Read Here: The Last Women Who Followed China's 1000-Year-Old Horrible Foot-Binding Tradition

Zhou Guizhen is one of the last women on Earth who had to bind their feet.
She says, “I can’t dance, I can’t move properly. I regret it a lot. But at the time, if you didn’t bind your feet, no one would marry you.”

Zhou regrets her decision of binding her feet.
It made her impossible to enjoy many comforts of life in many ways.

Photographer Joe Farrell has brought forth Zhou and many other women like her through her project called 'Living History'.
The project involves capturing the lives of the last known victims of foot-binding from

Lotus Feet, as such feet were called, were brought in practice by the Song Dynasty that ruled China.
A symbol of beauty and high social status, the practice began in the 10th century and was banned only in 1912, almost one thousand years later.

The cruel tradition made women have to crush their feet and break their toes in order to fit their feet in small shoes.
The standard length of the Lotus Feet was 3 inches. That explains how much bone-crushing would be required in order to get the desired results!

The Manchu Emperor Kangxi tried to ban foot-binding in 1664.
But the opposition of the nobility that had, by the time, been seeing small feet as the most important beauty factor in women, thwarted his plans.

The last factory to produce lotus shoes stopped manufacturing it only in 1999. But it had taken its toll on women's feet until then.

The worst part was that foot-binding continued to be a practice for a millennium with the consent and delight(?) of women.

Although the foot-binding practice of China had ended long ago, something similar from the Western world still looks threatening in a similar manner.

Here is what the Chinese did for almost 10 centuries: They crushed the feet of the women and broke their toes to make them look beautiful. Another chapter in the book of weird traditions around the world.

Thankfully, this sick practice has been banned for more than a hundred years now. But many suffered from it for almost a thousand years and here is the last of the surviving victims of the horific tradition.

Body surgeries and high heels that don't allow the feet comfort of any kind, are the new perceptions of beauty. Even if it doesn't necessarily crush the feet, it crushes the mind with the thought of wearing something uncomfortable just to look stylish, and that I reckon, is more dangerous.


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