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Culture is what separates us as people. We all have different traditions that we grew up with and things that we believe. To some, our traditions may seem strange, but to us they’re normal.

Sydney Smith spent the last five years using rings to elongate her neck. She has since been dubbed the “giraffe woman.” She has finally taken the rings off and showed the world how her body and mentality has changed.

This meme explains it all. Sydney Smith loved giraffes so much that she decided to elongate her neck to be like one. At the age of 25, she made the decision to pay tribute to her favorite animal.

Obsessed

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Sydney has been obsessed with giraffes for a long time. You see that stuffed animal she’s holding? Well, it’s actually a purse that she carries around with her all day long. “I never go anywhere without my giraffe purse,” she’s said.

The Rings

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To elongate her neck, Sydney had to put metal rings around it. This would eventually stretch out her neck over time. Slowly, she would add rings to her neck to make it longer.

Inspired By Culture

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In some parts of the world, this is a normal and traditional thing to do. For the Kayan people who live in Southeast Asia, they begin elongating their necks at the age of five.

There’s a Reason

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One theory as to why this tribe elongates their neck is so that their women are unattractive to other tribes, which prevents them from becoming an enemy tribe’s slaves. On the other hand, anthropologists think that it may be a way to make women more attractive to their male counterparts.

Is it Dangerous?

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This tradition certainly looks a little strange and even dangerous. It’s a little deceiving. The neck doesn’t actually elongate. The weight of the metal rings actually pushes the collarbone down while compressing the rib cage.

Time is Key

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Sydney took inspiration from the Kayan women and used the same kind of rings to elongate her neck. However, she was at a disadvantage since she was starting 20 years later.

Going Viral

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Sydney became known around the world for her desire of elongating her neck. Ripley’s Believe It or Not featured Syndey in their comic books.

Becoming a Comic Book

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How many people would love to become a comic book character? That’s exactly what Sydney got when she became famous!

Making Progress

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Sydney started to make some progress over time. She added more rings to her neck and you can see her body has changed. However, the rings would become too much on her body and she would eventually be forced to take them off.

Too Heavy

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Sydney ended up putting 15 rings around her neck. Eventually, they just became way too heavy. The total weight she was wearing? 5 pounds. That can become pretty strenuous while wearing them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Taking Over

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The rings began to inhibit Sydney from doing everyday tasks. “I couldn’t function properly as a long neck woman with fifteen rings around my neck in the United States of America,” she said in an interview.

All About the Rings

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Sydney had to get used to people staring at her on the street and asking her about the rings around her neck. “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,” she recalled

Removing the Rings

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After five years, Sydney has removed the metal rings. She came to realize that her happiness and wellbeing was more important than having a long neck. “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,” she said.

Forever Giraffe Woman

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Sydney doesn’t regret her decision to elongate her neck. She’s glad she did it. She also still considers herself to be “giraffe woman.”

When Sydney removed the rings, she noticed some severe bruising around her collarbone.

Recovery

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Sydney’s neck was extremely stiff and bruised when she removed the rings. She saw a doctor to make sure she would heal correctly and wouldn’t injure herself.

Her neck was “very weak, kind of like arms on a toothpick” after removing the rings.

Sydney isn’t the only person to change their appearance drastically.

The Hulk

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Lou Ferrigno is an actor. He wanted to resemble the Incredible Hulk. To achieve this look, he injected himself with dangerous synthol, painkillers, and alcohol. The result? 25 inch biceps.

This was so dangerous that he almost had to have his arms amputated! Luckily, he was able to keep them and has sworn off drugs.

Jessica Rabbit

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Pixee Fox was so obsessed with Jessica Rabbit that she decided to undergo plastic surgery to look just like her. It’s hard to have a real person look like a cartoon character, though.

She has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show and spent over $120,000 on her transformation.

Angelina Jolie

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Nadya Suleman is known as the “Octomom” after giving birth to octuplets in 2009. She was once compared to Angelina Jolie and decided to run with it. She went through plastic surgery to look like the A-list movie star. “I have never even though 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,” she said when denying plastic surgery.

Ken Doll

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Justin Jedlica decided he wanted to look just like the plastic counterpart to Barbie, Ken. He went through multiple surgeries and has numerous implants. He started the process when he turned 18 years old.

