At first glance it looks like a giraffe, but a closer inspection reveals the body of a gymnast contorting herself into the shape of the exotic animal. Beth Sykes, 20, from Featherstone, Yorkshire, in north England, says it was a “spur of the moment thing” to transform her body into that of the long-necked creature.
“We just thought one day that it would be cool to paint me as a giraffe. Then finally two weeks ago we had some time and decided to do it. It took six hours of painting but it was worth it.”
Contortionist Beth Sykes
Sykes teamed up with her friend and body art painter Emma Fay to produce her giraffe-like look.
Fay the artist painted the head of the giraffe on one of Sykes’ feet, and hooves on the other foot and one hand. She then ‘whited out’ other parts of the contortionist’s body to complete the stunning form of the elegant African animal. “The only bit that wasn’t my body was the giraffe’s ears – we made them out of a foam yoga mat,” added Sykes.
“I’m so glad it’s got recognition. It’s been liked over 100,000 times on the Facebook page of a Dutch biologist who must have seen it,” said Sykes of her viral pic. But the performer admitted she wasn’t born with the talent: “My flexibility isn’t all natural, it comes from years of practice. I used to train six days a week, before school and after school.”