Bound Feet and….Lady Gaga?

Here are some really horrific photos of bound feet. Personally, I’ve never really given it much thought until now but binding the feet really destroys the bone structure and causes unbelievable pain. Here’s a website that gives a little background information about why the foot bindings started and when.

It’s infuriating to say the least. ¬†And strangely enough, this does relate to Lady Gaga in a very unnerving way….

Yep. Those are toes.


An X-Ray of the feet deformed by foot binding.

Here are the shoes, the top ones most specifically, that Lady Gaga has made famous in her videos and appearances. I found this picture mixed in with the ones of Chinese women and their bound feet. When I looked at the website it came from, a fashion blog talking about Alexander McQueen no less, the caption above it said this:

“The shoes are out of this world! Over the top and somewhat resembling Chinese bound feet, the platform booties trump the Nina Ricci ankle breakers from last season.”

All I can say is WOW. Is anyone else completely horrified/disturbed by this?

8 Responses to “Bound Feet and….Lady Gaga?”

  1. Frances Womble Says:

    I had not made a reference with Lady Gaga until I read the title of your blog post, and it clicked immediately for me. Like you, Alyssa, I am both horrified and disturbed. I did a little googling trying to find a statement from Gaga about her shoes but was unable to find one. I wonder what her rationale is for wearing the shoes/what they mean to her and if she realizes the similarity to food binding . . .

  2. wyn Says:

    People who listen to Lady Gaga’s statements and promoting people being themselves and follow her intently wouldn’t think she’s promoting or romanticizing something as stigmatized or inhibiting like foot-binding. People who are familiar with her image would see, like I do, some of the shoes look like lobster claws and it jives with her “monsters” and “freaks” support, i.e., people who are not traditionally beautiful on the outside can still shine and show their inner beauty. Just to show range, she should promote flipper feet next!

  3. sdelaney Says:

    I had no idea it deformed the feet so much! thats really gross! As for Lady Gaga, i think she rarely thinks about the insulting and unclassy things she does so much… her music is catchy but lets just hope her fashion sense never catches on!

  4. RhinestoneintheRough Says:

    I’ve always thought those Alexander McQueen shoes looked super ridiculous & painful & UGLY, but I’ve never made the connection to Chinese foot-binding, but it’s an apt comparison. The worst part is that someone else would draw the comparison and glamorize it. If anybody saw these ‘after’ pictures of bound feet, the sales for these shoes would plummet

  5. RhinestoneintheRough Says:

    ALSO: It’s weird to think of the pictures of the bound feet as ‘perfect feet’ because they are so misshaped and deformed. Sure, I guess I could see how someone could find the tiny size appealing while covered, but once the shoes come off the reality is kind of revolting

  6. Melissa Says:

    These images, and this concept at all, disturb me so much that I’ve been avoiding really thinking about it, but yesterday I got on the blog and looked at this post. Then last night I had this dream. In my dream, I was sitting on my elementary school playground with my mom, my grandma (her mother) and my grandpa, and my grandma, a seventy-year-old woman, tells the three of us that she wants to bind her feet. She thinks her feet are too big and ugly, and for some bizarre reason, my grandpa and mom support her idea. I start freaking out, cussing at my grandma, showing her my feet and asking her if they’re too big, and I eventually storm off and hide from my family.

    Foot binding has such visible, physical deformities, clearly associated with chronic pain and immobility. While it may at first appear to be an extreme example of what culture subjects women to in order to attain beauty, it’s really only another painful, time-consuming, ridiculous process that seeks to reshape and control a woman’s body to make it more appealing. We’ll slice open our breasts, bind our feet, take razors between out legs, to maintain an illusion of perpetual girlish youth and untouched sexuality.

  7. Seamushoo4 Says:

    does anyone know where the appeal from bound or small feet comes from? does is have some sort of derivative from religion or was it just a cultural preference that is becoming more and more disturbing?

  8. Hermina Says:

    Kanchanaburi’s famous Bridge on the River Kwai and the beginning of the Death Railway is a poignant reminder of the thousands of POW’s and forced laborers