At 6’ 9” (206 cm) 14 year old Brazilian Elisany Silva (Elizane Cruz Silva, Elizane da Cruz Silva) is reportedly the world’s tallest teen girl. She’s still a full foot shorter than the world’s tallest woman, a title held by China’s 38 year old Yao Defen at 7’ 9” (236 cm). Marvadene Anderson at 6′ 11″ is actually a taller teen. Elisany is so tall she had to leave school because she couldn’t fit comfortably in school chairs or sit properly in the school bus. According to this report, Elisany was born and raised in Ajuruteua, small village on the coast 22 miles (36 kilometers) from the center of Bragança, northeastern Pará in Brazil. She is one of seven children of the fisherman Jorge Luiz Miranda, 39, and housewife Ana Maria Cruz, 36 years.
Despite numerous tests at local hospitals, doctors have been unable to find anything abnormal. Specialist speculate she may have a rare condition called Gigantism which causes the brain to produces too much growth hormones. Gigantism can have serious health consequences sometimes even resulting in death. Elisany’s family does not have the financial means to pay for medical treatment. Her mom said “I want her to stop growing up, to be like other girls because I know she feels weird and sometimes wants to be like them.”
In a video report, Elisany said “I can’t do things right. I wanted to play with my friends but this way I can’t. It’s hard when I’m inside home. I get distracted and hit the wood in the ceiling with my head.” Despite her problems, Elisany remains optimistic about her dreams saying “I want to be a model very much”. On September 20th, she will realize that dream when she debuts on the runway as a bride in a fashion show in Belém.
Realistically, Elisany will be unlikely to find success as a professional model. She is certainly pretty and no doubt tall but just as there is a minimum height of 5’ 8” for professional models, there is also a maximum height of 6’. The ideal fashion model is 5’ 9.5” – 5’ 10.5”. Neal Hamil of Elite Model Management explains what it takes to be a top fashion model in an interview for Dateline NBC. Sal Marquez Jr. of San Francisco’s City Model Management added “any female Fashion model over 6’0 could be very challenging for any/all media in our industry”. A model who is 6’ 9” simply will not fit in designer’s samples. Everything she models will have to be custom tailored. For a few small designers willing to capitalize on Elisany’s notoriety, this is no problem but unfortunately for Elisany, she will not find similar success in mainstream modeling.