I hiked the Chilkoot Trail in 2000. When I was writing about it for Alaska magazine, somehow I stumbled across the information that women in that time, 1898-1899, wore on average forty pounds of clothes.
Can you imagine hiking up that
in forty pounds of clothes? That’s, what, like eight 5-pound chickens, or one three-year old child.
Now imagine that part of that forty pounds is a corset
and this is what it’s doing to your insides on the hike
Queen Elizabeth I likely died of complications from lead poisoning, with which she used to paint her face to make it whiter. Google “health problems from high heels” and you’ll get over 11 million results.
Sickened, disgusted, but unsurprised.
When one of the villains showed up on Silk and Song’s radar, I wanted her to be more than one dimension, but how do you humanize someone who has it in for your hero? I didn’t have to like her, but I did have to at least be able to sympathize with her.
Well, what if she’s a product of her times? What if her family want to ensure her a good marriage and bound feet and the swaying gait they cause are considered to be erotic? What if at age 4 someone broke every one of her toes and folded her feet back on themselves and wrapped it tightly and left it that way for years, so that her feet would never be more than four inches long? So that ever after she would never be able to walk normally? only teeter, or sway, which was held to be feminine and attractive to potential mates?
You’d feel sorry for her, wouldn’t you? That’s one hell of a physical handicap to overcome only by sheer personality.
She’s still a villain, though.
Which I will be signing at 2pm on December 2nd
[three days from today!]
at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.