We analyze the rarest and strangest fashions in history, today we begin with the lotus feet.
Currently, there are many different fashions available to the public and many of them, because of their originality or their rarity, constantly raise the eyebrows of the most traditional people in society.
But these trends are nothing compared to some of the trends in the fashion world that triumphed in past centuries and that, despite the strange, bizarre or, sometimes, even cruel they were, were considered the culmination of the elegance and distinction at different times of our past.
Some of these trends or rare fashions, without a doubt, would make Lady Gaga herself seem an example of classicism when it comes to dressing.
The first of the rare fashions that we are going to see arose many centuries ago in China, but it has been practiced until very recent times; in fact, despite being a prohibited action in the country of the Rising Sun since 1912, until just two generations ago it was a practice that continued to be widespread throughout this are.
In fact, despite its illegality, it is suspected that this practice is still being carried out in some of the most remote villages.
These are bandaged feet or also known as lotus feet.
Women with extremely small feet were much more beautiful, graceful and desirable than those with large feet
The first news of the lotus feet date from the eighth century and is linked to an aesthetic ideology according to which women with extremely small feet were considered to be much more beautiful, graceful and desirable than those who had large feet or, simply normal.
Therefore, those women whose feet were small were much more likely to thrive in society and get a good marriage.
Thus, in order to prevent girls ‘feet from growing too much, among the families with the highest status of Chinese society, the custom of bandaging girls’ feet strongly to prevent their growth was extended.
The lotus feet, a very painful process
This was a hugely painful process for girls, since the bones of the feet, by putting barriers to their growth, were broken and deformed.
This deformation made women’s feet acquire a “lotus” aspect that men of the time considered enormously erotic, as long as those deformities remained hidden by rich bandages and beautiful shoes that emphasized the shape without letting others see the serious physical problems for women.
In addition, this deformity forced women to walk supporting their entire body weight at the tips of their fingers, they walked in a way considered very sensual and erotic for the men of their time, which increased their attractiveness.
The erotic lotus feet
The lotus feet was considered so aesthetically relevant and erotic that it did not cease to spread through Chinese society, to the point that many families of an impoverished economic situation, especially during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, bandaged the feet of their eldest daughters to to be able to offer them as concubines to richer men or marry them above their social class, since it was practically considered that a woman with normal feet could not improve her economic situation through a match, leaving the feet of the rest of her daughters so they could work.
The practice of lotus feet began to be answered by some groups already in the nineteenth century and, although it was banned by different edicts, it was so common that in most cases these laws were ignored.
It was not until 1912, after the fall of the Empire, when it was definitively banned again, although it continued to be practiced in hiding.
In 1949, with the coming to power of the Communist Party and the decline of this practice, important penalties were established for its practitioners and finally it was practically eradicated.