By Lucy Waterlow
A Chinese woman has revealed how she endured having her feet bound when she was only six years old, even though the painful procedure had been outlawed.
Wang Huiyuan, now 84, who lives in the rural Tonghai County, Yunnan, had the ‘beauty treatment’ in the 1930s, decades after it had been officially banned in 1902.
‘Then it was fashionable to bind feet. Everyone did it. If not, you’d be laughed at, “look at her big, flat feet”. Once I was laughed at, I bound my feet,’ she explained to Dr Amanda Foreman on BBC documentary The Ascent Of Woman.
The octogenarian recalled how the process of binding her feet to make them smaller – an ancient practice that can be dated back to the 13th century – was unbearably painful.