A Conversation for Chinese Foot Binding
samaira_s Started conversation Nov 1, 2009
I have just read this post for the first time. What an incredible tradition foot binding was. It's unbelievable that they bound the feet of young girls like that.
I would love to learn more about foot binding, please post anything you can,
jc Posted Nov 12, 2009
I have an interest in foot binding, it has always fascinated me. I can tell you all about it if you are interested, what do you want to know?
samaira_s Posted Nov 13, 2009
Hi, thanks for the reply, i want to know everything about it. How did they do it, what happened to the girls feet after they had been bound, how did they convince the girls to have it done, how long did it take
jc Posted Nov 23, 2009
Foot binding was a tradition that was carried out in China for hundreds of years. Essentially the purpose was to ensure that girls feet were kept small. In the culture at the time, small feet were highly prized, and in order to marry off their daughters, families were expected to ensure that her feet were small.
Although it sounds innocuous enough, the actual process involved unleashing an immense level of brutality and violence upon young girls feet and toes, causing them intense foot pain over a long period of time.
The end results could not be guaranteed and the risks to the girls feet were huge, but when successful the end result of tiny feet were very highly prized, and girls with tiny could expect a good marriage
samaira_s Posted Nov 23, 2009
hiya, thanks for the update. So what actually happened to her feet when they were bound, and how did the parents convince her to do it?
jc Posted Nov 27, 2009
There were different ways of binding so the effects on the girls feet would differ according to the method used to bind them. In any event though the girl would suffer from severe foot pain for long periods of time.
The parents didn't convince the girls to do it, the girls had no choice whatsoever. If the parents wanted the girls feet bound, that's what would happen, regardless of whether the girl wanted it or not. Most of the girls had no idea what was going to happen to her feet until it actually happened. The girls who did know and protested would be ignored and her feet would be bound anyway. After the binding had been done the girls would be in shock initially, and would depend entirely on the parents to look after her.
samaira_s Posted Nov 27, 2009
wow thats amazing, to take a girls feet and break them, even without her permission. Wow they must have suffered a lot when their feet were being bound.
So what are the different ways of binding the girls feet?
jc Posted Feb 8, 2010
There were numerous different ways to bind a girl's feet. The kindest versions just involved wrapping the feet tightly so the feet were prevented from growing over a period of time. Some other binding methods started out innocuously enough but became more extreme as the binding process progressed. Some were brutal from the start. Others were so extreme as to deliberately cause almost unimaginable pain and torment, and were a result of behaviour that was just plain sadistic towards the girls feet.
samaira_s Posted Feb 14, 2010
I woud love to learn more about the footbinding. Can you first tell me about the method of binding that started out easy and got more extreme later?
jc Posted Mar 11, 2010
Well a really interesting version of foot binding that I read about was as follows: The girls feet would be bound from about 7 to 9 years old. They would be bound with strips of cloth dipped in a hardening mixture. The girls feet wound be bound from the ankle down, with just enough room to wiggle her toes. One the binding had hardened the girl would put on pretty, embroidered shoes. The girl would wear the pretty shoes with no pain for about six months. Then the pain would start. Only occasionally at first, as her feet grew. But then within a few weeks the pain would set in, to the point of the little girl crying from excruciating pain roughly 9 months after binding. This pain would come and go, depending on if she was in a growth spurt, until the girl was 18 years old. Eventually the binding would be removed, which would expose her deformed 6" long feet. The toes would be curled underneath, and they would be the shape of an ostrich egg.
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