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IN History & Culture ON 18 Jul, 2016
How is it like to go through an accident and face a fracture? Well, going through this pain was a symbol of beauty for females, once in China. Yes, it's true, I am not joking.
The system comprised of a custom of applying tight binding to the feet of young girls to prevent further growth of bones and this practice was popularly known as Foot Binding.
Bound Feet was a reflection of status. It signified women from wealthy families, whose feet did not need to work.
This practice originated among upper-class court dancers in Imperial China.
Getting their bones cracked was a societal pressure. This was not only a sign of beauty and status but was also necessary to get married.
The most desirable bride had to have three-inch feet.
The only thing that kept them going through was that they at least attained the beauty of their society.
A regular rebinding of the feet was done. The process also involved kneading of the feet to make them more flexible.
The size of the foot was of more importance, no matter what the shape would develop into.
Sometimes the girls would face the problem of paralysis and sometimes they would even die.
Sometimes the women had to live with broken bones for years.
Bound feet also signified women being dependent on men, since they couldn't walk easily.
Coming to the aspect of opposition, it is good to learn that opposition came from inside as well as outside the country.
It is also interesting to note that the country where this custom once prevailed freely, is the same country whose people, survivors and the government now feel uncomfortable to talk about the topic.
Although, foot binding was banned by the Republic of China in 1912, it is important to document the lives of those few surviving women of China, whose feet are the last remains of this painful tradition.
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