WITH skills like these, contortionist Beth Sykes should have no problems dealing with the showbiz jungle!
The ultra-flexible 20-year-old has become an online phenomenon after this picture of her painted up and contorting in the shape of a giraffe went viral. The classic ‘double take’ picture has had 100,000 hits across the world in just three days.
Bendy Beth started doing gymnastics aged just four and won her first major title aged 12.
The ‘giraffe’ was dreamt up by Beth and her painter pal Emma Fay, who created the amazing body art.
“We just thought one day that it would be cool to paint me as a giraffe, it was a spur of the moment thing,” Beth said. “Then finally two weeks ago we had some time and decided to do it.
“It took six hours of painting, and I was in out of the giraffe shape every minute or so, but it was worth it.”
Emma painted the head of the giraffe onto one of Beth’s feet, and hooves on the other foot and one hand. She ‘whited out’ other bits of Beth’s body to complete the effect. The girls used a mood board to get Beth into ‘character’, and she looked at pictures of giraffes in various poses.
Beth said that although the long limbs of a giraffe are perfectly suited for this stunt, she and Emma haven’t ruled out similar projects covering the whole range of zoo animals. Other mock-ups have already seen her painted as a lizard and an ‘Avatar’ character, and she has also performed as a tiger and other wild animals.
Beth is among just a handful of English-born professional contortionists, but you could never accuse her of being inflexible! She is also a freelance circus performer, acrobat, fire-eater and stilt-walker.
She recently performed at a celebrity-packed party in the Maldives featuring the Beckhams, Gordon Ramsay, Jimmy Carr and other big names.
Beth was born and went to school in Featherstone, and trained at Wakefield Gymnastics Club. “My flexibility isn’t’ all natural, it comes from being trained and years of practice,” she said. “I used to train six days a week, before school and after school. I absolutely love it.”
She currently works with Britain’s Got Talent performers Area 51. She will be hitting the festival scene in the summer, starting at Glastonbury in June.