For years, this woman had coils around her neck in order to elongate it. When she finally took them off, the results were incredible. What did she look like? What was the reason she chose to do this in the first place? If you want to find out, read on!
Why They Use It
Several reasons have been discovered by Anthropologists for wearing these coils at all. One theory said it was so the women in this tribe were less attractive, serving as their protection from slavery. On the flip side, another theory suggests it was the exact opposite.
There were cultures where both men and women would wear these coils. In most cases, it’s more common for women, but you can still find men doing it as well. They’re seen more as a symbol of beauty. After wearing them for a while, your neck will seem longer. It’s not because your neck is actually longer, but mostly because your collar bone has been pushed downwards.
It’s believed that these coils made people look more attractive. In general, slender necks are deemed appealing and could be achieved with the help of these rings. In any case, this kind of body modification is special in this tribe.
The Dangers And Risks
It’s no surprise to hear that people worry about the safety of such a tradition. If you aren’t familiar with this, it must look dangerous. In reality, this is a safe thing to do since it doesn’t actually elongate the neck.
Instead, the metal pushes down on the collar bone and compresses the ribs. With time, it can become a risky thing. According to the Kayan women, they wear these rings since it’s part of their cultural identity.
Meet, Sydney V. Smith, a 28-year-old woman who has always wanted to become a ‘giraffe woman’. For the past three years, she’s tried extending her neck by wearing no less than eleven copper rings.
Sydney has been fascinated by body modification for as long as she could remember, especially the tribal women of Thailand Burma. “I’ve always had a long neck,” she said, “In middle school, they called me ‘giraffe girl’. Then I saw pictures of the long-necked tribes in Thailand and Burma in National Geographic and I became fascinated with them.”
After seeing photos of long-necked tribes in Thailand and Burma, Sydney decided to cut coat hangers and wrap them around her neck when she would go to sleep. While her parents thought it was ridiculous, she kept going with it. She really thought this ritual would help elongate her neck.
It was clear her neck was longer than other people’s, but not in a weird way. She started thinking about wearing the rings and always being known as the “long neck girl”. After a while, she realized she was very much attached to the rings.
Slow And Steady
Despite not being a member of the Kayan tribe, Sydney chose to take on this challenge for herself. Unfortunately, it was more difficult for her since she was already an adult when she made this decision.
Believe it or not, Sydney actually enjoyed the pressure on the top of her neck and shoulders. She was looking for comfort and exhilaration, and this was where to find it. In 2011, she started wearing a tight-fitting copper necklace.
Adjusting To The Rings
Her age meant that her body was done growing. So, she decided to go about this slowly and only added more rings along the way, as she got used to them. After a while, she had 10 rings around her neck.
Sydney was actually rather shy about showing off the rings on her neck. When she was living in Maryland, she even resorted to wearing thick turtleneck sweaters in order to cover them up. Not to mention, she worked behind the scenes restaurant jobs in order to avoid unwanted attention.
Her rings were customized for her by a friend. They were also soldered around her neck. However, they had a special screw so they could be taken apart in case of medical emergencies. To Sydney, the rings were permanently attached.
About the process of putting the rings on around her neck, Sydney had said it was done in a safe matter. However, she did manage to get a little burned. She also thinks her neck is about 10-11 inches long and she was as grateful as she could be for her rings.
A Worldwide Sensation
You know things are getting serious when you’re featured in the comic books by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. If you don’t know this show, you should know that they feature the most unusual and bizarre stories.
In The Media
Sydney’s story made the cut for them! It didn’t take long for it to spread. What she decided to do was a very unique thing that not many people do. Unless it’s part of their culture, that is. So, it caught the media’s attention.
A Comic Book Character
Not many people can say they have had a comic book character designed based on them. We aren’t sure if Sydney has a superpower, but we bet she could stand in for Elastigirl or Plastic Man if she needed to. There’s no doubt that she attracted a lot of attention.
This picture was posted by Sydney with the caption, “Progress”. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see what she was talking about. The coils grew from the initial few days, and it seemed like there was already a change to her physique.
