Though Southern California is full of tall, leggy blondes, one woman in particular stands out in Redondo Beach: Amazon Eve. The Guinness Book of World Records recently recognized Eve as the world's tallest model.
Eve, who doesn't disclose her real name for privacy reasons, stands 6 feet 7 inches tall—without heels.
She told Redondo Beach Patch that she was thrilled to be recognized as a record holder.
"You'll never get a gold medal for modeling," she said.
Though the record book honored her this year, last year was a whirlwind for Eve. She traveled all over Europe and Australia, posing for magazines such as Vogue Italia, modeling in fashion shows and, of course, buying shoes. (She wears a size 14.)
Eve, who grew up in Central California, didn't set out to be a model. In college, she studied business management, exercise physiology, law and theater arts. She was also introverted and shy.
"My story really starts in 2006," Eve told Patch, explaining that she had previously been working as a paralegal on civil rights issues and "hiding" in an office. "2006 was a pivotal year for me."
That year, she started to come out of her shell while working as an insurance agent before becoming the executive director of the Los Angeles Association of Health Underwriters.
In 2007, she was asked to join the cast of TV's American Gladiators for the next season. The show was canceled after its first season.
Still, the experience inspired her to get into shape—she's also worked as a personal trainer—and by 2009, she was traveling the world doing stage shows with the Amazons, a group of extremely tall women.
Her fame skyrocketed after she appeared on the cover of the November 2009 edition Zoo Weekly, a magazine that she described as Australia's answer to Maxim. The Zoo Weekly photos, which depicted Eve standing next to much smaller models, went viral.
"It kind of happened by accident," she admitted.
By 2010, she could no longer stay out of the spotlight.
"2010 was a great year for me," she said. "I thought it was a fluke … I thought it was a mistake."
It was no mistake. Already this year she's been to the southern United States and Europe, where she made television appearances and walked the red carpet for the Guinness recognition ceremony.
In her travels, her height, naturally, didn't go unnoticed.
"I used to hate it; I used to hide because of it," she said, later adding: "I changed the meaning of why people were staring at me."
Instead of believing that people saw her as an unusually tall person, she explained, she began to believe that people saw her as a beautiful woman who just happened to be really tall.
Even as a model, she said that she doesn't strive for the elusive size 0—and during her conversation with Patch at El Torito Grill, she made it a point to munch on tortilla chips.
"Proportionally, I'm bigger—that's all," she said.
"I eat well; I exercise every day. … I'm built to be a warrior woman."
When she's not traveling across Europe and Australia, Eve lives in Redondo Beach. She'll grab a bite to eat at or at the , and she enjoys running on the sand.
"You might see me walking ... a really tall woman on the beach," she said.