Sunday, April 02, 2006
Modern Primitives: Foot binding and waist whisping
Strange as it may seem there is evidence that some women in North America, are attempting to bind their feet in order to make their pedal extremities smaller. The resurgence of foot binding is to allow the ladies to wear tiny shoes with spiked heels, 9" high. The ladies call themselves the 'modern primitives' and came to prominence just before the millennium change. The creed believes gorgeous feet do not occur naturally but need to be trained by binding and buckles that can cause excruciating pain. Neat feet should be accompanied with a tiny waist on no less than 18" round.
The purpose of the return to foot binding and waist squeezing is according to the neo feminist cult, a form of "feminist empowerment'. The sexist images originally produced by men are now reshaped for the purposes of women with the image of Jessica Rabbit from the 1986 movie ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit; the ideal for all modern primitives.
The contraption which moulds the foot is known as a foot bender. It is a fearsome looking device which includes two metal bars that run side by side along the foot. These are strapped to a piece of rounded wood which fits under the arch. When straps from the toes and legs are pulled the foot is stretched over the wood, heightening the arch. With perseverance (and a lot of pain) the foot bender can reduce shoe size by as much of a quarter size. The whole phenomenon came as an extension of the body beautiful movement. Not just content to change the usual contours of body parts, attention has been turned to the feet. Pain is used to build and maintain higher levels of energy with the body forced into a more acute state of awareness by the tight bindings. Modern primitives believe foot binding is a feminist act and defend its practice as liberation. The look which once epitomised domination of women has come to represent their freedom, according to believers.
Like body piercing and mehndi, body sculpture, as an expression of sexuality, has become a global activity for women and many believe this represents part of women's evolving freedom. The movement are tired of women being depicted as young men and prefer to see the female curves accentuated which includes the arch of the foot. The act of breasts being pushed forward and buttocks held tightly back puts the power in power dressing for followers of the cult. Men clearly like this image but the difference is women may look like they come from an era of oppression but the modern primitive is in complete control, or so they say.
The phenomenon of body sculpture has become more and more under the scrutiny of academe with many medics now expressing grave concerns at its extreme practice. Paradoxically modern foot binding may provide a means by which some women appear to take control over their bodies in a society which appears to be out of control. However, the idea anyone would sit with their feet clamped in a vice to make them smaller, for whatever reason, may not be the act of a well-balanced person.
All this comes at a time where medical research has also shown men can improve their health by watching women's breasts. I cannot help think there may be a conspiracy involved.
BME: Body Modification Ezine
Interview with Fakir Mustafa
Fakir Musafar's Home Page
Jeffrey D 1999 America's back porch London: Quartet Books