She has the biggest mouth of any woman in the world — and she's proud of it
Connecticut comedian finds self-acceptance through TikTok, earns a Guinness World Record for her 'mouth gape'
Samantha Ramsdell has a big mouth, and she doesn't care who knows it.
The Stamford, Conn., comedian has been awarded the Guinness World Record for "largest mouth gape (female)." Her open maw stretches 6.52 centimetres tall and 14.5 centimetres wide. The male record belongs to a Minnesota teenager whose mouth gape is 10.175 centimetres tall.
"I always knew I had a very large mouth, but I never thought I'd get a Guinness World Record for it, so it is really cool," Ramsdell told As It Happens guest host Katie Simpson.
But Ramsdell didn't always feel proud of her unique facial feature.
"I grew up thinking that this was a flaw and being really insecure about my mouth. Of course, I got called names growing up and, you know, it was just something that I was self-conscious of," she said.
"I always used to put concealer over my lips and never wore lipstick because I didn't want to accentuate the size of my mouth."
That all changed when she joined TikTok, where videos of Ramsdell making funny faces and cramming various objects into mouth have gained her a huge following.
"I can drink a glass of wine without my hands," she said.
Journey toward acceptance
The experience led her on a journey toward self-acceptance. She finally learned to embrace her big mouth.
"I can't imagine if years ago I would have been comfortable or confident enough to do this and tell the whole world, like, yes, my mouth is big," she said.
"In a world where, like, so many of us are trying to look like the same person and trying to be this Kim Kardashian, I feel like everyone looks the same. We should be celebrating what makes us different and what makes us unique. So I hope it just inspires others at the end of the day."
In fact, she said it was her fans — who she refers to as "the children of TikTok" — who first suggested that she might have a record-holder on her face. They implored her repeatedly to apply for the record, she said, and kept tagging Guinness on her videos.
Eventually, Guinness took notice and reached out to Ramsdell, setting in motion the arduous process of official record-setting.
She had to fill out three pages of paperwork, recruit a witness, get a doctor's note proving she'd never had her mouth surgically altered in any way, and find a qualified dentist to measure her mouth with a specific, Guinness-approved tool.
On July 14, she learned the record was officially hers. But then Guinness put her big mouth to the test in a more figurative way — asking her to keep the news under wraps until the official announcement on July 28.
"And everyone's asked me every day, like, 'Have you heard from Guinness? You have you heard from Guinness yet?' So it was killing me not to tell everyone who follows me," she said.
"So that really proves that I can keep my big mouth shut."
Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview produced by Jeanne Armstrong.