Giraffe woman Sydney Smith’s story: what is she up to now?

Giraffe woman Sydney Smith’s story: what is she up to now?

Sydney Smith rose to prominence because of her unusual quest – to be globally renowned for having a long neck. For years, she wore a “necklace” made of brass rings to lengthen her neck and became known as the giraffe woman. However, she gave up on her mission and abandoned that lifestyle. Where is the giraffe woman now?

Body modification refers to various practices and alterations people make to their bodies, often for aesthetic or personal reasons. There’s a wide range of body modifications, from the common tattoos and piercings to the bizarre, like tongue splitting, subdermal implants, and corset piercing. Sydney was once one of the people who sought out body modification.

Profile summary

Full nameSydney Vain Smith
Date of birth26 October 1986
Age37 years old (as of 2023)
Zodiac signScorpio
Place of birthRockville, Maryland, United States
Current residenceHouston, Texas, United States
Hair colourDark brown (dyed blonde)
Eye colourGray
Relationship statusMarried
ProfessionDigital creator, entrepreneur, candle maker

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Who is the giraffe woman?

Sydney Vain Smith was born on 26 October 1986 in Rockville, Maryland, where she grew up until she moved to Los Angeles, California. As she revealed, she had a relatively longer neck than her classmates in middle school, and they would call her giraffe girl. At the time, she didn’t overthink it.

It wasn’t until she saw photographs of the famed giraffe women from the Kayan tribe on National Geographic that the concept became real to her. She became fascinated with the giraffe women and wanted to be like them.

In middle school, she would wrap cut-up coat hangers around her neck when she went to sleep. The American entrepreneur believed that the routine did stretch her neck a few inches. In 2011 she took it further and encased her neck in 11 customised metallic rings to elongate it. She gradually added more rings to her unique “necklace” and reached 15.

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Who inspired Sydney, the giraffe woman?

giraffe girl
A long neck woman stands in an alley with souvenir shops in northern Thailand. These women belong to the Padaung tribe (also called Kayan, originally from Burma. Photo: Thierry Falise/LightRocket
Source: Getty Images

Smith drew inspiration for her long neck from the Kayan tribe. The Kayan Lahwi people, also called Padaung, are an ethnic group found in Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand. One notable aspect of their culture is the tradition of Padaung women adorning neck rings, which are brass coils worn around the neck, creating an elongated visual effect. These women are often called "giraffe women."

From around the age of five, many Padaung girls partake in this distinctive custom by having spirals of brass (and historically copper or gold) wound around their necks. A bedinsayah, a spiritual healer, conducts the application. The actual length of the neck remains unchanged; instead, the illusion of an elongated neck is created by the reshaping of the clavicle (chest) and the sloping of the shoulders.

What happened to Sydney, the giraffe woman?

Sydney lived with the metal rings around her neck for five years. Unfortunately, the disadvantages of the lifestyle started to outweigh her interest in her dream. The digital creator isolated herself, as navigating the fame and attention her neck earned her was challenging. She also struggled with relationships, as romantic prospects only ever wanted to talk about the rings.

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In addition to her struggling social life, she also suffered physical effects. She could no longer do everyday activities that required a full range of motion, such as bending, driving and swimming. Furthermore, the stack of rings weighed 5 pounds. After having the rings for five years, Sydney finally let go of her dream and got the coils removed.

The rings left her neck weak and bruised. She had to undergo extensive physical therapy with a chiropractor to get her back to normal. While she doesn’t regret her project, she says she removed the rings because “logic kicked in”.

How does the giraffe woman look today?

Since Sydney removed the rings around her neck in 2016, her neck has healed, and the bruises have gone down. According to an orthopaedic surgeon, her neck would naturally return to its original length.

He explained that, as an adult, she would’ve finished growing when she got the rings, so all they would do was stretch the skin or pull her bones apart. Sydney Smith’s neck is back to normal, although she still believes it to be longer than when she started her project.

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Where is the giraffe woman now?

Sydney Smith, without neck rings, has found an alternative passion. The former social media sensation now focuses on spirituality, “alignment magick,” and light-work. Her interest in working with light led her to start making candles she sells in her Verucaz store in Houston, Texas.

Where is the giraffe woman now? Sydney Smith got famous for trying to elongate her neck with a set of rings as inspired by the Kayan people of eastern Burma. However, she got them removed after she suffered adverse physical and social effects. She is currently living a regular life as an entrepreneur. recently published an article about Molly Roloff. Molly Roloff gained fame as an American reality TV personality by appearing on the popular show Little People, Big World. Her engaging presence on the series quickly garnered her a dedicated fan base.

However, her decision to leave the show came as a surprise to many. Following her exit from the reality TV series, she embarked on a new path in the corporate world. With her aptitude for numbers, Molly pursued a career in accounting and has found success in various corporate roles. Take a closer look at Molly's life following her departure from the reality TV series.


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