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 :(
commented: Wed Apr 02, 2014

RoseMusic

RoseMusic wrote:

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

RoseMusic

RoseMusic wrote:

This is pretty torture :(
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

iamalive
iamalive posted in Say Anything:
"Storm04" wrote:im just saying that one time i went on chat and one thing after another kept popping up and i can never understand whats going on so thats why i just dont go on chat and think its stupid! that is the chatbox this is the chat thread  big difference m8
reply 1 minute
iamalive
iamalive posted in Say Anything:
become an idiot yourself and then you won't even realize that the other idiots are being idiots
reply 3 minutes
Storm04
Storm04 posted in Say Anything:
im just saying that one time i went on chat and one thing after another kept popping up and i can never understand whats going on so thats why i just dont go on chat and think its stupid!
reply 9 minutes
Nimsajeay
Nimsajeay posted in Say Anything:
"SparkleWolf" wrote:Awesome! Thanks Nim! You're welcome! 
reply 10 minutes
Nimsajeay
Nimsajeay posted in Say Anything:
"AlphaT" wrote: "Nimsajeay" wrote: "AlphaT" wrote: "naruto200" wrote: It doesn't take much to create a good professional looking logo. Just draw letters in a creative way. I wish I knew how to. I want to make a Best In The World sigbar/userbar that's a bit more creative than the one I have now. I could do it, but it'll have a "Made by Nimsajeay" thingy on it. xD  That would be fine :) You could if you want to. I'm not sure what input you need me to have in it though. Sorry for my late response.  I won't be able to do it today, probably, as I'm busy.  But I'll be able to do it soon.  Just tell me a few colors you want me to incorporate, if you want any pictures, the exact text, and if you have a preferred font.  
reply 11 minutes

play online games

Candy-100

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

Big_icon_(7)

Have you ever fancied being a ranger like those fantasy characters you love so m...

Hour-of-code-tumb

Millions of Students will be doing an Hour of Code with Tynker December 8th-14th...

Big_icon_(4)

You run across the city in a car chase with the police officers.

Big_icon_(6)

The evil master kidnapped all of your friends!