“A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”

Background: The informant is a current USC student. She heard about this proverb from her grandma. She used this proverb as a reminder to stay away from snacks.

Informant: my grandma, she was from San Diego, and she always used to say, “A moment on the lips, a life time on the hips.” Because…like…I don’t know… she was just always like…… She’s from the 50s so the era where everybody was trying to be real skinny or what not and so she said this all the time about like… snacking. I guess it goes to show just sort of how like a lot of Californian’s having this obsession of being “healthy” in a way… Like trying to fit in this certain west coast beauty standard.

Analysis: I think this proverb contains both characteristics of an era and mindset amongst women (or the social expectation that is held against them). Interestingly, we can observe the change in beauty standards through this proverb. Since people prefer fuller hips nowadays, the warning part of the proverb seems to be more encouraging than deterring.