One of the world's tallest models says she was called names and sank into depression before realising her true calling.
Amazon Eve, who is travelling in Australia ahead of a Guinness Book of World Records attempt, opened up about her difficult teenage years in an interview with ninemsn.
"By the time I was 14 years old I started to notice that I was really tall," the American model said.
"I wasn’t taller than just other girls, I was becoming taller than everyone."
Eve's body continued to grow so quickly — over 20cm in four years — that she soon found it difficult to walk properly, leading to teasing in the schoolyard.
"Being lanky and skinny your body doesn’t really look very graceful or attractive, so you trip a lot and are tripped by the mean kids who giggle at you falling," she said.
"I was called all kinds of names and teased with such things as, Stretch, G-G-Giant, string-bean, and comments like 'How’s the weather up there'.
"People can be extremely cruel when you're different ... I had very poor body image and wanted to hide."
Eve was even afraid of being beaten up for being tall, and says she hit "rock bottom" around the age of 25.
"I was lost in the wilderness of dating with no prospects and feeling depressed and lonely. My self esteem was hit hardest the years just before I made the decision to lose weight and get into shape."
At the age of 30 she was discovered by Zoo Weekly magazine in Australia, which declared her the "world's tallest model" on their cover.
"It was proof enough that I wasn’t an ugly duckling anymore — the swan has arrived," she said.
Eve, now 34 years old and 203cm tall, makes a living travelling the world and modelling clothing, much of which is custom-made by labels like Tall Jeans and Barefoot Tess.
While in Australia she plans to visit the Zoo Weekly offices and discuss her bid to secure the Guinness world record for tallest model on earth.
She said her trip so far had been a "dream", with plenty of sightseeing, partying, and flirting.
"Those handsome Aussie boys ... I have had to beat them off with a stick — one at a time guys please."
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