Southeast Review of Asian Studies. It has been argued that while the practice started out as a fashion, it persisted because it became an expression of Han identity after the Mongols invaded China in , and later the Manchus' conquest in , as it was then practiced only by Han women. In the late 20th century some feminists introduced positive overtones, arguing that it gave women a sense of mastery over their bodies, and pride in their beauty. Foot binding was blamed and this gave impetus to the drive to stamp out the practice. Women with bound feet in one village in Yunnan Province even formed a regional dance troupe to perform for tourists in the late 20th century, though age has since forced the group to retire. American Journal of Public Health.
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