Sticking their necks out for tourists

In Thailand, Burmese women from the Padaung tribe don’t need the Thai equivalent of a green card; they can stay in the country and even get paid if they just shackle their necks in rigid brass coils that stay on for life. Apparently tourists really like the exotic look the coils give these “long-neck women,” so tour-boat operators pay the women and girls — some as young as five — a modest monthly salary to wear them, reports the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD.

By pushing down on the collarbone and up against the chin, the coils elongate the neck. But the muscles soon deteriorate so that, if the coils were ever removed, the neck would collapse.

Once a tribal tradition, wearing neck coils is now just a job, but one that mothers encourage their daughters to consider, as it offers them “a passport to a better way of life,” the HERALD reports.