Apr 1, 2013 — Foot binding literally "bound feet" is the custom of applying painfully tight binding to the feet of young girls to prevent further growth. The practice possibly originated among upperclass court dancers in the early Song dynasty, but spread and eventually became common among all but the lowest of classes. Eventually foot binding became very popular because men thought it to be highly attractive. Even today in China (Guangzhou), there are families with "lotus foot ancestry". In Guangzhou in the late 19th century, for example, it was usual to bind the feet of the eldest daughter of a lower-class family who was intended to be brought up as a lady. Her normal-footed sisters would grow up to be bond-servants or domestic slaves, and, when old enough, the concubines of rich men or the wives of laboring men - able to work in the fields alongside them. In contrast, the tiny narrow feet of the "ladies" were considered beautiful and made a woman's movements more feminine and dainty.