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Scary Girl Throws Pie for REVENGE
Reform-minded Chinese intellectuals began to consider footbinding to be an aspect of their culture that needed to be eliminated. A less severe form in Sichuan, called "cucumber foot" huanggua jiao due to its slender shape, folded the four toes under but did not distort the heel and taper the ankle. Manchu women, as well as Mongol and Chinese women in the Eight Banners , did not bind their feet, and the most a Manchu woman might do was to wrap the feet tightly to give them a slender appearance. Bound feet nevertheless became a significant differentiating marker between Han women and Manchu or other banner women. Foot binding was practiced by the Hui Muslims in Gansu Province,  the Dungan Muslims , descendants of Hui from northwestern China who fled to central Asia, were also seen practicing foot binding up to Binding usually started during the winter months since the feet were more likely to be numb, and therefore the pain would not be as extreme. Then, the toenails were cut back as far as possible to prevent in-growth and subsequent infections, since the toes were to be pressed tightly into the sole of the foot. To enable the size of the feet to be reduced, the toes on each foot were curled under, then pressed with great force downwards and squeezed into the sole of the foot until the toes broke. The broken toes were held tightly against the sole of the foot while the foot was then drawn down straight with the leg and the arch of the foot was forcibly broken. The bandages were repeatedly wound in a figure-eight movement, starting at the inside of the foot at the instep, then carried over the toes, under the foot, and around the heel, the freshly broken toes being pressed tightly into the sole of the foot. At each pass around the foot, the binding cloth was tightened, pulling the ball of the foot and the heel together, causing the broken foot to fold at the arch, and pressing the toes underneath the sole. The binding was pulled so tightly that the girl could not move her toes at all and the ends of the binding cloth were then sewn so that the girl could not loosen it. An X-ray of two bound feet Schema of an x-ray comparison between an unbound and bound foot The girl's broken feet required a great deal of care and attention, and they would be unbound regularly. Each time the feet were unbound, they were washed, the toes carefully checked for injury, and the nails carefully and meticulously trimmed. When unbound, the broken feet were also kneaded to soften them and the soles of the girl's feet were often beaten to make the joints and broken bones more flexible. The feet were also soaked in a concoction that caused any necrotic flesh to fall off. The bindings were pulled even tighter each time the girl's feet were rebound. This unbinding and rebinding ritual was repeated as often as possible for the rich at least once daily, for poor peasants two or three times a week , with fresh bindings. It was generally an elder female member of the girl's family or a professional foot binder who carried out the initial breaking and ongoing binding of the feet. It was considered preferable to have someone other than the mother do it, as she might have been sympathetic to her daughter's pain and less willing to keep the bindings tight. However, once a foot had been crushed and bound, attempting to reverse the process by unbinding was painful,  and the shape could not be reversed without a woman undergoing the same pain all over again. Despite the amount of care taken in regularly trimming the toenails, they would often in-grow, becoming infected and causing injuries to the toes. Sometimes, for this reason, the girl's toenails would be peeled back and removed altogether. The tightness of the binding meant that the circulation in the feet was faulty, and the circulation to the toes was almost cut off, so any injuries to the toes were unlikely to heal and were likely to gradually worsen and lead to infected toes and rotting flesh. The necrosis of the flesh would also initially give off a foul odor, and later the smell may come from various microorganisms that colonized the folds. Girls whose toes were more fleshy would sometimes have shards of glass or pieces of broken tiles inserted within the binding next to her feet and between her toes to cause injury and introduce infection deliberately. Disease inevitably followed infection, meaning that death from septic shock could result from foot-binding, and a surviving girl was more at risk for medical problems as she grew older. However, as the girl grew older, the bones would begin to heal. Even after the foot bones had healed, they were prone to re-breaking repeatedly, especially when the girl was in her teenage years and her feet were still soft. Bones in the girls' feet would often be deliberately broken again in order to further change the size or shape of the feet. This was especially the case with the toes, as small toes were especially desirable. This tale of a girl who lost her shoe and then married a king who sought the owner of the shoe as only her foot was small enough to fit the shoe contains elements of the European story of Cinderella , and is thought to be one of its antecedents. Some men preferred never to see a woman's bound feet, so they were always concealed within tiny "lotus shoes" and wrappings. According to Robert van Gulik , the bound feet were also considered the most intimate part of a woman's body; in erotic art of the Qing to Song periods where the genitalia may be shown, the bound feet were never depicted uncovered. Women with such deformed feet avoided placing weight on the front of the foot and tended to walk predominantly on their heels. As a result, women who had undergone foot-binding would walk in a cautious and unsteady manner. It is however argued that such injunction applies less to women, rather it is meant to emphasize the sacred link between sons and their parents. Furthermore, it is argued that Confucianism institutionalized the family system in which women are called upon to sacrifice themselves for the good of the family, a system that fostered such practice. Footbinding was often classified in Chinese encyclopedia as clothing or a form of bodily embellishment rather than mutilation; one from for example placed footbinding in a section on "Female Adornments" that included hairdos, powders, and ear-piercings. According to Ko, the perception of footbinding as a civilised practice may be evinced from a Ming dynasty account that mentioned a proposal to "entice [the barbarians] to civilize their customs" by encouraging footbinding among their womenfolk.
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