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effects of foot binding

Having bound feet shifted the burden of weight to the lower body which put pressure on the pelvis and led to pelvic pain. There are several theories and legends that this practice leaves in its wake. Although the women who performed the practice were taught to religiously clean and care for their feet and wrappings, their feet would still continue to grow until adulthood, as is expected with natural human development. These tiny, deformed feet were … First, the feet were soaked in a mixture that helped soften them immediately after the toenails were cut back as far as possible, to prevent infection. What are some of the health complications of foot binding. In many cases the intense pain of foot-binding was exacerbated by infection (which sometimes led to gangrene), hindered circulation, and weakened bones and ligaments. This foul process began between the ages of two and five. Chinese foot binding began in the T’ang Dynasty (618 – 906) and lasted for around a thousand years in the ancient Chinese culture. The binding of feet did not only result in pain and deformities of the feet but also deformities that encompassed the entire body as a result of the practice. They also had 14.3% less functional reach (a test of balance) and 5.1% lower hip bone density. Even though this process was mentally and physically impairing to Chinese women, ten centuries passed before this custom was ended. Cruel custom of bandaging feet of women of the aristocracy from infancy was still practiced around 1900. Paralysis, atrophy, and broken bones were common effects. After all that excruciating pain, the foot got wrapped up extremely tight, only to be unwrapped for washing and to be wrapped tighter. So, foot binding was a way for families to increase the odds of their daughters marrying well. There are legend and historical reasons as to why foot binding started. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Footbinding usually began when girls were between 4 and 6 years Infection was the most common problem with foot binding. In reality, foot binding was a demoralizing action against women in the pursuit of sexual appeal. "The most common ailment of bound feet was infection. Health. Abstract: This is an article for an exhibit at the McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture. Feet altered by foot binding were known as lotus feet, and the shoes made for these feet were known as lotus shoes. Foot binding was banned in 1911 but its effects haunted many Chinese women for years. our, Why added sugars may trigger depression symptoms, Isolation Exercises vs. In some cases, this would mean a woman would have to have her toes removed entirely, if they did not fall off first due to the infection. Binding was a hellish ordeal and the women suffered in agonising pain for many years since the feet had to be continually broken and tightly re-bound until they stopped growing As Guo Zhu-juan who was the only daughter of a wealthy family quotes “…it was extremely painful… and the pain became even more difficult for me to bear.” (Rupp, 2010)Women suffered through this pain as its purpose was to find an … The idea that men would wish to require such terrible torture from their daughters and wives for something they believed to be sexually appealing is abominable. These actions were thought to add to the gracefulness and attractiveness of women with bound feet. Compound Exercises. First, the feet were softened in hot water. For centuries, young girls in China were subjected to an extremely painful and debilitating procedure called foot binding. All of this was done to a two-year-old just for the hopes that someday, her feet would be small enough to marry somebody. History of Chinese Foot Binding When the foot binding became the aesthetic norms of society, the women changed into the mens servants because the deformed feet caused women to lose their freedom of moving. EFFECTS & DAMAGES OF FOOT BINDING Continued Effects & Damages Corns like calluses would occasionally develop on the toes and would have to be cut off with a knife. Foot binding, a debilitating, deforming, process which began in China in the 10th century during the Southern Tang dynasty, was essential for a girl to be considered “Marry able.” The horrifying process of breaking bones and wrapping feet began at a young age and didn’t stop until the desired look was reached. By clicking "Continue" or continuing to use our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understood Foot binding was more than a fashion statement; it was a way of life for about one billion women as well as the men around them. The feet are such a vital part of the human body, particularly for movement and balance. Unlike women with natural feet who can depend on themselves, foot binding makes women full dependant. