Imagine a grown woman with baby feet

It’s difficult for us in the modern world to imagine how small bound feet were. Whenever I say to people that some of the smallest bound feet were only 3 inches long, they register that that is small but it’s only when they see exactly how small 3 inches is, that the horror of it hits them.

In order to illustrate how tiny bound feet were for “Breaking Tradition”, my award-winning talk inspired by the stories in Bound Feet Blues, I went online to order a pair of baby shoes. I searched and searched for baby shoes that were 3 inches long but the smallest size that I could find came to just over 4 inches.

The photo above shows me holding those 4+ inch baby shoes during my talk, to bring home to the audience what having bound feet meant. “Imagine a grown woman with baby feet.”

The baby shoes sit on the bookshelf in my dining room where I have been practising walking around in different ways in my exploration of what it must have been like to have had bound feet and where I often rehearse scenes from my show. Even with all my reading and research around the process of foot binding, it is still almost impossible to fully comprehend what it would’ve been like to have lived with broken and crushed feet that were so incredibly tiny for your whole lifetime.

~~

Photo: Rita Abreu

 

~~

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

Yang-May Ooi is an award-winning TEDx speaker, bestselling author and story performer. Her work uses the power of personal narrative to inspire women to grow into confident, collaborative leaders. She is currently rehearsing a one woman story performance, Bound Feet Blues, which will be showcased in London’s West End in Oct 2014.

Twitter: @StoryGuru_UK Facebook: www.YangMayOoi.co.uk

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s