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Chinese Foot Binding

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Chinese Foot Binding

By: Candace Hutchins, Chinese foot binding specialist

I am the Internet’s leading expert on Chinese Foot Binding. If you don’t believe me, “Google” – Chinese foot binding. After a few images, there is a great article by a Candace Hutchins, and yes that is really me. According to the page’s counter, that I installed it myself (circa 2001), my webpage has had 821,628 hits and counting. I am not sure what is going to happen when I reach 1 million hits, but I cannot wait to find out soon.

By now you are now probably wondering how I became the most-popular Internet website (in English) about Chinese foot binding.  So here goes it:

As a freshman in high school, in the spring of 2001, our World Cultures teacher gave us an assignment for a research paper. I don’t remember there being many restrictions on what our topic could be. I have pretty small feet and wear about a 5.5 in women’s shoes. Some of my friends and I joked about how my feet were so little they looked like they were bound. Somehow, this is how I developed my paper topic. It turned out to be a really interesting topic. I found some great images, gained an appreciation for the beauty of Chinese slippers, and began to understand why women put themselves through such a painful process.

The second part of the assignment after completing the research paper was to create a webpage for the content, complete with images and links. Clearly, I got an A on the project. My ninth grade research paper should seem very insignificant in the scheme of things. Since then I have completed dozens more research projects, papers, and even wrapped up college with a comprehensive examination on my four years of psychology classes.

A few years ago, I “Google-d” my name and came across my old foot binding website. I don’t remember how many hits I had at that point but the 6-digit number was shocking. Even more shocking were all the other foot binding websites that my name prompted. Dozens of other websites, citing me as a reference for articles about Chinese foot binding. There are English and Chinese websites that cite my article, and article in Heyoka Magazine, and my article has been posted in numerous blogs.

I like looking at my website and watching the counter get close to 1,000,000. It makes me scared to think about the freedom of the Internet and how easy it is to rip off other people’s work. But it also makes makes me laugh, knowing that naïve writers all over the world have been using me, the unqualified ninth-grade expert, for years.

P.S. I just checked and already up to 821,652 hits.