There's nothing worse that a woman galumphing around the place with her normal-sized feet, is there? Well, something just had to be done. Foot binding was practiced by the Chinese for more than a thousand years, and is thought to have claimed the lives of more than a million women during that time. First, a girl of around four years old was treated to a nice foot spa of vinegar and botanicals. He toenails were then removed, her feet broken and bent in on themselves and wrapped in tight bandages.
The broken and bound feet were highly susceptible to infection, and bits often dropped off due to lack of blood supply. If a girl's feet were still considered too big, shards of broken tile were sometime inserted into the bindings to encourage the toes to fall off through infection.
Death by septic shock was common, as was gangrene and broken bones from "falling off" bound feet.
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