Someone emailed me below photos and I spent a good 10 minute studying each image.
My grandfather was born in 1908 2 years before the fall of Qing Dynasty and the rise of Republic of China. He lived through this time with his family, but his sister was very lucky to escape such atrocious obscenity. They were farmer’s children so she was needed to work and carry loads and her feet was subsequently spared.
When my grandmother was born sometime in the 20’s, foot binding was already abolished but still wildly practiced as many aristocratic women still believed in the good marital prospect a pair of Golden Lillie would bring. As for the poor women, it was a way for them to bridged the social gap by holding on an ancient prestige mocked and abandoned by modernity.
My great-grandmother was a sensible woman, she enrolled my grandmother into an all woman’s school established by the German Nunnery, and when it became fashionable for girls from respectable families to run, she bought my grandmother a pair of sneakers instead of crushing her feet using below device.
We came a long way but maybe not far enough as even I myself would stomp a pair of these: