Read: The peculiar history of foot-binding in China. We want to hear what you think about this article. They had a wider range of mobility than the women Cummings met in Beijing—among them were women who worked in fields, raised children, fixed chimneys, and went bowling—but descriptions of their childhood binding were no less horrifying. For several hundred years, millions of Chinese girls had their bodies painfully misshapen to conform to a prevailing social expectation. The process could start when she was as young as 3 years old, though 5 was more common, and was repeated for two or three years—her toes routinely rebroken and bound again more tightly. Read: The peculiar history of foot-binding in China Soon after, another woman came in with a crutch and an odd kind of shoe. The end result, no matter the motivation, was severe physical impairment.
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