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The Cost of Beauty

             Through out history countless women have been subject to a feeling of inferiority to the so called stronger and more able sex. Despite the great amounts of discomfort and pain, women were forced into attempting to change their bodies through corsetry and foot binding to achieve a better, more beautiful look. A corset is a tightly laced, rigidly constructed undergarment that exaggerated the female body. Foot binding is an attempt to stop growth of the feet by binding them tightly with a long bandage.?THESIS??.
             Corsetry and foot binding were first introduced as a mean to enhance man's value in the culture. Both of these acts restricted women's movements and impaired their health thus leaving men to be responsible for women who were to delicate to work. Despite the apparent health and comfort risks women were the ones who actually carried out the act on other women (i.e. women laced the corsets and women bound the feet). Today, many people believe that the practice of foot binding and corsetry was only available to the upper classes although history shows that is was not only a ritual of mutilation for the rich, but also the poor.
             The Chinese culture is radically different from that of Western Europe and America. During the early nineteen hundreds, the Chinese realized that foot binding was an excruciatingly painful and permanent process so it was outlawed. Corsets are still being worn by women in both Europe and America in the attempts of creating a more desirable shape. Regardless of the lack of mobility, discomfort and, in some of the more severe cases, mutation of the rib cage there is no evidence that shows that they too will be outlawed.
             In the past women were willing to do the extreme to achieve beauty and equality even though it may have left their bodies mangled and distorted. It makes you wonder what will be next. Will women ever be satisfied with how they look and who they are? Only time will tell.

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