Plus-size model Mikel Ruffinelli has always been happy about her hips, which measure eight-feet around. But the 39-year-old Los Angeles woman is even happier after she set the record for the “World’s Largest Hips,” according to the World Record Academy.
Ruffinelli, a mother of four who weighs in at 400 pounds, is proud of her 5'4" frame, despite daily struggles she faces.
“Some people assume I’ve had surgery to enhance my body shape – but it’s all natural," she told The Telegraph. “It’s the result of having four children but having large hips also runs in the family.”
Ruffinelli said that she has to drive a truck since she cannot fit into most cars and sometimes cannot make it through doorways due to her size.
“When I travel by plane or train I have to buy two seats because I can’t fit…into one,” she said. “It gets quite expensive. I drive a truck rather than using public transport wherever possible, because it’s big enough to fit all of me in. Going through tight spaces is sometimes a problem for me and I have to go through doorways sideways.”
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But for Ruffinelli, the attention she attracts from the public is all worth it.
“Everywhere I go I get attention for my hips — both good and bad,” she said. “When I walk down the street, I can hear the shutters going on camera phones and people laughing at me.”
And when those negative comments get the best of her, Ruffinelli has her husband of 10 years, Reggie Brooks, who loves her curves.
“I love her shape but it was her personality that first attracted me. She has a sweet disposition,” he said. "When men disrespect her on the street in front of me it doesn't go down well. I have to show them who's boss.”
Ruffinelli said she was a normal size growing up, weighing 180 pounds at her heaviest in her 20’s, and has no plans to undergo surgery to reduce her current 400-pound size.
"In the past, I was self-conscious about my hips," Ruffinelli said. "As I got older, I learned to love my body and now I’m not afraid to show it off."
"I see no reason to diet because I don’t have health problems," she continued. "Men don’t fancy skinny girls, they like an hourglass figure."