Body modification is the practice of changing your physical appearance. Some people choose simple methods, like getting a piercing or a tattoo. Others prefer more radical approaches, such as plastic surgery. On woman named Sydney Smith went to great extremes to modify her appearance.
Sydney had always loved giraffes, ever since she was a little girl. Because of this, she wanted to pay tribute to her favorite creature on the planet and decided to elongate her neck. Sydney didn’t think that it was crazy. There are cultures all around the world who practice this tradition, so she felt that she would do it as well. She knew that it would be easy, but she loved giraffes. She even carried around a stuffed giraffe purse. Sure, it was a child’s bag, but it meant the world to Sydney. She says that she never went anywhere without her giraffe purse.
Elongating Her Neck
When Sydney decided to start elongating her neck, she started with just a couple of rings. Over time, she planned to add more rings as her neck got longer. Sydney did her research and discovered that the process could be dangerous, but she didn’t care. The rings don’t actually elongate the neck at all. Instead, the elongation occurs due to the weight of the rings that push the collar bone down, which compresses the rib cage. Over time, this can be dangerous. This practice is common in the Kayan women of Africa, which Sydney had no connection, but she still wanted to do it.
For Sydney, the process was going to be difficult. The Kayan women began this ritual when they were very young before their bodies had physically matured. Because Sydney’s body had matured at 25-years-old, the process would be more difficult for her. Because of this, she needed to start slow. She started with a couple of rings and kept adding them until she reached 10.
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not
Sydney started to get a lot of attention because what she was doing was not typical for the average woman. Soon, she was featured in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not comic books. Not long after, someone created a comic book character based on Sydney.
Showing Her Progress
Sydney regularly posted her progress on social media. Each time she added a ring, she posted the photos. Her coils were changing her appearance, but it was also taking a toll on her body. She had a total of 15 rings around her neck, and they weighed a total of five pounds. This may not seem like much, but when you are carrying around an additional five pounds around your neck, 24-hours a day, it gets to be too much. She realized that she would need to remove the rings from her neck, During an interview, she said, “I couldn’t function properly as a long neck woman with fifteen rings around my neck in the United States of America.”
It wasn’t just a physical toll that the rings were taking on Sydney; there was also an emotional toll. She says that over the course of five years, the questions started getting old. She started feeling isolated and introverted from the rest of society. She says that it was all about the rings, and it was never about Sydney. She couldn’t take the physical or emotional toll, so she finally removed the coils. She could no longer isolate herself, and since she needed to work, she could no longer keep the rings.
Removing the Coils
When Sydney removed the coils, she says that she still kept her persona of a giraffe woman. There were also changes to her body. After removing the coils, she had severe bruising around her collarbone, which you would expect after wearing five-pound weights around your neck for five years.
When Sydney removed her rings, she made an appointment with the doctor immediately. During her first visit, the doctors said that her neck was very week, like a toothpick. Fortunately, she was healing faster than the doctors had expected.
Sydney says that she has no regrets about what she did. Her neck is longer than it was before she started stretching it, which is what she wanted all along. The doctors told her that her neck probably wouldn’t go back to its original length, which was okay with Sydney. “Giraffe Woman Finally Takes Her Rings Off After Five Years. Try Not To Gasp When You See How She Looks Now. Just a year after she took the rings off, her doctors gave her a clean bill of health. Her neck muscles had strengthened on their own, and the bruising was gone. Fortunately, there was no long-term damage.