This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Chinese Footbinding: A Beautiful And Brutal Custom

1768 words - 7 pages

CHINESE FOOTBINDING: A BEAUTIFUL AND BRUTAL CUSTOM The Chinese custom of foot binding was a brutal and painful tradition that caused both physical and emotional damage to Chinese women for a thousand years. This custom has many facets most residing in the erotic; others in simple vanity. Its origins are buried under centuries of myth and the tight lipped customs of the ancient Chinese. Much more than a simple custom designed to improve on a woman's beauty even the origins of the myths concerning Chinese foot binding are nearly impossible to locate and lend little insight into the thoughts of a culture that could fabricate such a standard of grace and beauty. The erotic fascination with the Chinese foot led many to loose their toes and several to loose their lives. As we take a detailed look into the practice and into the lives of the women forced to bear it we can't help but see a multitude of similarities between this brutal act and the tortures that modern women volunteer for in order to fit societies mold of "beautiful".While there are several myths concerning the origin of the practice, two stand above the rest. The first comes from the court of the emperor Li Yu around 920 A.D. It is said that the "Lady Yao, a dancer and concubine for Li Yu, danced with such grace that he required her to bind her feet to resemble new moons all the time." (Aero 112-113) Another legend says that in sympathy for the club-footed Empress Taki, Li Yu ordered his concubines and all loyal ladies of the palace to bind their feet. In this way the Empress's deformity was turned from something ugly and unwanted into something beautiful to be wished for and achieved by all noble and well bread women.The term "golden lotus" also came from the southern Tang dynasty about 920 AD, Li Yu apparently made his favorite concubine bind her feet and dance on a platform encrusted with gold and pearls in the shape of a flowering lotus. There after the ladies of the palace bound their feet in order to be more attractive to the Emperor. Gradually the term "golden lotus" became a synonym for bound feet.A factor that aided in the distribution of foot binding is the writings of scholar Zhu Xi. His books about Chinese etiquette and the Confucian classics made him famous and set the standard for Chinese behavior.The actual practice of foot binding involved wrapping a three to eight year old girls foot with strips of cloth one to two inches in width. The toes were forced under the foot itself and the front of the foot was pulled toward the heel. This often broke several bones in the foot and aside from causing gangrene caused the girls to mature on tiny three-inch feet.While some girls did not achieve this extreme of three inches, girls with these tiny feet were called "golden lilies" or "lilly feet". The foot itself, the "golden lotus", was a sever health risk to the woman and anyone intimate with her.Because they knew of the risks and of how grotesque the feet could be under the wrappings,...

Find Another Essay On Chinese Footbinding: A Beautiful And Brutal Custom

A Beautiful Mind and the Illustration of Schizophrenia

1889 words - 8 pages Schizophrenia is a disease that plagues many individuals today and though medications can help alleviate the symptoms there is no known cure for the illness. There are a multitude of representations of schizophrenia in the media. This paper will focus on A Beautiful Mind; a film that focuses on John Forbes Nash Jr. Nash was a mentally gifted individual. He attended Princeton and his mathematical work has changed society greatly. In the movie

Should teenagers adopt the British custom of taking a “gap year” between high school and university

3209 words - 13 pages . Therefore it showed that students are more likely to benefit from a gap year as it helps some people find the correct path in life.General Introduction, Background Information and ContextualisationThis research report will seek to determine if teenagers should adopt the British custom of taking a "gap year" between high school and university. The report will further discuss the personal experiences and opinions of first year students at the University of

A Camparison of Chinese and Lation Culture

716 words - 3 pages A Comparison of Chinese and Latino Cultures The way in which cultural societies perceive their elders vary in range. These perceptions influence behavior toward the elderly, as well as develop cultural guidelines. These cultural guidelines aid in developing ideas, customs, traditions and values; resulting in a representation of one’s culture. How cultures view their elderly directly reflects how cultures care for the elderly as well. Del

A Chinese Man and His Dog

1723 words - 7 pages building catching his breath. In and out as he breathed heavily. Shi could run fast but, not for long. That will be a problem because if the spotlight finds him he will be unable to run so fast. What will he do if the spotlight finds him? He hid behind the building for 10 mins catching his breath. Shi was just getting into all sorts of trouble. While Shi was catching his breath he smelt something delightful. He smelt the beautiful aromas of the

Film and Audio Choices Charecteristics of A Beautiful Mind and Gladiator : Audio Visual Production

2193 words - 9 pages Audio Theory EssaysEssay One: Audio Visual ProductionMovie Choice: A Beautiful MindBrief SynopsisA mathematical genius, John Forbes Nash, Jr. made an astonishing discovery early in life and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But his prodigious career was sidetracked by problems that would have broken many men. Nash, however, fought back. He had always been driven by his quest for one truly original idea and never lost sight of that

Two Scavengers in a Truck,Two Beautiful People in Mercedes and Nothings Changed

1730 words - 7 pages Two Scavengers in a Truck,Two Beautiful People in Mercedes and Nothings Changed Compare and contrast of two poems from different cultures- ‘Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two beautiful People in Mercedes’ and ‘Nothings Changed’. ‘Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in Mercedes’ by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, is a poem about four very different people brought together by traffic lights turning red. The poet is protesting against

A program mission, goal, and objective for “ NO body is perfect, but EVERY body is beautiful”

923 words - 4 pages Mission Statement The mission of “NO body is perfect, but EVERY body is beautiful” is to provide a school health program and the resources necessary to aid female adolescents suffering from anorexia so that they may obtain optimum physically, emotionally, and psychologically health. Goal To reduce the incidence of anorexia nervosa by increasing self-esteem and positive self-image in the female youth populace of the United States. Objectives

Macau: A Mixture of Portuguese and Chinese Culture

875 words - 4 pages Mazu, a sacred goddess. Mostly visitors conclude that it is a location that suits tourists as it is a beautiful city. The city has vibrant atmosphere with hill mounting landscapes. Macau is an administrative region which is located across the pearl river from Hongkong. The official languages spoken in Macau are Portuguese and Chinese. More than 90 percent of people in Macau follow Buddhist religion. There are approximately 171 tourist places in

A Report on The GMD and The Chinese Civil War

2043 words - 8 pages Year 12 History Research AssignmentSynopsisThe long hard struggle for China, the Chinese Civil War was a very costly war with a long awaited prize at the end of it. The many years of struggle, life and money that went into the war was huge. At the end of it a result for the people something they had been waiting for along time.Search'From Manchu to Mao A History of Modern China' by Koutsoukis - This was a well written book had relevant

The Narrow Schism between Disease and Beauty: Discovering the Mental Disorders and Intricacies of A Beautiful Mind

1911 words - 8 pages unquestionably proven cause, schizophrenia may only be treated with therapies that can often prove as debilitating as the disorder itself. A Beautiful Mind, a 2001 biopic, loosely follows the true life story of John Nash, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. Nash suffers from schizophrenia, but his psychological disorder is not the only marvel of his mind; he also has an uncanny ability to crack codes and solve complex mathematical equations. Despite

A Beautiful and Inconvenient Reality

1431 words - 6 pages Henrik Ibsen was a nineteenth century playwright who pioneered realism in drama. He wrote during a time in which very specific gender roles dominated life, especially for women, who found themselves bound to their home and their husbands, lacking a voice of their own. The influence of that society is evident in Ibsen’s works, many of which sought to analyze and critique different aspects of it. Ibsen did not hold back with regard to

Similar Essays

Did The Plains Indians Act In A Brutal And Bloodthirsty Manner? Discuss

763 words - 3 pages everyone with good food and health.Scalping was another custom which might have seemed 'bloodthirsty'. This was when the scalp of a person was cut off. When the person was dead, this may have seemed a disrespectful act, and to do this to someone who was still alive was savage.On the other hand, this bloodthirsty custom was in fact a religious custom, because they believed scalping someone was the only way to release the spirit of that person and allow

Mental Illnesses Portrayed In A Beautiful Mind And Girl Interrupted

1454 words - 6 pages Mental Illnesses Portrayed in A Beautiful Mind and Girl InterruptedThis paper will identify two different mental illnesses and how each separate one is presented in a movie. Borderline personality disorder will be discussed in relation to Girl Interrupted and schizophrenia will be discussed in relation to A Beautiful Mind.Borderline personality disorder, which effects only about 2% of the United States population, seems to be one of the most

A Beautiful Sunset Some Of The People Are Caucasian And

681 words - 3 pages A Beautiful Sunset Some of the people are caucasian and some of Asian origin. All and all most of them seem to have a single destination and purpose in mind for being here, but why do they walk all the way to the end? I can see it just as well from where I am. Perhaps it's just to feel closer.A caucasian couple walks by and turn left, walking along the narrow pathway towards the small crowd gathered at the end. They stop briefly to dig into the

Physical And Mental Limits In The Movie: A Beautiful Mind

804 words - 3 pages society regardless of physical limitations. Steinman’s story expresses the importance of determination; with a drive to succeed almost anything can be realized. John Nash is another example of someone who was able to manage limitations and flourish in his work. The film A Beautiful Mind goes into great detail describing the mental limitations of John Nash. At the beginning of the movie Nash seems normal, except from his awkwardness, but as the