Chinese foot binding had been a notably barbaric practice that was around mostly in rural China until recently. It was primarily a social practice. The technique involved the very tight binding of the feet of girls and the retaining of them bound to prevent the feet from developing. This is an agonizing process and ended in substantial deformity and disability. Children who were being put through this practice had to wear especially designed and manufactured footwear. There was quite an art form to this and the footwear that these children were required to wear were adorned very deliberately and exotically. The reason behind the technique of Chinese foot binding was that smaller sized feet were considered much more attractive in women. A much better price might be required by the family of the bride to be for the dowry.
The technique was very widespread in rural China for several centuries and just recently began to die out about 100 years ago because of social pressures which were brought to bear on the practice due to the pain and impairment that it was creating. There are still some older Chinese woman alive today with these disfigured feet from the binding when they were younger. The tragedy is caused by what happened when they were kids they do need to keep their feet bound as it is more at ease than not having them bound as the deformity is now so great. There have been a lot of cultural and psychological analysis of the foot binding especially in the framework of it being done too please the men as opposed to being of any benefit to the female. Of recent consideration is the present practice of women wearing tight fitting high heel footwear has drawn parallels with Chinese foot binding. Some of the cultural and psychological investigation of this have actually discussed the comparison among the two practices and who actually benefits from the practice. Both of them are painful, both create foot deformity, and both are for the benefit of males.