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'Giraffe woman' has 11-inch-long neck by choice

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According to the Huffington Post on March 18, a woman has an 11-inch-long neck by choice. That's because she has found a way to make it elongated.

Sydney V. Smith, 28, admits she want to become a "giraffe woman."

Since 2011, the Los Angeles resident has attempted to extend her neck by encasing it in 11 copper rings to stretch her neck.

Women of the Kayan Lahwi tribes of Thailand and Burma are attempting body modification that has been a lifelong fascination. In order to have a long giraffe-like neck, girls begin to encase their necks in rings at an early age.

Smith told the Huffington Post that she had always had a long neck. In fact, she was called "giraffe girl" while in middle school. After seeing pictures of the long-necked tribes in Thailand and Burma in National Geographic, she became fascinated with them.

While in middle school in 1998, Smith used to wrap coat hangers around her neck when she went to bed hoping her neck would get longer.

About three years ago, Smith got a friend to customize copper rings and soldered them around her neck. Over time she has added extra rings. She is contemplating adding a twelfth ring.

The disadvantage to having the rings around her neck is that she does have the normal range of motion, and it makes driving a little hard. It is uncomfortable sleeping in them, and they cause the neck to sweat and smell.

Smith estimates the rings have stretched her neck to 10 to 11 inches long. If there is a medical emergency, a screw that holds them together can be removed and set her free. Otherwise, the copper rings are permanently attached.

She wants to work as a specialty model. She believes she may become a fashion icon; especially since many women have asked her where they can get something like that done to their necks.

Dr. Jonathan Nissanoff, a Southern California orthopedic surgeon says Smith's extended neck carries health risks. He thinks she is stretching her skin and putting the bones into traction by pulling them apart. He says, "The rings aren't going to make her bones longer. Once she removes them, her neck will come back to size. I don't recommend anyone doing this. It could injure nerves in the neck."

Would you want your neck stretched?

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