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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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