A Three Inch Foot Was Attraction
For A Wealthy Husband
Are you attracted to beautiful feet? According to this book, “Splendid Slippers: A Thousand Years of an Erotic Tradition,” the ancient Chinese were, but their idea of beauty was a bit extreme. The tradition of footbinding lasted for at least a thousand years. To a Chinese family, if their daughter’s feet were not properly bound to an extremely small size, she would not attract a wealthy husband. The smaller the foot, the more attractive the woman, no matter what her face looked like. The ideal measurement for a woman’s foot was three inches or less! Just for fun and comparison, measure three inches on your own foot. Would you like to try walking on that?
There Were Underlying Reasons For Footbinding
There were underlying reasons for footbinding to become popular, including that Chinese society was dominated by men. If they kept the women physically unable to move around very much, it caused them to be mentally restricted as well. Since the women couldn’t go anywhere without the man, it made them totally dependent on the male. Unable to work with tiny little feet she could hardly totter around on, it was a matter of pride for her husband. He was showing the world he was wealthy enough to support his wife. Too, when a woman with bound feet walked, she walked with a totter and a sway, which the Chinese men found sexually exciting.
How It Began
When a young Chinese girl reached the age of six, it was the ideal time to bind her feet. There was always a footbinder woman in the village, who was hired to do the work. She would first thoroughly examine the child’s feet, to see how pliable the bones were. Then, with bandages that were pulled extremely tight, the arch of the foot was broken, and all the toes, except the big toe, were permanently pulled beneath the foot. When the binding was properly accomplished, the foot would form a cleft between the heel and the big toe.
Footbinders inserted a silver coin into the cleft; if it held and did not fall out the foot was correctly bound. A perfectly bound foot had to appear to be an extension of the leg and the bones of the instep to resemble the shape of a crescent moon. Painful? Of course it was. But girls endured it because they could not hope to marry well, if they had normal feet. As the 17th Century drew to a close, there were millions of Chinese women of all classes, with bound feet, hoping to marry into wealth.