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Thread: The Last Surviving Chinese Women With Bound Feet

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    Default The Last Surviving Chinese Women With Bound Feet

    The Last Surviving Chinese Women With Bound Feet

    Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/hayleycampbell/lotus-feet

    The tradition, once revered, now banned, will be lost with these women. Photographer Jo Farrell is documenting their lives, and their feet.

    British photographer Jo Farrell is documenting a tradition that is dying out with China’s oldest women: foot binding.


    Su Xi Rong's feet

    The process of binding feet (also known as "lotus feet") started before the arch had a chance to fully develop – somewhere between the ages of 4 and 9.

    After soaking in warm herbs and animal blood, the toes would be curled over to the sole of the foot and bound with cotton bandages.


    Yang Jinge's feet.

    The toes and arch would be broken with force. Unbound. Rebound. Rebound tighter. And repeat.

    It was considered better to get someone who wasn't your mum to do it: They were less likely to bind them sympathetically loose.

    The tradition is thought to have originated among the upper-class court dancers in Imperial China around the 10th century before spreading to the lower classes.


    Zhang Yun Ying, 77 at the time of the photograph (1928–).

    Since it affected their ability to walk, it came to be seen as a sign of wealth – the wealthiest of people didn’t need to walk or work in fields.


    Zhang Xiu Ling, 80 (1927–2010).

    There were various attempts to ban the tradition from the 1600s, but it didn't die out until the early 20th century.
    Farrell told BuzzFeed, “I asked colleagues if they knew of any women still alive with bound feet and they all said it was highly unlikely.”



    "At every opportunity I asked if anyone knew of any old ladies. A driver finally said that he had overheard the conversation and that his grandmother had bound feet. I arranged to go meet his grandmother (Zhang Yun Ying, pictured) in a remote village in Shandong Province."

    “A couple of her friends also had bound feet but they declined to be part of the project."

    "I got some photographs of them sitting around eating watermelon and chatting. I published the photographs in an exhibition catalogue to coincide with an exhibit I did at Hoopers Gallery in London in 2006.

    I sent each of the ladies a copy of the catalogue and when I returned to Shandong Province in 2007, they all said they wanted to be included in the next book."

    “My translator’s grandmother (Su Xi Rong, pictured) also had bound feet and lived 60km away. So I went to her home and she became part of the project too.”


    Su Xi Rong, 75. (1933—)

    “I have found women through word of mouth, even by driving past an old lady."

    "I realised she had bound feet and stopped the taxi and ran after to her to ask if I could go home with her and photograph her feet.”


    Su Xi Rong’s straw shoes

    “This generation of women have lived through incredible times: through foot binding, the Cultural Revolution, Japanese invasion, and the Great Famine."


    Liu Shiu Ying (1926–2013) and her husband, 79, in the photo.


    "Once they were praised for the size and shape of their feet."


    Hou Jun Rong, 75, sewing (1932–).

    "But they have also gone through a long period where they were vilified and made to feel ashamed and embarrassed by the very same tradition."


    Cao Mei Xing, 87 (1921–2013).

    "The practice of binding feet was not only considered beautiful, it was considered necessary in order to get married and to have a better life."


    Cao Mei Xing's feet.



    "When I ask them if they could go back, whether they would have their feet bound again, the majority of them say no."


    Hou Jun Rong's feet.

    "But this is largely because as peasant farmers during these harsh times they had to work in the fields rather than be sedentary."


    Yang Jinge, 87 (1923–).

    "They always point out, and I believe it is with a sense of pride, that their feet were much smaller."
    "Having had their feet unbound for 50-60 years, their feet have naturally spread. But they achieved/attained the beauty of their society."


    Zhao Hua Hong, 84 (1926–2013).


    "On dozens of occasions, these women bound their own feet as young girls, and were not pressurised into doing it by their mothers or family."


    Zhao Hua Hong's feet.

    "It was a societal pressure. All the other girls in the village had their feet bound."


    Su Xi Rong's feet

    "They didn't want to be left out. They wanted to ensure they had a good future and could marry into a more affluent family.”


    Shi Yu Hong, 78 (1930–).

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    And to think they did it because they considered small feet on women to be ideal. I think the exact opposite.


    Only butthurted clowns minuses my posts. -- Лиссиы

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    Quote Originally Posted by Óttar View Post


    And to think they did it because they considered small feet on women to be ideal. I think the exact opposite.
    You like large plonkers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazimiera View Post
    You like large plonkers?
    Generally, yes. Being a sub, I like women to have a certain robustness. This includes their feet. In Boston, they used to have occasional foot-fetish parties. I heard from one girl there that there had been another girl with large feet, and she got the most attention and had made the most $ in tips.


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    My maternal great-grandmother also had bound her feet,but she died young.

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    It's very scary, i can't understand these peoples.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Germanin View Post
    It's very scary, i can't understand these peoples.
    They were following trends just like we are today. If it's trendy, do it. It's always been like that and will continue to be into all eternity. Women are prepared to suffer for beauty.

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    Some cultures are simply better then others, and it's not racist to say it. It's just fact. Exhibit A.
    Vojnik_scaled

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    Cleaning those feet must be a nightmare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vojnik View Post
    Some cultures are simply better then others, and it's not racist to say it. It's just fact. Exhibit A.
    Pretty much.


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