Bound Feet Blues: Would you slice up your feet to fit into your shoes – like the ugly sisters in the Cinderella story?

In the Cinderella fairy tale, when the Prince finds the glass slipper dropped by Cinderella, he travels around the kingdom trying to find the woman whose foot is the perfect fit for the shoe. Many women long to marry the Prince, including Cinderella’s ugly sisters but their feet are too big – so they resort to chopping off their toes and their heels to make their feet fit into that single perfect glass slipper.

You think this is a fairy tale.

Well, think again.

It seems that women today are having foot surgery so that their feet fit more easily into high heel shoes or sandals, according to an article on Shape magazine on Cinderella Foot Surgery.

They are asking for toe shortenings… nail re-sizing, “foot facelifts,” “toe tucks,” and foot narrowing… [and] “toebesity” surgery [liposuction on fat toes]

Having spent so much time researching the brutal

tradition of bound feet in ancient China, I am appalled to see that the practice of destroying your feet is making a comeback – again, as in China, in the name of feminine beauty.

Despite warnings from medical specialists such as The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, which says such surgery “can lead to foot complications including permanent nerve damage, infection, bleeding, scarring, and chronic pain when walking”, more and more women are asking for this mutilation of their feet. 

What will it take for women to love their bodies in all their natural glory?


Photo: from the same article – url at


Yang-May Ooi - Writer/ Performer, Bound Feet Blues

About Yang-May Ooi, Writer & Performer – Bound Feet Blues

Yang-May Ooi is a mixed media author & story performer. Her work explores the power of personal narrative to enchant, inspire and transform.  Bound Feet Blues is her first full length solo story performance.


One thought on “Bound Feet Blues: Would you slice up your feet to fit into your shoes – like the ugly sisters in the Cinderella story?

  1. No. My feet are a source of much enjoyment and use. Besides walking and such, I often find myself using them as a convenient second pair of hands. Unless the surgery in question would make them even more pleasurable or useful to own i.e. cushioning/reinforcing the soles, reconfiguring the toes as opposable thumbs or the ankles as mobile, wrist-like joints, it wouldn’t interest me. Besides, they make my love smile when he sees them, and I like that part.


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