China in Chicago


Warning: there is a photo below that shows the x-ray of a deliberately-created physical deformity. If that is something that is not OK for you, you may not want to read today’s post.

This weekend, I visited Chicago’s beautiful Field Museum. There’s a very detailed, comprehensive exhibit about China, The Cyrus Tang Hall of China, which was fascinating. But one part really got to me.

In a packed stream of artifacts, these shoes got my attention:IMG_9020


It’s tough to judge how tiny they are, but they look like they were made for a doll. Three inches, is what the description said.

They were shoes for bound feet. Imagine that, a full-grown woman tottering around on three-inch long, brutally misshapen feet. Hobbled, so that her feet could resemble those of a doll.

At least in shoes.

I warn you, the next photo is disturbing, at least I found it so. This is an x-ray of a woman’s bound foot:


I cannot begin to imagine the pain of the binding process, let alone the pain of living with bound feet. Over the centuries, the cruelty and torture women endured in the pursuit of “beauty” is staggering. It makes me sad for our long-gone sisters.

Overall, though, I highly recommend the exhibit if you happen to be in or around Chicago. It really makes you consider the people who make up the history of a fascinating country.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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