If there's one feature that models are generally share, it's long legs. Iconic models such as Christie Brinkley, Kate Moss,Twiggy and Naomi Campbell are all famed for their impressive sets of pins. While modelling relies on the pleasing appearances of various parts of the body, it can't be denied that legs in particular are some of the most prized and widely-showcased body parts of the average model.
Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that several beauty contests have sprung up to officially name the girl with the longest legs of them all. The modelling industry is a notoriously competitive one, so it makes sense that such competitions should arise in order to give the super-long-legged ladies a coveted title to add to their resume. A recent competition in Russia, which named amongst its titles "Miss Longest Legs", sparked an online retaliation in the form of a poll for the name of the model with the longest legs in the world, which included candidates from England and the US.
On top of models with extraordinarily long limbs, there is of course the lady decreed by the Guinness Book of World Records to have the longest legs in the world, whom nobody could hope to beat. She's a clear winner of the title by what would seem to be at least a thirty centimetres, but the race for the remaining four positions in the top five longest legged ladies in the world is considerably closer. Men, prepare to drool and women, prepare to be green with envy - these are the five longest-legged beauties in the world.
5 Anastasia Strashevskaya: 42 "
At the beginning of this year, eighteen year-old Anastasia Strashevskaya won the title of the longest legs in Russia. Strashevskaya is a trainee lawyer from Novosibirsk, Siberia, and beat fifty-two other contestants to the title and a prize of around two thousand and seven hundred U.S. dollars. Strashevskaya's legs measure an incredible one hundred and six centimetres, or forty-two inches, and she was voted as having Russia's longest legs by the majority in an online poll. Other catagories in the competition included Miss Bikini, Miss Sport, Miss Blonde, Miss Brunette, and Miss Smile.
Strashevskaya has vowed not to let her new-found fame go to her head: she is a student at the Novosibirsk Institute of Law and has gone on record as saying that she refuses to give up her long-standing dream of becoming a lawyer. Such determination and integrity is applaudable, especially since she could undoubtedly make a lot of money if she were to pursue a Victoria's Secret contract! Strashevskaya has even been sensible as regards her prize money, stating that she planned to spend some of it on a present for her parents and donate still more of it towards charities helping children with cancer.
4 Brooke Banker: 47 "
With a name straight out of the movies, American beauty Brooke Banker is at number four. Banker is twenty-six and has forty-seven inch long legs, which is all the more impressive given her comparatively diminutive height: she stands at five feet eleven inches, just under six foot. Banker comes from a long-legged family and grew up playing volleyball, so was surrounded by leggy people from an early age. She was encouraged to consider modelling as a teenager but instead focussed on sports, so much so that she gained entry to Penn State University on a sports scholarship.
After earning several degrees Banker eventually turned to modelling, and moved back to New York to pursue her career. Banker says she enjoys her work, but tries to steer clear of high heeled shoes — she prefers boots and sneakers, and only wears heels if someone is paying her for it. Banker admits that one downside to her amazing legs is that she struggles to find a boyfriend; she finds that most men are intimidated by them, or alternatively that she tends to get approached by men with fetishes. Her long-term dream is to become a weather girl or TV presenter.
3 Alexandra Robertson: 47 "
British model Alexandra Robertson, aged twenty and from Blackpool, UK, is at number three. Robertson is six feet one inch tall, and boasts forty-seven inch-long legs, with the inside leg measuring an incredible thirty-seven inches. After learning of the aforementioned Anastasia Strashevskaya's obtaining the title of the longest legs in Russia, Robertson was certain that she could beat her — and proved that she certainly could, by a clear five inches.
Robertson's lucrative career as a model began at the age of eighteen when she entered a competition in her hometown, at which she was both crowned Miss Blackpool and spotted by a modelling agent. She has been modelling for the last two years, during which time she has modelled lingerie and bridal wear. Robertson has said that she was shocked by the length of her legs, since she hadn't expected them to be close to fifty inches long. She also says that she has difficulty in finding clothes that fit correctly, but happily her build is at least balanced and in proportion. Robertson has also developed an innovative response to the constant queries as to whether she plays basketball — "I just turn around and reply 'no, do you play mini-golf?' and we end up having a laugh."
2 Lauren Williams: 49 "
At number two is Lauren Williams, from Houston, TX. Her legs measure an astonishing forty-nine inches, and are amongst the longest measured in the world today. Williams utilised her unusually long limbs by becoming a two time All-American volleyball player. She played the sport while attending the University of Southern California, at which she achieved a BSc in environmental sciences and an MA in education.
She worked for a time as a model in California, but found getting work difficult at times, as, like Alexandra Robertson, her unusual proportions made finding clothes to fit a tricky undertaking (incidentally, Williams' favourite jeans brand to fit long legs is Rock & Republic, which may be of interest for those readers who are longer of leg). She says that as a child she struggled with her height, as it made her stand out from her peers and she just wanted to fit in. Now, though, Williams says that she has learned to embrace her natural assets, after joining the viral challenge in the modelling community to determine the longest legs in the world.
1 Svetlana Pankratova: 51.9 "
Guinness World Record-holder Svetlana Pankratova is at number one. Pankratova, a Russian lady living in Virginia, USA, has been officially decreed as having the world's longest legs. Her pins were measured in 2003 in Torremolinos, Spain, and deemed to be fifty-one point nine inches, or one hundred and thirty-two centimetres long. After graduating high school in Russia, Pankratova played college basketball for one year before being recruited by the Virginia Commonwealth University. Pankratova is not the world's tallest women, at six feet five inches tall, but her legs make up astonishingly just under four feet four inches of her total height. Pankratova works as a basketball coach in Falls Church, and lives with her husband Jack Gosnell, whom she met when she first moved to America.