Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China

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U of Minnesota Press, 2000 - History - 265 pages
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In this award-winning inquiry, Wang Ping offers a fresh perspective on the centuries-old custom of footbinding.

First examining the root of her own girlhood desire for tiny feet -- years after footbinding had been outlawed in China -- Wang then probes an astonishing range of literary references, addresses the relationship between beauty and pain, and discusses the intense female bonds that footbinding fostered in endeavoring to demystify this complex phenomenon. With a comprehensive examination of the notions of hierarchy, femininity, and fetish bound up in the tradition, Aching for Beauty places footbinding in its proper context and opens a window onto an intriguing culture.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - autumnesf - LibraryThing

I was disappointed with this book overall. I expected to read a book on foot binding, and there was very little about that subject in this book. But, there were interesting chapters on other subjects ... Read full review

Aching for beauty: footbinding in China

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This book describes the chilling and tragic history of beauty via footbinding in China that began around the 11th century, flourished in the Ming Dynasty, and was eclipsed in the Qing Dynasty in 1911 ... Read full review


A Brief History ofFootbinding
Footbinding and the Cult of
Food and Foot
The Fabric of Masquerade
and Beyond

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About the author (2000)

Wang Ping was born in Shanghai, she teaches creative writing at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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