This story may have given rise to the terms "golden lotus" or "lotus feet" used to describe bound feet, there is however no evidence that Consort Pan ever bound her feet.
The earliest archaeological evidence for foot binding dates to the tombs of Huang Sheng, who died in 1243 at the age of 17, and Madame Zhou, who died in 1274.
Foot-binding resulted in lifelong disabilities for most of its subjects, and a few elderly Chinese women still survive today with disabilities related to their bound feet.
There are a number of stories about the origin of foot binding, one of these involves the story of a favorite consort of the Southern Qi emperor Xiao Baojuan, Pan Yunu (died 501 AD), who had delicate feet and danced barefoot on a floor decorated with golden lotus flower design.
This practice was called "toast to the golden lotus" and lasted until the late Qing dynasty..
However, no other foreign visitors to Yuan China mentioned the practice, including Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo (who nevertheless noted the dainty walk of Chinese women who took very small steps), perhaps an indication that it was not a widespread or extreme practice at that time.
By the 19th century, it was estimated that 40-50% of Chinese women had bound feet, and among upper class Han Chinese women, the figure was almost 100%.