Sydney Smith carries a giraffe shaped purse around, but that’s not why they call her Giraffe Woman.
Everyone has their own quirks and obsessions. Some of us like video games. Others are obsessed with sports. Maybe shopping is your thing and you can’t stop spending until you max out your credit cards. Thankfully, most of us can keep our little obsessions in check. But the same can’t be said for everyone on the planet. Case in point, there’s a woman from Los Angeles, California, named Sydney Smith. She’s known as the Giraffe Woman because she wants a long neck like they have. But while we would never tell anyone not to be who they want to be, people tend to go a bit overboard. But did she?Smith was taught to be pretty much anyone she wanted to be. But they had no idea that she wanted to become a giraffe. And yet, that’s exactly what she set out to become. But it wasn’t going to be a simple journey.
Giraffes are known for having spots and one of the longest necks in the entire animal kingdom.
With their long necks, giraffes are able to find food in those hard to reach places like a towering tree. But humans don’t have necks this length, so achieving this neck stretching technique was going to be a challenge. But Smith is not the first woman to achieve this.
Harshil Gudka / Unsplash
The women of Kayan in Southeast Asia are total pros when it comes to neck stretching techniques.
They’ve been using brass coils to stretch their necks for a long time. It’s a beauty trend in this region that some girls start when they’re young. In the end, they’ll wind up with some seriously long necks. And that’s exactly what Smith set out to do.
Linda De Volder / Flickr
When she was 25, Smith decided the best way to pay tribute to giraffes is to become just like them.
So, she started stretching her neck, which wasn’t a very easy thing to do. For starters, she had to have the rings custom made just for her. Over time, she added one ring and then another to push her collarbone down.
The transformation process took five years and, in that time, she managed to stack up to 15 rings.
The rings might seem light weight, but they’re not. Combined, the rings weighed 5 pounds which undoubtedly put a lot of strain on her neck. Smith had underestimated how much of a toll this process would take on her.
Sydney V. Smith the Giraffe Woman / Facebook
Smith had no cultural connections to Southeast Asia, but she had a love for giraffes’ long necks.
It seemed like a lot of hard work, but she figured that if the women of the Kayan Lahwi tribes could do it, then she certainly could as well. It was just a matter of enduring the long (pun intended) process to get the right results. And you know you made it big when Ripley’s Believe It Or Not puts you in their comics.
Sydney V. Smith the Giraffe Woman / Facebook
Smith was determined to share her neck lengthening progress with her followers on social media.
Her coils continued to grow since she originally started the process, and it was obvious to everyone that her transformation was on its way. And look! She even wore a top with the printed spots of a giraffe.
This was one gal who had a vision and was willing and able to see it through until the very end.
But the rings weighed five pounds, and when you have to wear them every day for 24 hours straight, it can drive you a little insane. She couldn’t even take them off without ruining the process. So, Smith started to question her decision.
Unfortunately, after five years, Smith decided to give up her quest to elongate her neck.
She realized she couldn’t do everyday tasks properly with fifteen rings around her neck. But more importantly, she had found it difficult to function. She couldn’t isolate herself from human society or avoid doing basic things like driving. So, she decided to put a stop to it.
Smith had become a virtual introvert and felt as though the rings had slowly consumed her life.
Eventually, logic and common sense made her realize that as much as she loved the concept of a giraffe neck, there was no way she could keep on doing the rings. But after removing the rings, she noticed an unfortunate side effect.
As soon as she took the necklace off, she saw that her collarbone was severely bruised in certain areas.
Her neck felt weak, too. But rather than panic, she decided to get some help. She got physical therapy a few times a week to get rid of the stiffness and to strengthen her neck.
Doctors are quite pleased by how quickly Smith recuperated and she’s pretty relieved herself.
But does Smith regret every trying to lengthen her neck? Absolutely not! She enjoyed the experience and the sensation of the rings around her neck. In fact, she misses the weight on her collarbones. But she’s happy that her neck has shrunk a bit, but remains longer than it was before she started this.