The industrial district of Locastus, where huge, cathedral-like factories rise over the low brick houses, and tall ivy-choked chimneys spew out black smoke, day and night.
In ancient China, women bind their feet for cosmetic reasons, resulting in them not able to walk without help and walking in a shuffling gait.
Possibly this can be modified such that people do it for less stupid reasons.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a racist remark since I'm Chinese myself and hence entitled to freely judge Chinese customs. NOT sexist either since I'm female as well.