footwear, nutrition and health, home economics department
Cooperative Extension Service, South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts
The natural is the beautiful. Failure to recognize this truth has resulted in strange fashions. We have all seen or heard of styles which cause deformity. We wonder at the African tribes who go thru torture to elongate the lobes of their ears; we send missionaries to China to Christianize them, and one of the first acts of the missionary is to teach them to refrain from binding the feet. And yet at home we are binding our feet, deforming them by the type of shoe we wear. A distorted, malformed foot is no more beautiful than a misshapen head, elongated ears, or tattooed skin, yet stand any day on a street corner and watch the women passing by and it will show conclusively that foot binding is still practiced among us. We do not really believe that pinched toes, flat feet, bunions, and corns are beautiful; still we wear and admire the conventional shoe which causes these deformities. The human bones are not strong enough to stand the clamping effects of these shoes, and in the end the very structure of the foot is changed.
Linfield, Azalea, "Footwear" (1924). SDSU Extension Circulars. 170.