In August 2020 the Earth finally started the World War III, but before any of the sides could use nuclear weapons, the war was quickly ended by an alien invasion.
It later became evident that, to the shame of all humans, the aliens didn't stop the war because of the Earth's valuable resources that could be destroyed along with the planet, it also wasn't because they wanted to enslave the human race. Both the Earth's minerals and human slaves were completely useless to the aliens. But there was one thing on the planet that the aliens didn't want gone, the only reason they stopped the mankind's self-destruction once and for all.
Humans were the only lifeform in the galaxy capable of doing certain extraordinary things with their physical bodies, so after the alien invasion the Earth became the primary exporter of contortionists. No alien race could learn to fold and twist their bodies in such ways and these abilities always puzzled the alien scientists. Aliens did kidnap good performers before, and they were valued in the galaxy as much as we value the rarest gems. But from now on, they could openly hire contortionists in any quantities that the Earth could provide.
The aliens treated humans nicely but never let them go into space. The only way to space travel was to become a really good body-bender who'd interest the aliens, so for many children contortion became the dream profession, the only possibility to leave the planet and travel to different stars. The peaceful majority of humans saw the aliens as true peace-bringers and everyone wanted to know what the alien worlds look like. But only the worthy few, with the most capable bodies were chosen.
Many space cabarets always gladly hired nice-looking, talented human beings. Everybody was happy that the Earth finally learned its place in the galaxy as the provider of bendyboys. Indeed, for some reasons (which human scientists are still trying to comprehend) the aliens always favored young males as dancers and body-benders.
The alien races themselves also seemed to have the opposite idea of the gender roles. Females were strong warriors, while males were mostly just pretty birds used for breeding and entertainment. According to the retired contortionists who returned back to Earth, you'd often see a dozen of small and very pretty alien males hanging around one big and strong female.
The returners were never short on stories about their deep space travels. And so far they were the only source of information about the rest of the galaxy.
p.s. Ohh and by the way, in the picture we see a bendyboy performing in some space bar or cabaret, they're given those floating pads instead of tables. I made it look like he's gliding through a tunnel of sorts but in fact the pad is just floating in one spot. These pads automatically manage balance, so if you stand on it and try to fall, the pad won't let you, you can even stand on one foot and the pad guarantees you'd be fully auto-balanced, so it's really good for all kinds of things and certainly good for contortion performances XD The auto-balance system makes many interesting poses possible, where the performer would otherwise fall over! XD