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The Boston Globe



The agony of the feet

In the ancient Chinese practice of foot binding, the toes of little girls are bent backwards until they break, then tied to the ankle so that they keep breaking as they grow. The idea was to shape the feet into tiny hooflike deformities, so they could fit into the elaborate brocade slippers that were then considered the epitome of fashion. Thank heavens we have moved beyond such barbarism.

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