Chiang Mai, Thailand

Meet Mabe (Above)
She has the most rings around her neck in the tribe. 27 to be exact!
Meet So Pom (Above)
She’s 5 years old and works closely with her mom. She has 7 rings around her neck.
Meet Maley (Above)
She likes to wrap her hair in a bun because it’s too long to manage. She has 26 rings around her neck.
Meet Matu (Above)
She likes to play the guitar. She has 25 rings around her neck.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
5 (100%) 1 vote

There was nothing that I wanted to do more than to go to Chiang Mai and meet these women.

There are only two groups in the world who practice this “neck stretching” tradition. One here in Asia and another in Africa!

The Kayan are a sub group of the Red Karen tribe. They are also known as “Long Necks” and they originate from Burma. During the civil war in Burma, this tribe fled to the villages on the Northern Thai border.

They wear brass coils around their necks (which are extremely heavy) that pushes their collarbone down, which then compresses their rib cage. They do this so that their necks can APPEAR long. It’s not the neck that gets longer, it’s their collarbone that gets deformed and thus lowered.

They apply the neck rings starting at the age of 5. As they get older they increase the amount of neck rings to further push down their collarbone. So the older you are the longer your neck appears! This tradition is known to be good luck for the women 🙂

Despite the language barrier, I got the chance to get to know some of the women and it was an amazing experience.


Chiang Rai, Thailand

Chiang Rai, Thailand
5 (100%) 1 vote

“I just like to be myself.”


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
5 (100%) 1 vote

“Fashion is passion. It’s a daily lifestyle. When I wake up early in the morning, I feel fashion. It makes me happy.”


Melrose Avenue, California

Melrose Avenue, California
5 (100%) 1 vote

“The biggest issue in the fashion industry is and has been diversity in models, makeup artists, hair stylists and designers. Even photographers. It’s exhausting that we still have to talk about this.”


Melrose Avenue, California

Melrose Avenue, California
4 (80%) 1 vote

“The ideal image of a woman is fucked up. It’s causing girls to have eating disorders and body dysmorphia. I think in today’s society we need to market fashion so that it’s for everyone. When you think about it the standard is being 120 pounds, 5’10 or 5’11, and white. And if she isn’t white she has to be this goddess, and that’s not how it should be.”


Little Tokyo, California

Little Tokyo, California
5 (100%) 1 vote

“I admire the Harajuku style. This is my first day coming outside like this and I love it.”


Melrose Trading Post, California

Melrose Trading Post, California
5 (100%) 1 vote

“Fashion is about showing your personality visually and not verbally. I am a very visual person. I love colors and patterns.”


Melrose Avenue, California

flower8flower6
Melrose Avenue, California
3.67 (73.33%) 3 votes

“Fashion doesn’t always have to mean money. It’s just suppose to reflect who you are as a person. We have people camp out in front of our store to spend tons of money for no reason. It’s ridiculous. So I’m interested in following your journey, because we need more people like you to push a different message about what fashion means.”


The Arts District, California

The Arts District, California
4.67 (93.33%) 3 votes

Her: “We just came from a Japanese meet up for people who are into their fashion!”

Me: “So what does fashion mean to you?”

Her: “Well I’m an artist, so this is just an extension of what I do. I am a product developer and I create dolls.”

Me: “How ironic that you say that. You look like a real life doll!”


The Arts District, California

The Arts District, California
5 (100%) 1 vote

Her: “Fashion is about collecting things and using those things as a form of personal expression. This skirt is my friend’s design and I got this shirt from Vietnam!”

Me: “No way! I’m studying abroad in Thailand next semester! I plan to visit Vietnam.”

Her: “Wow! I studied abroad in Thailand for a semester too! It was amazing, you’ll love it.”

And that was the spark of an amazing conversation.