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Foot-Binding - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Foot-Binding. The Quest for Beauty and Status. The History of Foot-Binding. The practice was popular by the 12 th century There are two stories as to how this tradition began Foot-Binding was made illegal soon after the Chinese Revolution in 1911. The Foot-Binding Ritual.

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Presentation Transcript
foot binding


The Quest for Beauty and Status

the history of foot binding
The History of Foot-Binding
  • The practice was popular by the

12th century

  • There are two stories as to how this tradition began
  • Foot-Binding was made illegal soon after the Chinese Revolution in 1911
the foot binding ritual
The Foot-Binding Ritual
  • Began between the ages of

3 and 11

  • Was performed by the girl’s

mother or another female relative

  • Foot-binding usually took place in the fall and winter so the girl would feel less pain
the foot binding steps
The Foot-Binding Steps
  • 1. The girl’s toenails would be cut
  • 2. Her feet would be soaked in hot water
  • 3. Except for the big toe, all of her toes would be broken and folded under the foot
  • 4. Her feet would be wrapped tightly in silk or cotton bandages
  • 5. Every few days, the bandages would be taken off, the feet cleaned, and the feet wrapped even more tightly
why were feet bound
Why Were Feet Bound?





  • A three-inch-long foot,

called a “golden lotus,”

was considered beautiful

  • Feet this size would be able to fit into the delicate and beautiful shoes made for bound feet
marriage status and wealth
Marriage, Status, and Wealth
  • Having bound feet made it difficult to walk, and so a man who had a wife with bound feet looked as if he had so much money and status that his wife did not need to work
how we do this too
How We Do This, Too

High-heeled shoes


Tights and Pantyhose

Cutting off pinky toes to fit in smaller shoes

more questions
More Questions….
  • What do you notice about all

of these painful things in order to look “beautiful?”

  • Why do you think they’re all done by women?
  • Can you think of anything painful men do to look better?