• Wed, Oct 3 2012

Beauty Trends In History: Long Necks – Not Just For Beers

Sometimes the fascination with a long neck can go to extremes. Check out Parmagianinio’s famous 16th century painting, “The Madonna of the Long Neck.”

Homegirl is starting to look like a giraffe. But she seems like a squat-necked Russian weightlifting champion next to some of the women from the Kayan Lawhi tribe of Thailand.

It’s a long process to get to the full long neck look. First, you have to be born with it (kinda), since only girls born on certain fortunate days of the week are allowed to start wearing the rings. These girls are fitted with a small neck coil of about four inches high starting at age five, sort of like a training bra that makes you grow boobs to fit it. As she grows up, the girl gets different, bigger neck coils (it’s just one strip of brass, wound in spirals – not separate rings). The process is deemed to be complete when there are around 20 or 25 turns around the neck, which happens around the time that a girl is ready for marriage. The final product weighs around 20 pounds and can be up to a foot tall. Oh, and some women also gets coils around their arms and legs as well as heavy earrings.

Just in case you’re the mother of a small child who wants to be on a reality show but thinks that the fake teeth and spray-tanning of Toddlers and Tiaras is just a little too tame, here’s the downlow on how you can produce your very own long necked girl. Spoiler alert – the technique don’t actually make your neck get longer. I guess your body doesn’t really let your vertebra separate that much. Stupid spinal cord. Instead, the neck coil is so heavy that it compresses what’s underneath it – the collarbone and ribcage, which deform into an upside-down V shape. The down-sloping shoulders create the illusion of a long neck – kind of like going out with your ugly friends so that you can look prettier.

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