What’s life like for the world’s tallest woman? That’s exactly what Guinness World Records’ first feature-length documentary explores.
Rumeysa has already been through so much in her life – horrendous bullying, health issues and spinal surgery, and all of the isolation that came along with it.
But that’s something she’s on a mission to help others overcome - travelling across the world to spread her message of kindness and acceptance.
However, a journey of almost 7,000 miles is far from simple for the 26-year-old.
If you’ve ever found yourself uncomfortable with the amount of leg room you’ve got on a plane, imagine how you’d feel if you were 7 ft 0.7 in (215.16 cm) tall.
But Rumeysa, who works as a researcher and front-end developer while also acting as an advocate for people with visible differences, didn’t let anything deter her from her mission: to spread awareness for people like her.
For her first ever flight, Turkish Airlines removed six economy seats to make a comfortable place for her.
Rumeysa made the once-in-a-lifetime journey, meeting some of the world’s most extraordinary women along the way while GWR’s own Matthew Musson, director of the GWR Studios documentary, captured it all on camera.
Looking back on her time filming, Rumeysa told us: “At first, it was just a subtle idea that we didn't even know if it is possible to make it happen.
I feel beyond privileged to be able to share my first ever abroad journey with a huge audience, and I'll be forever grateful to my Guinness World Records family, my fellow record holders and everyone else included for letting me turn a lifelong dream into reality.
Director Matthew said: “Working for Guinness World Records for more than nine years has given me a unique insight into the world of record breaking. Time and time again the stories behind world records defy expectation and often offer a glimpse into a unique perspective on life.
“The story of Rumeysa Gelgi is one of the most extraordinary and inspirational stories I have encountered during my time at Guinness World Records. The health issues, isolation and bullying she suffered through as a child gave way to global fame when she became the world's tallest teenager (female) and ultimately world's tallest woman.”
He continued: “She now uses her platform to give a voice to those who have faced similar issues, due to their visible differences. Rumeysa is so eloquent and focused on the topic, it was clear that her voice and philosophy would lead us through the film.
“Rumeysa travelling for the first time to the USA, also presented a great opportunity for her to meet and share experiences with other extraordinary records holders. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Rumeysa and watch her grow on her amazing journey in the US."
She has an amazing ability to inspire everyone she meets and I’m sure she will inspire everyone who watches. - Matthew Musson
Before being named the tallest woman living, Rumeysa held the record for tallest teenager living (female).
Her record-breaking height is caused by a condition called Weaver syndrome, an extremely rare condition which causes accelerated growth and other abnormalities including skeletal maturation.
She has another four current records:
• Widest hand span on a living person (female) – 22.6 cm (8.9 in)
• Longest finger on a living person (female) – 11.2 cm (4.40 in)
• Longest back on a living person (female) – 59.90 cm (23.58 in)
• Largest hands on a living person (female) – 24.93 cm (9.81 in)
During her travels, Rumeysa met other record-breaking women such as Samantha Ramsdell, who has the largest mouth gape (female) and widest mouth (female), Wildine Aumoithe, the shortest woman living (non-mobile) and shortest professional model, and Savanna Trapp-Blanchfield, who is a member of the tallest family.
Viewers will also see Rumeysa bonding with some other tall women over their ‘tall girl problems’ while getting their nails done and a group of inquisitive school children quizzing her and Wildine about their record-breaking heights.
Karen Gilchrist, VP TV and Digital at Guinness World Records, said: “This is the first feature documentary from GWR Studios and we are proud to bring the story of Rumeysa to a wider audience through this Rakuten Original.
“We are fortunate to be able to work with many incredible record holders and be able to share their stories. Rumeysa has a strong message about seeing the person and not visible differences, and she uses her record-breaking status to touch people's lives.
“We saw the connections she made with other record-breaking women and with schoolchildren and community groups. We hope that viewers will enjoy her journey.”
Watch Rumeysa: Walking Tall from 21 December, only on Rakuten TV.
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