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I'm posting mostly over at Quirky Cookery right now, where I play with my food and teach you to have fun with it, too. Come check me out?

Chinese Foot Binding vs. Boob Jobs

Most people have heard of feet binding in China. Most of those people likely think of it as an ancient practice that no longer occurs, too. What people tend to forget, though, is that traditions like this don't just 'go away'....even when made illegal. Here's the caption for this particular photo:

Zhou Guizhen, who is 86-years-old, shows one of her bound feet where the bones in the four small toes were broken and forced underneath the foot over a period of time, at her home in Liuyi village in China's southern Yunnan Province, February 2007. Villages in China where women with bound feet survive are increasingly rare but the millennium-old practice nevertheless took almost four decades to eradicate after it was initially banned in 1911.(AFP/File/Mark Ralston)
Fortunately, it is definitely on the decline and it is rare for a young girls to have their feet bound now...partly because it is becoming increasingly important for women to work, also, and it is nearly impossible to walk on bound feet for very long (such is one of the reasons why it was so popular....if you could afford to have your women/wives/daughters not work, then showing this by disabling them to a certain extent further showed off your wealth....another was because it was seen as beautiful/graceful)....and hopefully, part of the reason it was eventually banned is because they realize how torturous it is. (I could talk for hours just about this....did research on it a few years ago and I couldn't possibly sum up the physical facts, much less the psychological/sociological possibilities....if you want a brief history run down, check here.)

Unfortunately, however, many people who hear about this sort of thing find it absolutely horrendous.....but fail to see any of the things that our own societies do. I know I have some readers that aren't from America/Canada/England....but I'm sure they can relate to one degree or another. We have women so obsessed about their weight that they starve themselves or do horrible things to their bodies in order to reach the ideal image...that their bodies are not meant to reach. We have women who go through multiple surgeries and procedures to suck fat from some areas and put fat in others. Do you have any idea on how much an incline that breast augmentation has gone in the last decade? Hell, it may not physically compare to breaking bones in the feet and binding them pain-wise....but many girls start burning their flesh/tanning early in their teens in hopes of achieving the 'perfect' color. It's not just women, of course.....men are bombarded with ads to increase their size (ok, so the women are, too, but it's only because bots can't tell the difference between men and women by their email addresses :P). While men here are striving for more than 4 inches....women in China were striving for feet that were smaller than 4 inches.

Isn't it funny (read--'sad'), though, that as places like China put an end to practices like this....we're increasing them and it's perfectly acceptable? Oh sure, people of all generations talk about the young girls in their short mini skirts and tank tops and how bad it is. Those are usually the same people who are on their 5th diet of the year, though, and don't think anything of it. Yeah, there are exceptions to the rules and some people truly do just want to be healthy....but even many of those people don't realize that their image of 'healthy' is really the image of the 'perfect person' that society has gradually put into their heads. One side is saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and the other is saying "Barbie is perfect....why don't you look like Barbie?"

I could continue to ramble, but you all have heard this stuff before. It'll go in one ear (and some of you, like Dave, will analyze and obsess over it for a few minutes) and then it won't cross your mind again for a while. So instead, I'm off to fix lunch for the little ones, hehe.

1 comments so far. What are your thoughts?
Anonymous said...

My daughter is 11 and she has already asked me 'how can I lose weight?' Telling her that she can't because she is still growing just draws an eye-roll.

I hate this so much and I will fight to the bitter end, showing her pictures of anorexics, bulemics and third world children who are model thin by no choice of their own.

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