Over the years we have seen many individuals who spend a lot of time on their appearance. In addition to time, some people spend a lot of energy and money in order to achieve the look they desire. While most individuals beauty/perfection efforts fall into the ‘normal’ range; some people go further and a small minority go to extreme lengths. Rarely do we encounter someone who knowingly has and continues to do something that causes pain and physical injury (self harm); Ryan falls into this category.
Ryan is a 25 year old sales assistance from Manchester*; he spends the vast majority of his time thinking about his appearance. "I have always been obsessed with fashion,” said Ryan, “and always loved suiting and tailoring. I am pretty body obsessed I have to admit. I will do anything to make myself look the way I want to look”.
Ryan likes to wear really slim trousers and crop suits, however he felt that his feet did not go well with his fashion tastes, that they were "not in proportion” and bigger than he wanted them to be. Ryan believed that his feet looked “absolutely massive” if he wore a certain style of shoe e.g. pointed toes.
Controversially, Ryan decided to embark on an unhealthy journey the destination of which was to shrink the size of his feet (solve his perceived 'big feet' problem). The method he chose was foot binding; a very painful nightly regime that he maintained for 2 years. The binding process has caused Ryan's toes to fold in on themselves, resulting in his shoe size shrinking from a size 10 to 6 ½ .
Foot binging was outlawed in China 100 years ago. The practice had literally crippled Chinese women for centuries: