‘Giraffe Woman’ Stretched Her Neck For 5 Years — But Now The Rings Are Coming Off

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There's no shortage of bizarre transformation stories on the internet. It seems like daily I hear about some new way that people are modifying the look of their body or that someone spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to look like their favorite comic book character. Yes, body modification can be bizarre, but also mesmerizing at the same time.

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Over 5 years ago, a woman decided she wanted to look like her favorite animal — the giraffe. The lengths she went to achieve this gave her worldwide notoriety, but things have definitely changed. Let's take a look at the story of “the giraffe woman.”

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We all know that when it comes to long necks, giraffes are king. It was shocking for me to hear that a person actually took physical measures to look like a giraffe.

One woman, 30-year-old Sydney V. Smith, made the news several years ago after deliberating trying to stretch her neck to look like her favorite animal. Yes, you read that correctly.

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If you didn't already notice, she had copper rings added to her neck to help elongate it. Sydney has even labelled herself “the giraffe woman.”

 

So why did she decide to embark on this journey to stretch her neck? It was partly a fascination with giraffes and partly an interest in the Kayan Lahwi tribes of Thailand and Burma.

Here is a Kayan woman with the classic extended neck jewelry in Thailand. Eventually, Sydney claims that her neck did get pretty long…

 

Over time, the metal rings started to have an effect.

Slowly, she added ring after ring to her neck as it got longer. 

You can really see it here.

 

Yes, shocking to say the least. At one point, she had 15 rings on her neck that added up to about 5 lbs. in weight. 

Sydney has even been featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not.

Since becoming famous for her unusual look, she has done quite a bit of modelling. 

This is Sydney posing for a picture when her neck seemed to be at its longest. 

Here she is posing for a photo in full giraffe bodypaint and metal rings. 

She love giraffes so much, in fact, that she has a favorite giraffe purse she carries around.

“I never go anywhere without my giraffe purse,” she wrote with this picture.

Here is Sydney posing with a fan/friend in Hollywood. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

According to Huffington Post, at one point her neck was as long as 11 inches. It's unclear how long it actually extended because she continued adding rings after she did the interview with them. 

People have even gone so far as to create a comic book version of her.

“Giraffe woman as a comic character! So rad!” said Sydney. 

Over the last several years, Sydney began growing weary of the rings, and questioned whether she wanted to be defined as “the giraffe woman.”

Could the rings really be coming off?

 

Sydney is taking off the metal rings once and for all, though. After five years wearing the things, she grew tired of her life constantly revolving around them. 

“I spent five years of my life with rings around my neck and I just became very introverted and isolated and felt like the rings were taking over my life in every way,” she described in an interview.

As a result of spending so much time with the rings on, Sydney now undergoes regular physical therapy to combat chronic stiffness.

She explained that her “neck felt very weak, kind of like arms on a toothpick.” Over time, her neck has begun to shrink back. 

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