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Foot Binding  

Posted by Shirley Twofeathers in , , , ,

Foot binding was a custom practiced on young females for approximately one thousand years in China, beginning in the 10th century and ending in the early 20th century.

In Chinese foot binding, young girls’ feet, usually at age 6 but often earlier, were wrapped in tight bandages so that they could not grow and develop normally; they would, instead, break and become highly deformed, not growing past 4-6 inches. As the girl reached adulthood, her feet would remain small and dysfunctional, prone to infection, paralysis, and muscular atrophy.

When I read about it in books, it sounds strange and unkind... when I see it in person, I am shocked and appalled!

15 comments

I'm getting weezy, I faint at anything, that is just too strange, I've heard about it but never seen it.

Yes.. it's way worse than it sounds isn't it?

Hi there! Those are really cool pictures. May I obtain your permission to print them as stimulus in a classroom for educational purposes?

please get back to me @ pingsonline@gmail.com

Thanks in advance.

So fascinating. Here are some other tidbits about footbinding: 1 out of 10 girls who went through it died. That is because is is a very brutal custom. The mother wraps the feet and the girl has to walk on the wrapped feet every day. Every few days the bindings are made tighter and tighter. Eventually, from walking on them, the toes break. This is considered a good thing because then the toes (freshly broken, mind you) can be pulled tighter across the bottom of the foot. It was considered a good thing if gangrene caused the toes to fall off because then the foot can be made smaller (always going for the perfect "golden lotus" size of the length of about 3 inches). If you had a nice deep cleft it was considered VERY erotic to men. The foot would eventually "heal" into place but I've heard it is painful for a woman's whole life. VERY hard to walk. And if it didn't go perfectly well (and didn't cause death) a woman might have to walk with crutches for the rest of her life. Either way, they never wandered far because it was like being hobbled. Hmm, obviously something though up by men. Call it weird, but it comes through into modern America in the form of those pointy-toed, high-heeled shoes that we crush our feet into. I remember my mother's feet were completely pointed like bound feet. I resolved always to wear "comfortable" shoes and now I can't fit into heels my size anymore because my feet haven't been "trained"! It's very interesting what we do for style!

Thank you so much for all of this interesting information. I had no idea that it could cause death... nor did I know about the problems with gangrene.

As for my feet... they have me very will trained and will ONLY fit into very expensive cross training or running shoes. When I have a need to be "dressed up" it all becomes very interesting. LOL!

Ughhh! I feel sick! I feel sorry for those little girls! I guess you couldn't do anything much about it! It's history that we can't make or edit.

Ughhh! I feel sick! I feel sorry for those little girls! I guess you couldn't do anything much about it! It's history that we can't edit.

I'd like to use these photos in an article on shoes I'm doing on my blog. Let me know if it's OK. Thanks!

I am so sorry to be so late in responding to your request. All I can say is that you got lost in the shuffle.

Of course you may use these images. Probably, you've already used them - or found others to use - anyway... Feel free!

hi.im writing an essay on harmful cultural practices and i just wanted to let you know i intended to use your pictures as you have expressed you dont have a problem with that.
=]
cheers

X: this is some sick shit

someone should be shot

I hope whoever invented this goes to hell

I'm currently taking "Women in Chinese History" class, and we just discussed footbinding. For the curious, it was indeed instituted by a man. It was an emperor in the Tang Dynasty who enforced foot binding after seeing that one of his favorite dancers bounded her feet. He thought they were sensual and since the girl was such an amazing dancer, he believed that if women did foot binding, they would be sensual too as well as have great skills. Overall it was all to please the men and their growing foot fetish. But psychologically speaking, the fact that the woman was weak and couldn't walk or run away, gave the men a sense of dominance and ego boost.

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I found these pictures sitting in the My Documents folder in my computer. I have no idea how they got there or where they came from. It must have been a too much tequila not enough rational thinking kind of night. If one or more of them belongs to you and you don't want them here - I'll be happy to remove them.

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