Kw-logo-smaller

Chinese Foot Binding

Deformed foot that had been bound.
Chinese Bound Foot
Normal foot compared to bound foot.
Chinese Bound Feet

Throughout history women have had to endure horrible things to be deemed beautiful. The ancient tradition of foot binding in China, however, takes the "beauty is pain" concept to a whole new level.

The Origins of Chinese Foot Binding

In the early 10th century, emperor Li Yu of the Southern Tang dynasty in China ordered one of his slave girls to bind her feet in silk ribbons and dance on a platform littered with golden lotus flowers. From that day on, foot binding was often associated with the term golden lotus. At first, foot binding was something practiced only by those within the royal court but soon women of all social classes were eager to have dainty, "beautiful" and desirable feet.

How Were Feet Bound?

So exactly what did foot binding do to the feet? Well, young girls would have their feet bound for the first time when they were about five years old. Their mothers would take long lengths of cloth and bind the feet so that the toes would bend under and the bones in the foot would break, forcing the front and back of the foot together, giving the appearance of a high arch and tiny foot. The ultimate foot was to be between three and four inches (about 10 cm) long. Over the course of about three years, a girl's foot would be broken numerous times to get it to the perfect shape.

Foot Binding Facts

  • Since foot binding made it virtually impossible for women to get around on their own, many peasant women did not bind their feet. They had to work in the rice fields, and later the tea factories, so they had to be able to use their feet.
  • Foot binding was seen as a sign of beauty and attractiveness. Once a girl was of marriageable age, prospective mother-in-laws would come around and pick a wife for her son by the appearance of the girl's feet.
  • Bound feet were thought to be so alluring because they were always hidden. Bound feet were covered in bindings, socks and shoes and then doused in perfume and scented powder. They were then hidden under layers of leggings and skirts.
Related Links:

readers voted!

Comments

RoseMusic

RoseMusic wrote:

This is pretty torture Frown
commented: Wed Apr 02, 2014

RoseMusic

RoseMusic wrote:

This is pretty torture Frown
commented: Wed Apr 02, 2014

RoseMusic

RoseMusic wrote:

This is pretty torture Frown
commented: Wed Apr 02, 2014

there are 23 more comments

Please login or register to add comments


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like it!

latest videos

F1022026255953

Most Painful Beauty Treatment? Vote!

  • Chinese foot binding for sure.
  • Breast implants are the worst.
  • The rings put around some Cambodian girls' necks.
  • They all sound pretty horrible to me.

related stories

Micro_chinese horoscopes micro
According to Chinese culture, 12 animals – the 12 signs of the zodiac – represent certain years. ...
Micro_year-of-horse-2014-micro
In the Chinese culture, each year is represented by one of 12 animals, and the animal that's tied...
Thousands of years ago it was common to make nagging wives wear a metal mask. In the Middle Ages ...

Random in the forums

AmazingAishu
AmazingAishu posted in General:
mats and science
reply about 1 hour
Daniela10
Daniela10 posted in General:
Always art totally
reply about 1 hour
vir
vir posted in Say Anything:
Dang! :P As your wish. But l will rate 100 now. :P
reply about 1 hour
obae_kim
obae_kim posted in Say Anything:
I thought your smart enuff to get me :v I was so wrong anyways 0.1 Or i should say 0 o.O Outaa 100 XD XD
reply about 2 hours
vir
vir posted in Say Anything:
I am not chatting , I am debating. :D Hahaha.
reply about 2 hours

play online games

Valantine-day-crossword-thumb

Valentine's Day is almost here! Time for candy, hearts, flowers, love and, of co...

Goodgameempire-thumb

Goodgame Empire is a great strategy title by Goodgame Studios. Build your own ca...

Black-history-month-crossword-pre

Black History Month is a time to celebrate the amazing contributions of African ...

Big-farm-thumb

Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

Candy-cash-thumb

Candy's got her candies into a terrible mess, can you help her to sort them out?

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

_thumb_100x100

Bloons 2 is here! A worthy and awesome sequel at last to our original Bloons gam...

Frostbox_100x100

Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...