Last Chinese Foot-Binding Follower Reveals The Damage

Lauren Freeman

Journalist

Zhoe Guizen, 89, is one of the last survivors that bear the marks of the Chinese practice of foot-binding. This ancient tradition has lead to millions of girls getting their feet horribly deformed.

It was done for cosmetic purposes, as smaller feet were considered to be prettier. In truth, a woman would be hobbled and could even be rendered bedridden by mangling. Infections were common, too.

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Suffering was great from the very beggining, as parents would choose winter to start foot binding as the cold would numb the pain.

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After the communist takeover, the practice was banned. Zhoe Guizen would wrap her feet thickly and wear large shoes with stuffing to avoid detecting. Foot-bound girls were sneered at in the revolutionary China, as their condition prevented them from working as hard as it was expected from a model citizen.

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