Woman Who Practiced 1000 Year Old Chinese Foot Binding Tradition Reveals What It Did To Her Feet
Zhou Guizhen is 86 year old and one of those few women who were alive when foot binding was a common practice for the women in China.
Foot binding was actually banned in 1912, people found ways to continue the practice in secretly and would hide their feet from the authorities.
She would make people believe her feet hadn’t confine by wrapping them in bandages by wearing shoes that were much too big for her. This was all it took to make government inspectors believe that her feet hadn’t been modified.
In China, the girls who came from wealthy families followed this tradition. It was considered to be a status symbol and girls were forced into the practice in order to secure a good marriage, as women who had bound feet were considered to be more attractive than those who didn’t.
Zhou herself came from a wealthy family and was married to a rich man, who turned out to be an opium addict. In an interview, She revealed that she regretted having the foot binding done to her as it meant that she can’t dance or move properly, as the size and shape of her feet prevents this.
When a girl as young as 4 years old they were forced into this tradition. Tight bandages would be applied to the feet of the girls, which would stop them from growing and force them into a particular shape.
Every toe would be snapped and bent as close to the heel of the foot as possible, except the big toe, which was left in place. The bandages were wrapped and unwrapped repeatedly to keep the feet as small as possible, with the ideal size being around 4 inches long
This was a dangerous tradition for Chinese women and caused a multitude of health problems. Some women were left disabled by the practice and would sometimes be entirely bedridden.
Excruciating infections in the feet that would become so bad that some women would cut off chunks of their own flesh. The pus from these infections would drain, causing further discomfort to the women who had to suffer through this practice. These are some common side effects of foot binding.
Wait until winter
The families would wait until the winter because of the pain of having their feet bound. They did this so they could take advantage of the numbing properties that the cold winter weather would have on the girls’ feet.
The bandages used for foot binding were so long that women would not be able to wash their feet easily. They would only wash their feet once or twice a week at most, making their feet smell and further aggravating the infections that would set in.
Although a 4-inches foot was a common aim amongst women who had their feet bound, it was considered the second best result and was referred to as the silver lotus. Women who had managed to have their feet shrunk to just three inches were considered to be the pinnacle of the practice and called the golden lotus.
Women would make their own shoes, concentrating on the intricate needlework that they used to create their designs. They would wear the most colorful shoes and more gaudy designs on their wedding day.
It's a risk
Body modification is a risk to our health even thinking about any sort of body modification done to yourself is, scary. Even if it is something as simple as getting your ears pierced.
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