In the end, the coils became so heavy that Sydney had no choice and had to remove them. By that time, she was wearing fifteen rings around her neck which weighed a total of five pounds!
Not Worth It
While that doesn’t sound like too much weight, the truth is that it would get very tiring to wear it on you 24/7. To some people, that would begin to feel like torture after a while.
An orthopedic surgeon from Southern California, Dr. Jonathan Nissanoff, said that he wouldn’t recommend anyone doing this since it can seriously injure the nerves in the neck. He added that at her age seeing as her body was done growing, all she was really doing was stretching her skin since her neck wouldn’t stretch anymore.
Not Giving Up
All the same, nothing was going to get in Sydney’s way. She thought about adding the 12th ring even after listening to doctors’ concerns. On top of that, she also wanted to make money from her appearance. “I’d like to work as a specialty model, but my original intent was not to exploit myself,” she said. “However, it seems to be my calling.
However, wearing those coils would later take their toll on her body. She was left with no choice but to take them off. After all, her health came first, and if these rings weren’t working out for her, Sydney wasn’t going to risk her health just to experiment with them.
They Dominated Her Life
In one of the more recent interviews she’s had, Sydney explained the reasons she finally took the painful coils off of her neck. “I couldn’t function properly as a long neck woman with fifteen rings around my neck in the United States of America.”
Her Life Changed
We’re sure it was difficult for her to have the tight coils wrapped around her neck all the time. She must have started noticing the things she used to take for granted before she put on the rings.
All About The Rings
People couldn’t help but be intrigued when they looked at her accessories. After a while – five years to be exact – Sydney began getting tired by all the questions directed at her. The rings made her feel isolated.
Where Did Sydney Go
“It was always about the rings, it wasn’t about Sydney anymore. I tried sticking my neck out to make it work but logic kicked in after a while.” We can’t even begin to imagine that this was a fun feeling for her.
Freedom At Last
Five years after she put them on, Sydney decided it was time for her to finally remove them. She realized they just weren’t worth all that effort. The weight of the copper coils made her life too difficult.
She tried explaining it this way: “Unless you are willing to completely isolate yourself and you’re a trust fund baby and don’t ever need to leave the house, don’t ever need to drive, then maybe you can pull it off.”
Still The Giraffe Woman
Although she has taken off the coils since, Sydney still thinks of herself as the “Giraffe Woman” to this day. She doesn’t regret what she previously did, even though they did change her body in certain ways.
It Took A Toll
As a result of wearing the rings, Sydney got severe bruising on her collarbone area, which is no surprise since she wore them for five years! It seems lucky that she had nothing worse happen since it took a toll on her body as well.
In A Lot Of Pain
The first thing she said was that her neck was “very weak, kind of like arms on a toothpick.” While this doesn’t paint the prettiest picture, it is important to hear about the consequences of her actions.
Trying To Recover
Despite suffering from bruises and stiffness, the doctors told Sydney that she was recovering much quicker than they had anticipated. It seems like she must have gotten very lucky in this case and avoided something worse.
Not The Only One
Recently, Sydney wasn’t the only one who did drastic things to improve her appearance and change her body. There were people who went through major operations in order to look more like their favorite celebrities.
Romario Dos Santos Alves
In the past, the Incredible Hulk has been played by a number of different actors, but our favorite person to take on this challenge has to be Lou Ferrigno. However, Romario Dos Santos was more than willing to give it a shot as well. This Brazilian man wanted nothing more than to look like the comic book character, so he grew his biceps to 25 inches by using painkillers, alcohol, and Synthol.
Almost The Hulk
As you might have expected, this was not a good idea, and it did take a toll on his health. He almost had to amputate both of his arms. Later, he even attempted to take his own life. Doctors had to remove the Synthol rocks he added to his arms. Since then, he’s sworn off drugs and now works hard as a bodybuilder.
Even before she had plastic surgery, Nadya Suleman became famous. She was known as Octomom since she gave birth to a set of octuplets in January 2009. At some point along the way, people started pointing out her similarity to Angelina Jolie. Once she heard this, people think Nadya decided to take things a step further by getting collagen injections and rhinoplasty.
