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Common stories.What beauty means to you.

What beauty means to you. I am Kayan, a minority tribe original from Myanmar. We settled in the north of Thailand, near the border, because of the military conflict more than twenty years ago. We are considerate refugees, so our rights and our mobility are limited, for this reason we are mainly engaged in a sale of crafts to tourists for living. For the government of Thailand we are an important source of income so we appear in all the tourist guides. Only women wear these rings around their neck in our tribe. Since we are five years old, we add one ring per year, because of that our necks look like supernaturally elongated. We are called giraffe women and besides being a tourist attraction, our neck is a symbol of beauty for our tribe. My neck makes me feel different, although not especially beautiful, but I know there are thousands of painful ways to enhance female beauty all around the world. We are stereotypes, in many cases by caused deformities that only a few still think are "beautiful" and that our own women will perpetuate who knows how much longer. Women from other countries visit our tribe and look at us with curiosity. In the eyes of some of them I can feel pity, empathy and horror. My eyes return to them that in their own cultures, too many of them are slaves of these stereotypes too, in one way or another.

Thanks to Susanna Gómez Paús for her pic.


Qué significa belleza para ti.Soy Kayan, una tribu minoritaria originaria de Myanmar. Nos establecimos en el norte de Tailandia, cerca de la frontera, por el conflicto militar hace más de veinte años. Se nos considera refugiados, por lo que nuestros permisos y nuestra movilidad son limitados, así que para vivir nos dedicamos principalmente a vender artesanía a los turistas. Para el gobierno Tailandés somos una importante fuente de ingresos así que aparecemos en todas las guías turísticas.

Sólo las mujeres llevamos estos anillos alrededor del cuello. Desde que cumplimos cinco años se nos van añadiendo al ritmo de uno por año, de manera que nuestro cuello luce sobrenaturalmente alargado. Nos llaman mujeres jirafas y además de ser un reclamo turístico, nuestro cuello es un símbolo de belleza para nuestra tribu. Mi cuello me hace sentir diferente, aunque no especialmente bella, pero sé que en el mundo existen miles de maneras dolorosas de realzar la belleza femenina. Somos estereotipos, en muchos casos con deformidades provocadas que sólo algunos aun se atreven a llamar “hermosas” y que nuestras propias mujeres perpetuarán hasta quién sabe cuando. Mujeres de otros países nos visitan y nos miran con curiosidad, en los ojos de algunas puedo sentir lástima, empatía y horror. Mis ojos les devuelven que en sus propias culturas también muchas de ellas son esclavas de esos mismos estereotipos, de una manera o de otra.

Gracias a Susanna Gómez Paús por su fotografía.


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