Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lotus Feet

In China, from about the 17th century up until 1949 when it was outlawed, Chinese women had their feet tightly bound from childhood. The objective was to force the toes to be squished up against the heel so a deep cleavage would be formed. Women with lotus feet had tiny little feet which couldn't bear their own weight so they had to be supported by attendants and would walk with a swaying gait that was meant to be alluring, called the Lotus walk. It was a sign of aristocracy and a disdain for manual labour since women with bound feet really couldn't get down to work in the fields or the kitchen.

Looking at some of the latest fashions in shoes, Lotus feet seem to be making a comeback, though this time with high-ticket price tags in tow. While I'd love to own one of these marvels and put it into my display case in the living room, could you see yourself walking anywhere – even in a hotel ballroom – in these for longer than a nanosecond?

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