Saturday, January 24, 2009

Zenbit: Beautiful, Yet Horrifying

This is a shoe for a bound foot. There is a store in Melaka that still makes them, as collector's items rather than footwear.

Melaka, Malaysia
February 1, 2006


  1. Horrifying? Just the way life was for my grandmother, great aunts and their peers.

    When I was a child, you could still see women with previously bound feet, going about the social rounds in San Francisco. They are probably all dead now. But, to me, it was just something you saw on very old women.

  2. @badmomgoodmom- I find it horrifying the way I find corsets (which often broke women's ribs) horrifying. I am always amazed and horrified at what women will do to meet the norms of the day. My understanding is that walking on bound feet was painful for the woman's entire life.

    The shopkeeper in Melaka said he still had a couple of customers who had bound feet.

  3. They did not choose to meet a social norm, the way western women choose to dye their hair or get breast implants.

    The girls had NO choice. This was abuse, plain and simple. They had no say in this.

    Would anyone voluntarily submit to having their feet broken to the point that they can't walk?


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