Go to this link, and see of you can find the heel that used to be naturally rounded out behind the girl's foot. If you can't find it, and give up, just read the caption to find out where it went. After you're done, you can come back here and continue reading :. Also, here's the direct link to a stereoview 3-D view of the above photo. You can always come back and check it out later : www.
A year-old woman, who has bound feet, has her toenails cut by her daughter in Jiukou county of Zhongxiang city in central China's Hubei province June 28, SCMP Pictures Like opium dens, sedan chairs and bat-winged junks, women with bound feet were once stereotypical to China. Deliberately crippled to conform to male ideals of beauty, these strange, pathetic creatures - to Western eyes - embodied the mysterious ways of the East. Early travel accounts describe the "alluring" manner in which Chinese women with bound feet walked, as they gently swayed and tottered, usually with an amah on each arm for support. Physiological reasons for this "attractive" faltering gait were never seriously questioned by casual observers. Carefully sanitised by euphemistic nonsense, foot binding was considered a quaint cultural taste that no outsider could ever fathom.
The practice would begin when a girl was five or six years old. First, her feet would be plunged into hot water and her toenails trimmed. Once they were massaged and oiled, all the toes except the big one would be broken and bound flat against the sole, making a triangle shape. In order to hasten the breaking of their arches, girls were forced to walk long distances over their crushed little feet.
It is a process of Oriental women aspiring after beauty, body performance, self-demonstration, art creation, and body art. Body art performance provides the best and the strongest means for women to collect eye contact. Understanding the footbinding custom helps people realize all sorts of body cultures. Therefore, it affects the way women lived, behaved, and destiny of all nations.