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Amazon Picture

THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
(YOU Magazine)
HIGH AND MIGHTY
Report by Douglas Thompson, Picture by Paul Harris

Call them Amazons if you like, but these women, taller, in their heels, than most men you'll ever meet, are statuesque and proud of it.

In the city where there are self-help groups for cross-dressers who love too much and evening classes for hearing-impaired, one-legged strippers, there's help for another minority (if that's the right word).

It's for heroically proportioned women. Not fat women. Not big-busted women. It's for women, who when they stand, tower over everyone else like Gulliver in Lilliput. Or like Tracy Faucer and Diana Meier when they walk along the beach in Venice, LA.

These two ladies - Tracy is 6ft 6in in heels and Diana about 6ft 5.5in - are comfortable with their proportions. But they caused neck-stretching excitement when they teamed up for a walk on the beach boardwalk.

It was Nersi Navab's idea. He is a Programme Assistant at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension and the brain behind BuiltMore Productions. "Girls like Diana and Tray will always stir up interest - people are just amazed by them."

Every stare proved him correct. "It happens all the time," says Diana talking down to me. She goes on: "I feel very good about myself but some days someone will say a stupid tall comment and it makes me go berserk. I feel very normal. It's a very positive thing. But just a moment ago there was this guy looking at me with his mouth wide open. He looked at me and his mouth dropped. He said: 'You're a beautiful woman' and heck I can handle that. At least he didn't say something stupid like - 'How's the weather up there?'"

Venice Beach Picture But the jokes are the easy part, says model Tracy. "I have to follow very tall slim men around town to try and find my pants. You know when you get the right pair - they have to hit the floor and bend. I can't shop at tall women's shops because the sizes are too large. We're not big - we're tall."

And this is where Nersi Navab enters the scene. His organisation is set up to make videos and feature films which will promote Amazonian women. He contacted Tracy and Diana through an advertisement in Hollywood's Drama-Logue magazine and is now advertising here in Europe.

He wants a calendar of girls - at least a dozen - on his books. One film in the works is, predictably, Female Hercules but Navab wants to go in a more upmarket direction in film and fashion. Tracy points out that she's had an offer to do a nude Playboy centerfold - draped over four pull-out pages....

"... We're looking for unique physiques. These girls are well proportioned, muscular and aesthetic. As you get taller, more that 6ft, people tend to be much thinner because of the bone structure - they would not have the looks of a model of 5ft 8in. But these two ladies are a good example of having the height as well as the proportion.

"At women's workshops and women's programmes at the university there is a lot going on abouth the image of women in the 90s. Not only are we talking about women's muscularity but the concept of girl hero or female hero is becoming more and more acceptable. There are strong women characters like Jamie Lee Curtis as a cop in Blue Steel and Theresa Russell in Impulse...."

Diana stands up and up and up and up. She's an actress who has appeared in several American sitcoms. The roles usually play on her height. "It's tough on the men," she says. "Whoever is going to be with me has to accept the way I am. It's their problem if they don't like me because of my physical presence."

Tracy nods in understanding: "It's not uncommon to see men who are 6ft 2in or 6ft 3in. But men don't readily accept challenges to their dimensions - challenges to their physical space. All of a sudden you get a real competitive reaction.

"I have never had a sense of feeling normal. I feel extraordinary and I feel great."

We're now being followed along the beach by a crowd of about 20. They think it's some movie being filmed or some Candid Camera-style stunt.

Nersi Navab is walking quickly behind them. His is a tall man - at 6ft 2in that's clearly comparative - who has always liked tall women....

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