Sticking their necks out for tourists

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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.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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