Chinese Foot Binding
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Chinese Foot Binding. The “art” of Foot Binding.

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The art of foot binding
The “art” of Foot Binding

The so called “art” of foot binding was practiced in China for over 1000 years. This was practiced at first only in the upper class, but soon spread to every social class in China. For 1000 years almost every young girl in the country was put through excruciating pain as their feet were bound into three inch “Lotus Feet”.


  • The toes were bent down underneath the foot and wrapped tightly so they were pushed up against the sole of the foot.

  • This would stop the normal growth of the toes. The toes would now grow into the sole of the foot destroying the natural arch.

  • After several years of this torture the feet were finally unbound after the feet were totally done growing. The results were tiny feet that were barely able to hold any weight at all.



The shoes worn were very expensive and very decorated. They were usually embroidered with bright colors and a lot of detail.


Being held back
Being Held Back were usually embroidered with bright colors and a lot of detail.

  • Any women in the upper class society was banished or even killed if they did not have their feet bound.

  • This stopped women from having any type of life outside of their home. They couldn’t walk any distances on their feet so they were stuck in their houses.

  • If a girl did not have bound feet they were considered unsuitable for marriage.


Men s views
Men's Views were usually embroidered with bright colors and a lot of detail.

  • Men were in high favor of foot binding. This kept women in their homes and didn’t let them go seeking freedom and liberation.

  • Men also thought that the tiny delicate steps that a women had to take with bound feet looked feminine.

  • This was one of many ways women in China were help back from society.


The mutilation and pain caused was horrible. Many times when the toes grew back into the sole of the foot it caused infections like gangrene and also death.


This process destroyed childhoods by not letting children have fun. They were unable to play or run around because of the excruciating pain that was caused.


For the first few years of the feet being bound the children had to be carried or else there disabled feet would break. If the feet were to break, they were not able to be fixed or heal right because of the mutilation they were already put through.


Even though foot binding is not done anymore, most elderly women in China have bound feet. This process can not be undone even with today’s medical technology All the women who had this done to them lived in pain, or will live in pain, for the rest of their lives.



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