist beads depends on the culture, lifestyle and country that the person comes from.

“I know for me, [as] it was for my mom, it was a coming of age thing. They were tied around the woman’s waist when they were growing up, going through puberty,” Mbombab said. “But then it can also just be a thing of decoration, something spiritual. Sometimes people add gemstones and other crystals that have a meaning to them.”

Waist beads are also related to the concept of self-care and self-love for many people. SJU Naturals Treasurer Jaylah Williams ’24 said one of the benefits of waist beads is how it makes her feel.

“It just gives me that great confidence boost that makes me feel good about myself, or even better about myself,” Williams said. 

Self-love is also about learning to love oneself as a whole person, Mbombab said. 

“Self-love, to me, is respecting myself [and] appreciating myself without having to rely on others to know my self-worth,” said Mbombab. “It just means that I’m giving myself the grace, giving myself the space and appreciating me for all my faults, for all my best qualities.”

Ultimately, the concept of self-love is also about managing college and focusing on the positive aspects of life, Suero said. 

“Coming to college, even if you’re from Philly, you’re still far away from home, you’re still surrounded by people that you may or may not know too well,” Suero said. “Always having that strong foundation of loving yourself first is what’s going to help you get through college.”  

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