Foot Binding Essay

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Chinese Foot Binding Essay, Research Paper INTRODUCTION As I read the newspaper story, my eyes widen with every word, According to the National Institute of Mental Health there are over 5 million people in the United States suffering with eating disorders. However true this statement may be, in almost every society throughout history, women have been required to undergo major and often painful physical alterations in the name of beauty and social status.

1% of all North American teenagers have eating disorders. People struggling with anorexia are among those whose health are at great risk ( And then I see a picture of a young girl, nothing but bones and skin, looking wasted away. Perhaps one of the most agonizing beatifications in all of history is the Chinese tradition of foot binding.

Feminist groups also began to pop up all over China, speaking out against foot binding (Mo-ch n, 65).

The Empress Dowager Tz u-his in 1902 issued a decree banning the practice though the practice continued well into the 1920 s (Mo-ch n).

This would cause the shrinking process to take longer and the mother would just have to redo it again.

After a few months, the flesh of the foot would become rotten and portions of it would slough off from the sole; sometimes one or more toes dropped off.

Foot binding is an ancient tradition that involves the reshaping of the woman s feet to achieve a smaller foot.

Accompanied by unimaginable pain and crippling limitations, Chinese foot binding is a testament to how far humans will go to be beautiful.

It began with the emperor Li Yu of the T ang Dynasty who, acting on his fetish for small feet, instructed his favorite concubine, Lovely Maiden, to bind her feet in silk cloth in order to make the tips of them look like a crescent moon.

She was then instructed to dance for him in front of a six-foot lotus constructed entirely from gold and decorated with pearls and precious stones.


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