Michael Jackson

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Mikki Jay wanted to look just like her idol, Michael Jackson. While Jackson also had numerous plastic surgeries done, Mikki spent thousands of dollars to look just like him. It may have paid off, though. She is now touring around the world as an MJ impersonator.

Britney Spears

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Crystal U wanted to look like pop star Britney Spears. She was featured on MTV’s show, I Want a Famous Face, and transformed into Spears. She dreamed of one day becoming a dancer for the Anaheim Angels Strike Force.

Kim Kardashian

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Claire Leeson was unstable in high school, until she found comfort in Keeping Up with the Kardashians. She was so inspired that she paid $30,000 to look just like Kim.

Justin Bieber

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Toby Sheldon wanted to be a famous pop star. So, he transformed himself, while dropping $100,000, into a young JBiebs.

He was featured on shows like The Doctors, Botched, and My Strange Addiction. Sadly, he died from a mixture of drugs at the age of 35.

Ivanka Trump

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Tiffany Taylor wanted to look just like Donald Trump’s first daughter, Ivanka. She went through two nose jobs, eye and face lift, as well as breast augmentation and spent over $60,000 to achieve her look.

Lady Gaga

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Donna Marie Trego wanted to look like Lady Gaga. As a performer already, she wanted to capture Gaga’s artistic flavor and perform her songs. She spent over $60,000 to look like Mother Monster.

Nefertiti

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Famous queen Nefertiti still has fans to this day. Nileen Namita of the U.K. spent $100,000 to look like the Egyptian queen. She had 51 procedures done to achieve the look.

Brad Pitt

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Matt and Michael Schlepp are twin brothers who spent $20,000 to look like famous actor, Brad Pitt. Their dream was to become his stunt double. Unfortunately, they look more like Steven Cojocaru than Brad Pitt according to an online poll.

Jennifer Lawrence

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A woman named Kitty from Texas wanted to look like Jennifer Lawrence. So, she went through some procedures to get a similar look. Her husband supports her decision and dedication to the actress.

Kim Kardashian

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Jordan James Parke was so enamored by Kim Kardashian that he decided he needed to look just like her. He spent $150,000 on procedures and laser hair removal to achieve his look. He still has a while to go though.

Jessica Alba

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Xiaoqing, an actress, decided she wanted to look just like Jessica Alba when she was 21 years old. It was her boyfriend who told her she should wear the blonde wig all the time. However, when they broke up, she decided to undergo surgery to look like the actress and win back her boyfriend. It didn’t work

A Cat

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Jocelyn Wildenstein is the ultimate cat lady. She underwent a crazy transformation to resemble a cat. She spent millions of dollars on procedures. Needless to say, her husband divorced her.

David Beckham

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Jack Johnson spent $26,000 to look like famous soccer player, David Beckham. You can be the judge as to whether he actually looks like the British heartthrob.

Pamela Anderson

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Carolyn Anderson spent $40,000 to look like Pamela Anderson. It took her over 14 years to achieve the look. She now claims that she looks “better than the original.”

Ken Doll

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Ken seems to be a popular choice and seen universally as the “perfect” male. Rodrigo Alves decided to look just like the plastic doll and went through facelifts, ab implants, and liposuction.

Barbie

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Sarah Burge’s obsession to look like Barbie started after a brutal beating and being left to die. After she received reconstructive surgery, she became obsessed to look like the doll.

Barbie

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Valeria Lukyanova and Olga Oleyink transformed into real life Barbie dolls. They spent thousands of dollars to get the look. The girls say that their new looks help their business and to get clients.

Superman

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Every little boy dreams of being a superhero. Herbert Chavez looks just like one after going through 19 surgeries. “When my body says it cannot endure it anymore or when my doctor says that my body cannot handle it because of age, then I will stop,” he says about having more procedures done.

Madonna

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Guerra is known for his role in Ru-Paul’s Drag Race as Venus D’Lite. He is a Madonna impersonator and has spent $175,000 in surgery to look just like the 80’s pop star.

Lucifer

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Gavin Paslow decided he wanted to resemble one of the most feared entities in the world: the devil. He had horns implanted and forked his tongue to resemble what he thinks the devil looks like.