Bizarre Footbinding In China: The Ultimate Foot Fetish The reason that little girls' feet were bound was to fulfill the parents' hopes that their daughters would be married to a rich man. But I have no idea why a rich man would want a crippled and deliberately misshapen wife who could barely walk -- perhaps so she couldn't run away? But women with tiny feet have been a cultural icon of beauty and desirability since the distant past. For example, some of the earliest versions of the Cinderella fairy tale originate in the Sung Dynasty of China. In these versions, the Prince falls in love with Cinderella because she has the tiniest feet of any girl in his kingdom, so the glass slipper will only fit her. Fortunately, this custom has fallen out of favor in China, and is rarely practiced these days, although there are still plenty of old ladies (as you see here) who were victims of foot-binding in their childhood.