Chinese foot-binding discussion activity for kids

Foot-binding discussion

Chinese shoe
Chinese shoe

When we think about Chinese clothing, it strikes us as really weird that women bound little girls' feet so they couldn't grow, and made them grow up with little tiny broken feet that they could hardly walk on. (More on foot-binding)

You might have a class discussion about whether this is really so unusual though; isn't it just another instance of women making themselves beautiful through pain?

Is this comparable to tattooing, for instance? Or piercings? Is foot-binding more like braces? What if the braces are entirely cosmetic? Or is it more like getting a nose job?

Tattoo
Lip ring
Corset

Is Chinese foot-binding comparable to European and American women wearing corsets? Or high heels? How about ballet dancers wearing pointe shoes? Do men have similar things? maybe wearing ties, or shaving? Or getting piercings? Why or why not?

Shaving
Piercing
Tie

If Chinese foot-binding is like getting piercings, does that mean that it's perfectly normal to get piercings to make yourself beautiful, and everyone should do it? Or does it mean that it's barbaric and awful, and nobody should do it?

Foot-binding

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