Mum of four, Mikel Ruffinelli has hips so big that she struggles to get through doorways…and needs two seats on planes.
Mikel, 39, drives a truck as her 30st frame cannot squeeze into a car and needs a reinforced chair at home.
Yet the plus-size model…a trim 10st as a teenager…is proud of her figure and does not want to lose weight, even though she often attracts jeers. She said: “Everywhere I go I get attention for my hips — both good and bad.
“When I walk down the street I can hear the shutters going on cameraphones and people laughing at me.
“I’ve heard people saying, ‘Look at her fat arse’.
“Some people assume I’ve had surgery to enhance my ass and hips, but it’s all natural. I think that it’s the result of having four children, but large hips also run in my family.”
Mikel was a normal-sized youngster and even in her early 20’s tipped the scales at a modest 85 kilo’s.
But at 22, she put on 28 kilo’s after having first child Andrew, now 18. And after daughters Destynee, 13, Autumn, eight, and Justyce, seven, followed, her weight and hips ballooned further.
But despite her curves she stands at just 5ft 4ins and has a proportionally small 40-inch waist, married Mikel, of Los Angeles, owns up to the difficulties that her size causes in everyday life.
She revealed: “When I travel by plane or train I have to buy two seats because I can’t fit my ass into one. 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.
“And I can’t close the shower door because my hips get in the way. I’ve even been stuck in the bath before.”
Yet she still enjoys joining in family activities such as keep-fit routines at home and trips to the park and seaside — where she shows off her 42D boobs in a revealing two-piece costume.
She added: “Finding clothes to fit my bottom half is a challenge. I have my lingerie custom-made by seamstresses.”
Mikel also defiantly vows never to diet after vainly struggling for years with slimming plans.
She eats an average 3,000 calories a day…500 more than the recommended intake for an average man…and she joyfully tucks into her favourite Mexican dishes as well as chicken, seafood and cheese.
On an average day she has two eggs, sausage, bacon and half a dozen potatoes for breakfast.
Her lunch is often fried fish and chips and dinner is barbecue chicken with rice or mashed potato.
In between meals Mikel snacks on peanuts, granola bars and crisps. And hubby Reggie Brooks, 40, is delighted at her well-fed figure.
The computer technician…wed to her for ten years…beamed: “I love her shape. When we met she already had big hips. That’s one of things that attracted me.
But she’s also a beautiful person on the inside too. Her confidence in herself and her body is sexy.“When we walk down the street I see guys checking her out and I feel proud that she’s mine.
“If men disrespect her in front of me it doesn’t go down well. I have to show them who’s boss.”
And Mikel — who has modelled for a Big Beautiful Women website for five years — hopes that her confidence will make other women embrace their curves.
She added: “I like that I can look in the mirror and love me just the way I am.
“I want big women to understand that you don’t have to be thin like catwalk models to be beautiful.
“I hope I can inspire women to look at me and think, ‘She’s happy with her body…and she’s got the biggest hips in the world.’ ”