Maci Currin was in elementary school when her doctors predicted she’d grow up to be 6 feet, 4 inches tall as an adult. She shot past that estimate in 7th grade.
Now a high school senior and standing 6 feet, 10 inches tall, Currin has been recognized by Guinness World Records as being both the woman and the teen with the world’s longest legs. They make up 60% of her total height.
The striking photos of the teenager standing head and shoulders above other people have attracted worldwide attention since the news of her record-breaking limbs was announced this month.
“It's crazy. It's changed my whole life,” Currin, 17, who lives with her family in Cedar Park, Texas, told TODAY.
“It's a little overwhelming, but I want to be able to inspire other tall people.”
Currin began thinking about applying for the record when she was being measured for a custom pair of leggings. When it turned out the length of her legs was more than half of her body, she looked up who else came close. Currin then submitted an application to Guinness World Records, which confirmed she beat the previous record holder — a woman in Russia.
Currin’s legs measure about 4 feet, 5 inches each — less than a foot difference from the average total height for an adult woman in the U.S., which is 5 feet, 3 inches, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Her incredible stature has many practical implications in everyday life. The teen must get jeans and other pants custom-made. She sleeps on a twin XL mattress. She can’t fit into certain cars, and has to “manspread” in others.
“Regular airplane seats are terrible,” she said. “And the desks at school are just the worst.”
Other children used to bully Currin over her height, but that doesn’t happen anymore, she noted. Instead, she described herself as “outcasted” — “I'm not really normal and I don't really fit into the groups at high school, so I'm kind of just there doing my own thing.”
She used to play volleyball but it took up too much time in her life, so she now likes to play video games to relax and get away from her celebrity.
“People I know are like, ‘Oh my God, you're so famous,’ but I don't really see myself as ‘famous.’ I just see myself as a regular human being, like a regular 17-year-old,” she said.
Taller than everyone else
Most of human height is determined by genetics, while about 20% can be influenced by nutrition, quality of health care and other environmental factors.
Doctors can estimate the height that a child will reach as an adult by various methods, starting with a simple formula involving the heights of the parents. A more sophisticated way is a bone age study done using an X-ray taken of the child’s hand, which shows how much growing a young body has left to do. It’s not a precise science, as Currin’s experience shows.
She first noticed she was taller than everyone else in preschool. Currin never had a single growth-spurt, but consistently grew 4-5 inches a year, she said.
The teen, who believes she has stopped growing, is now taller than her mother (who measures 5 feet, 7 inches), father (6 feet, 5 inches) and brother (6 feet, 4 inches).
She’s used to attracting attention, but can also get frustrated with getting the same comments over and over again.
“There's this one thing people say that drives me crazy. It's the ‘Wow, you're so tall!’ and in my mind I'm just like, wow, I didn't know that,” Currin said.
When she graduates high school, she’d like to travel, study business at a university outside the U.S. and get started in modeling.
For now, she’s hoping her experience will encourage others who don’t fit the typical mold to feel good about themselves.
“To tall people, especially younger girls who are taller than most, I'd want to say that you're unique and you're unique for a reason,” she noted.
“You might not like it now, but when you're older, people will be interested in you and people will want to get to know you and people will love you for who you are.”