When Did Foot Binding Start?

When Did Foot Binding Start?

Foot binding began in China in the 10th century during the reign of Emperor Li Yu after his favorite concubine performed a dance with her feet wrapped into hoof-like shapes. The maidens of the court took notice and began wrapping their feet in a similar fashion.

Upper-class women in China began following the trend, and it eventually spread to all classes, beginning in the south and spreading to the north. Girls between the ages of 4 and 6 had their feet bound to symbolize wealth and perfection. Foot binding was eventually outlawed in 1912, but some people still embraced tiny feet as a status symbol, and many women continued the practice in secret.