Hi there! How do you like the above picture? Do you think it’s hideous? beautiful? disgusting? or maybe even cute? I can’t tell what you think about it but the feet above is the result of a process called Foot binding which started in the 10th or 11th century in Imperial China. A small foot in China then was as important as a tiny waist is today. Let me briefly give you an insight in the process [don’t worry, it’s not as bad as you think] and Oh, not sure I needed to mention that it was a practice among the women not men.
It was a process that began in childhood when the girl was 5 or 6 before the arch of the foot had begun to develop. Each foot was plunged in hot water then toenail clipped as short as possible, the feet were then massaged before all the toes are broken and then held tightly against the sole of the feet with bandages which were pulled very tight. Next, her arch was strained as the foot was bent double. Each time the feet was unbound, they were usually given a nice pedicure, the nails meticulously trimmed again and ‘excess flesh’ cut off. The girls were forced to walk long distances to break their arch and the whole of this process lasted about 2 years of which once a foot has been crushed and bound, it was impossible to reverse. Why go through all of this, you may ask? well the goal was to have a 3 inch foot known as ‘golden lotus’ in order to be a desirable bride, if a girl didn’t have small feet then no one was going to marry her.
Bizzare! Inhuman! Unbelievable! you may say but how different is this than our modern day society? Do you know that this beautiful practice of foot binding which was once celebrated was later ridiculed and finally banned in the 19th century. How many times I ask you, has the society defined beauty for women? how many times has the norms and culture of our society be a standard for others? is it the tiny figure 8 waist? big breasts? large butts? Shaped eyebrows? Today we see a lot of ladies doing everything they can to meet these standards, prostituing to get funds, spending life savings on surgeries, painting their faces, depriving themselves of good food, depending on leaves and water, oh geez, how my heart breaks for them.
Yes, the society is at fault, yes, the women are at fault. When would each person come to realize that we’re perfect the way we are? When would we accept ourselves and define our own beauty? When will we stop focusing on outward appearances and work on things that matter more? When will we realize the container is useless if there’s no content? I don’t know about others but I choose to walk around with my head and shoulders high, respecting each person on the way because I’m amazing just the way I am.
P. S You should read more about foot binding, it’s quite intresting. Thanks for reading! Do well to drop your comments too.