World’s tallest woman says it’s OK to stand out: ‘Accept yourself as who you are’

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. stand out / stænd aʊt / (phrasal v.) – to be someone or something that can be easily noticed or recognized

    Sam stood out in the group photo because he was wearing a red shirt when everyone else was wearing white.

  2. genetic / dʒəˈnɛt ɪk / (adj.) – relating to the process of passing down characteristics from parents to children

    Diabetes may also be caused by genetic factors. If your parents have diabetes, there’s a high chance you will develop it too.

  3. walking frame / ˈwɔkɪŋ freɪm / (n.) – a metal structure with four legs used to support a person who has difficulty walking

    My grandmother has to use a walking frame because her knees have become weak.

  4. disorder / dɪsˈɔr dər / (n.) – a physical or mental illness

    Melissa lost a lot of weight because she had an eating disorder.

  5. disability / ˌdɪs əˈbɪl ɪ ti / (n.) – a physical or mental condition that limits one’s ability to act or move the same way as most people

    Andy has a walking disability, but this didn’t stop him from training to become an athlete.


Read the text below.

At 2 meters 15 centimeters tall, Rumeysa Gelgi has always stood out. In mid-October, Guinness World Records officially said she was the world’s tallest living woman. Now she wants to use her record to celebrate differences.

“Being different is not that bad. It can make you achieve things you never imagined before,” the 24-year-old told reporters as she sat in her wheelchair in the town of Safranbolu, Turkey.

Gelgi was born with Weaver Syndrome, a rare genetic disease that causes rapid growth. She usually depends on a wheelchair or walking frame to move.

She hopes to use her title to raise awareness about rare genetic disorders such as Weaver Syndrome. And she has some advice for people who feel they are different.

“I personally believe that someone can turn their disabilities into an advantage for themselves. Accept yourself as who you are.” (Reuters)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Gelgi said that being different is not that bad and that it can help you achieve things you never imagined before. Do you agree with what she said? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Gelgi personally believes that people can turn their disabilities into an advantage for themselves. What can the government or private organizations do to support them? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Gelgi hopes to use her Guinness title to raise awareness about rare genetic disorders like Weaver Syndrome. What are some ways you can raise awareness about things you care about (ex. starting a campaign on social media, calling on leaders to make relevant policies)? Why? Discuss.
  • Why do you think Guinness World Records lists people with extraordinary physical features (ex. being the tallest person alive, having the longest fingernails)? Do you think the organization should keep doing this? Why or why not? Discuss.