As the 6’2 Founder of TALL GUIDES, I was thrilled to hear that you are challenging the current Guinness World Record; hoping to claim the title of the world’s longest legs. Word reached the UK a week or so ago when the Daily Mail shared your story online. You story was then shared with our #TeamTall community and there was a flurry of activity as hundreds of tall women reached for their tape measures! But your 51.5” are proving hard to beat! Like quite a few of our other 6ft+ members, I’m sporting 48” from hip to toe; whereas a few of our taller ladies measure up at an impressive 50”… but that extra half an inch seems to be all yours! As women who support women, we’d love to know a bit more about you and what prompted you attempt at a world record…
Q1. The current world record holder is Svetlana Pankratova from Russia who tops the leg chart at 51.9” – We’re intrigued to know what inspired you to challenge the world record?
A1. I didn’t put myself forward for the challenge, it was actually a couple of my girlfriends over a glass of wine that saw an article online about a “Leg War” that was going on in the USA between Holly Burt and Chase Kennedy. There was a video online showing how they measured and the next thing I knew, the girls had a tape measure out and we worked out that my legs were longer than theirs! One of my friends decided the make a comment on the article online that I had longer legs.
That was over 12 months ago. We never heard anything back and had actually forgotten all about it. Then out of the blue, I was contacted by a journalist (Michael Thomas Jnr) in Phoenix Arizona, asking me if I would do an interview with him. He ran a story on it and it has very quickly rolled on from there, gaining over 500,000 views on YouTube in under a week and sparking a lot of media attention.
Q2. Can you tell us a bit more about the process of challenging a world record… Has the official measuring taken place yet? What is the process and how long will it be before you know whether you’ve claimed the title?
A2. As you can imagine there are a lot of rules and regulations involved in challenging a World Record. For example: there must be a certified medical practitioner that does the measuring and at least 2 independent witnesses. It must also happen in a public place.
I am currently in discussions and am hoping to see the formal measure to take place within the next few weeks. It can then take up to 3 months to process the application. I’m not sure if I will actually take the title, but it’s nice to be involved in a fun and light-hearted story.
I have had so much lovely support and well wishes from so many. It has really been an amazing experience. I still can’t believe all the fuss. These legs are not news to me or my friends and family, we have all been living with them for a long time!
Q3. Height seems to have been such a negative thing for so many tall women, particularly during their younger years. You can find tall girl problems all over the internet but here at TALL GUIDES, we’re all about positivity and compassion; encouraging everyone to love their difference. You seem very comfortable in your own skin, fully embracing your extra inches – which we applaud you for – has it always been this way and what does the journey to body confidence look like for you?
A3. I do honestly feel more comfortable in my own skin now, at 39, than I ever have. But you are right, I, like every single teenager that ever lived, went through quite a few years of just wanting to fit in and be the same as my peers. However, I don’t think that I was much different to any other self-conscious teen. Whether you have red hair and freckles, are very short or have bad acne, we have all experienced it at some stage in our life. That feeling of not belonging. I think this is all part of the growing up process and learning reliance skills, etc. Well it was for me anyway.
I was very fortunate to have an amazing support network at home. My parents were constantly encouraging me to ‘stand tall and be proud of my height‘. After all, there are many things we can change about ourselves, but height isn’t one of them.
Q4. You started modelling at 15 and you’re now a 39 year old, mother of two – Do you still model?
A4. I have continued to model on and off for many years. As my children have grown so have their interests and commitments, so that has been my main focus for the past few years – my life has tended to revolve around piano lessons, basketball, tennis, singing or birthday parties that they need to be driven to and be collected from; I’m sure most parents will be able to relate!
Q5. Do you find ‘being tall’ easier today than it was 20 something years ago?
A5. Our population is getting taller and I think society is much more accommodating towards taller people now. For example, when I was 15, my legs were this long and there was NO tall women’s clothing stores and shoes definitely did not go over a size 10 for women. As frustrating as it was for me growing up, I have learnt many tricks along the way e.g. in winter, I can buy normal length jeans that come up mid-calf on me and just get an amazing pair of long boots and viola – an amazing outfit! I still do this today.
Q6. Your beautiful daughter Zoe is 15 and 5’9 – How does she feel about being tall / getting taller? Is she planning to follow in your modelling footsteps?
A6. Zoe is actually the shortest in our family. We laugh about it all the time as my son has overtaken her. He is nearly 6’3” and is only 13. They tell me he is headed for 6’8”. I think he may be able to challenge for the longest legs soon… Zoe feels quite short, which is funny. She loves her height as does my son, and she’s a very talented musician, so her aspirations lay there. She has just finished recording 16 of her original songs in the studio.
Q7. Having been a tall teenager yourself – what advice would you give to other parents of and/or tall teens?
A7. Love and encouragement is what I got the most out of. I think making sure that they feel blessed and keep them focused on all of the incredible things that their height offers them. It’s very easy for kids to focus on what they ‘don’t” have, instead of what they do have! It’s important that they know how lucky they are. This is important for all parents, not just parents of tall teens!
Q8. You’re in pretty good shape and it’s clear that you put time and effort into working out. Are there any exercises/sports/fitness that you’d recommend specifically for toning your legs and getting a great pair of pins? Does this phrase work in Oz or is it a British thing?!
A8. HAHA! YES, WE DEFINITELY HAVE THE EXPRESSION ‘PINS”. My husband uses it all the time. I started doing Pilates about 6 years ago, it is low impact, (in many instances no impact) you can be any size, shape or age and it is incredible for your core strength, this is so important for all of us long-limbed legends!
I also train with a personal trainer 2-3 times a week. We will usually focus on 2 leg sessions per week, including squats, stair climbs, leg presses and lots of lunges. Then we do an upper body session once a week. He throws in cardio (treadmill, spin bike and stair climber) each session. Also, I do lots of abs workouts. Basically, he smashes me every week, but I LOVE it.
I also walk my dog every day, he’s getting old and he’s only little so they are not long walks any more. I used to play high level netball when I was younger and my height was such a massive advantage. Currently, I play social tennis and enjoy water skiing when I get the chance.
Q9. Can you describe yourself in ONE word?!
A9. One word of how I feel: Grateful. One word that I would use to describe my appearance: Statuesque.
Caroline’s Tall Guides Take Away
With all our interviews, we like to offer our readers a Tall Guides Take Away at the end so; what 3 pieces of advice or words of wisdom would you like to share with other tall women around the world?
1. Own it! Don’t be scared of Heels, stand tall and proud!
2 Play to your strengths, whether that is towering over your opponent in basketball or getting the best view in general admission at your favourite concert!
3 Have an amazing ‘go to’ tailor who can whip up a fabulous pair of pants for you or one who can adjust clothes to fit just right.