It’s said that she got in order to look more like the actress, but the post-surgery photos of her debunked this. Nadya said, “I have never even thought of Angelina Jolie, except the last time I saw a movie. I think that was like years ago. This is so far away from the place I’m in right now, to think of any celebrity.”
Justin Jedlica has spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars in order to look like Ken. Yes, the barbie doll. He has gone through at least 190 procedures to reach his goal. He didn’t do this to become a model or anything like that. He and his husband own a business in Chicago.
Some of the procedures he’s gone through have been calf implants, chest implants, rhinoplasty, gluteoplasty, thigh implants, lip augmentations, bicep implants, cheek augmentations, brow shaving, brow lifts, and shoulder implants. At age seventeen, he was unhappy with his looks. This was the beginning of his plastic surgery obsession. Just four days after he celebrated his 18th birthday, he got his first surgery.
It’s no secret that Michael Jackson got a whole bunch of plastic surgeries over the years. As a matter of fact, all the attention they got almost overshadowed his musical abilities. Well, a British woman named Mikki Jay is one of his biggest fans. She spent thousands of dollars for a chin implant, cheek implants, and rhinoplasty.
She got all these procedures in order to look just like her idol. It’s interesting to hear that she also has the voice to go with the looks as well. In 1992, she began touring as one of the most famous Michael Jackson impersonators. She even performed for Michael himself.
It’s no surprise to hear that a lot of plastic surgery clients ask to look like Britney Spears. On an MTV show called I Want A Famous Face, an office worker names Crystal U always dreamed of looking just like the pop star. She spent about $25,000 on a nose job, fat grafts, lip injections, and breast implants. She hoped that these things will help her achieve her dream of becoming a stripper or an Anaheim Angels Strike Force. We don’t know if either came true, but we wish her the best of luck!
When she was still in school, Claire Leeson got bullied a lot. After going through two suicide attempts, she found peace by watching the TV show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Her friends kept telling her how she looked like Kim Kardashian. So, Claire spent more than $30,000 to make this even truer.
Not Quite Kim
Thanks to the rising prices of plastic surgery, debt collectors have been on her heels. So, she decided to work as an impersonator and go on TV shows to help pay for her surgeries. Recently, she admitted her regret for getting the procedures and even hates the comparisons to the reality star. Online bullying made things even more difficult for her.
A German musician, Toby Sheldon decided to relocate to LA to chase his dreams of becoming a pop star. He wanted to be just like Justin Bieber, who was his idol. He became so obsessed with him that he spent over $100,000 to look like him. He became somewhat famous by appearing on TV shows like The Doctors, Botched, and My Strange Addiction. Unfortunately, they found his dead body when the 35-year-old took a combination of sleeping pills, Xanax, Valium, and alcohol. Just days before his tragic death, he had broken up with his boyfriend.
For a while, Ivanka Trump has been modeling for companies like Tommy Hilfiger, Sassoon Jeans, and Versace. To top it off, she appeared in AskMen and Maxim Hot 100. Tiffany Taylor, who is an oil and gas consultant, thought her self-esteem would improve if she would look like the first daughter. For this reason, she paid $60,000 for two nose jobs, an eyelift, a mini facelift, and two breast augmentations. Despite all this, the Texan mom of three has no plans of stopping just yet.
Donna Marie Trego
Donna Marie Trego has worked in clubs that feature acts like Boyzone and Angie Brown. Since she adored Lady Gaga, she decided it was time for a career change. Despite the fact that she spent $60,000 on plastic surgeries, the South Wales native paid even more to recreate the classic Gafa outfits and even hire dancers for live shows.
Over time, she’s appeared in numerous events all over Europe such as GlastonBudget which is a huge tribute concert. At last, she got the chance to meet her idol in 2014. Gaga was very impressed with Donna Marie’s dedication.
Easily one of the most famous queens in history is none other than Nefertiti. This historical figure has been featured in plenty of movies and TV shows over the years. Well, Nileen Namita has always believed that she herself was the reincarnation of the Egyptian queen.