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. that are strapped with bindings. ( Log Out /  Painful Memories for China's Footbinding Survivors Millions of Chinese women bound their feet, a status symbol that allowed them to marry into money. Legend has said origins of foot binding go back to the Shang Dynasty (1700-1027 B.C). By adulthood, the woman's feet were significantly smaller (ideally less than 10cm … The ideal adult female foot would be only three to four inches in length. Foot binding, a debilitating, deforming, process which began in China in the 10 th century during the Southern Tang dynasty, was essential for a girl to be considered “Marry able.” The horrifying process of breaking bones and wrapping feet began at a young age and didn’t stop until the desired look was reached. The story says that Emperor Li Yu told his concubine to bind her feet in white silk to represent a crescent moon, and perform a lotus dance on the points of her feet. But a few elderly Chinese women continue to suffer from the effects of foot binding to this day. The binding of the bandages are done in a figure-eight style, and the feet would need to be attended after the binding to make sure they are staying in the same shape. By that time, the feet were permanently deformed and pain was a constant part of life. ( Log Out /  Not only was this a painful process for girls as young as five years, but it also promoted the idea that women must mutilate their bodies to become appealing to men. -ancient-china/. Some women's feet grew ½ - 1 inch after being unwrapped and they suffered less severe deformities. Bending and squatting for women with bound feet was incredibly difficult, as was rising from a seated position – this put women at risk of falling and injuring themselves. The foot binding process was long, excruciatingly painful and pretty gross. Before the toes would rot, though, they would be pressed into the soles of the feet to be forcibly broken. foot binding was clearly detrimental to a woman’s well-being.” B “Virtuous women were prized according to the tenets of Neo-Confucianism, and foot binding was the ultimate symbol of a woman’s purity and discipline.” C “According to the legend, foot binding began when an ancient Chinese emperor’s Widely used as a method to distinguish girls of the upper class from everyone else, and later as a way for the lower classes to improve their social prospects, the practice of foot-binding would c… The practice spread and became most popular in the Song Dynasty when every woman practiced it except those in the lowest class. foot binding - lotus feet - foot binding stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images Disfigured feet of a Chinese woman. Having bound feet would drastically affect a woman’s balance, her ability to walk, and her posture. This led to the toes and feet becoming crooked and deformed. Many studies have been done, in recent years, about foot binding and the physical effects it takes on feet and the rest of the body. Why did foot binding start? Experts 3 have noted that this mysterious history is rooted in the fact that there is seemingly no specific reason that explains the origin of this body modification practice in China. The most common symptoms were: 1. back pain (53.8%) 2. overheating (53.3%) 3. chest pain (48.8%) Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The Shang Empress Taki had a clubfoot (deformed foot that is twisted so the sole can't be As the girls grew older, their health risks and medical complications grew too. Footbinding, cultural practice, existing in China from the 10th century until the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China in 1949, that involved tightly bandaging the feet of women to alter their shape for aesthetic purposes. It was normal for centuries, until being finally outlawed in 1911. I now can’t move properly, I regret it a lot. The practice is a taboo in my community and many others because of its associated negative effects to the victims. Foot binding resulted in the forward curvature of the lumbar vertebrae as a result of a woman struggling to balance and walk properly. Change ). Older women, in particular, would struggle to stand and balance which increased their risks of breaking a hip from falling on a hard floor. Foot binding didn’t end until the early 20th century when it was banned by emperors and the culture began to convert to a more western style (Foot Binding). Next, the mother, if she could even do this to her child, if not someone else would have to, would bend the foot as far as possible in order to break the arch of the foot. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. … After a few hours, any dead skin was scrubbed off, toenails were clipped as short as possible and alum was sprinkled … While some of the beautifying processes that seem to make a woman more appealing are relatively harmless, such was not the case with foot binding. The history behind foot binding in China . Considered an attractive quality, the effects of the process were painful and permanent. The Northern Chinese women were considered ‘barbarian’ and... Save Paper; 4 Page; 967 Words; David Briggs . Foot binding was the Chinese custom of breaking and tightly binding the feet of young girls in order to change the shape and size of their feet; during the time it was practiced, bound feet were considered a status symbol and a mark of beauty. 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