There is a traditional practice from rural China which involved the binding of the foot of female young people to stop them from developing. It was a crude process and was very painful and disabling to the feet. It was carried out as a small foot was regarded as a desirable characteristic in the female and a greater price could be commanded by the family for the bride-to-be if the feet had been bound. There was a considerable industry in these rural areas for the ornamental and carefully designed shoes that these girls would need to wear because of the smaller and misshaped feet. Around 100 or so years ago public pressures started to mount to ban the practice and this generally worked and it is not carried out nowadays. The foot binding had to stop as it was so disabling and painful for the girls. When they became a grownup, the harm had been done and there was very little that might be done to take care of the pain and disability. However, there are still many elderly woman alive that had their feet bound when they were small children.
You will find purportedly parallels to this practice of Chinese Foot Binding that could be seen today. A number of experts attempt to associate the practice today of women who force their feet into the high heel shoes as being just like the foot binding. In rural China the practice was all about the female performing something which pleases the male, regardless of the outcomes in terms of discomfort and deformity. The practice today of wearing tight fitting high heel footwear by females has outcomes in the terms of foot disability and foot problems. It is also purportedly done in the context of the female doing something that is pleasing to the eye of the man. There is some debate if the link between the two practices really do warrant the type of exploration that they have been put through.