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Recently we posted about a British photographer called Jo Farrell who is documenting a dying tradition in China: foot binding


The process began between the ages of 4 and 9. The feet were soaked in animal blood before the toes were folded over the sole of the foot and bound with cotton bandages.

The arch and toes were then broken by force, and the feet were repeatedly bound tighter and tighter in order to achieve the smallest size possible.

It was the beauty ideal of the time and considered necessary in order to get married and have a better life.

BUT: The reason behind feet binding isn’t the perceived beauty of tiny broken feet.

According to Splendid Slippers: A Thousand Years of An Erotic Tradition by Beverley Jackson, it was all about attraction.

Because of their tiny feet, [the women] were forced to walk with a unique posture and gait… [which] forced the tightening of the muscles in the upper legs, hips and vagina.


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