By Andrea Morabito - June 5, 2016 | 5:43am
Blond and athletic, Katja Bavendam is used to turning heads.
As she walks down Chambers Street in Tribeca, a woman stops the 31-year-old to snap a photo. Another woman leans out of her car window in traffic to yell, “You’re beautiful!” Several other people do double-takes as they pass her on the sidewalk.
Such is life as a 6-foot-8-inch woman in New York City.
Bavendam is starring in Season 2 of TLC’s “My Giant Life” (premiering Tuesday at 10 p.m.), which follows the lives of six women over 6-foot-6-inches. They’re from all over the country, though being extremely tall in a crowded city like New York brings a unique set of trials and tribulations.
“Cabs are tight, the regular [ones]. I hail whatever stops by, but that’s definitely uncomfortable,” Bavendam tells The Post. “The subway, I usually get in at the middle door because at the end of the car there’s the AC units, so there’s less headroom. When it’s really crowded . . . if I turn around and make a wrong move, I literally elbow people in the face, and I don’t want to do that.”
Though her height didn’t stop her from marrying a shorter person (her wife, Julie, is 5-foot-2) or adopting two lap dogs (a beagle-Chihuahua mix and a terrier mix), there are certain “rules of life” when you’re 6-foot-8: Always pay for the extra-legroom seats on a flight.
Never take long bus trips. And avoid attending a show or play if it’s not worth sitting knees-to-chest for three hours.
Though there are pitfalls - Bavendam’s Tribeca studio apartment only fits a full-size bed — such height also comes with benefits, like always having an unobstructed view at a concert and never finding your face in someone else’s sweaty armpit on a rush-hour subway.
“It’s nice, you always have your own bubble and breathing room,” says Bavendam, who works as a traffic engineer at an urban planning firm near Madison Square Park.
She comes from a tall family: Bavendam’s mother is exactly 6 feet and her father and sister are both 6-foot-3-inches. So for the new TV star - who grew up in Germany and moved to Manhattan in 2011 - participating in “My Giant Life” was just a way to harness the attention she’s drawn her whole life.
“I get approached so much and my picture is floating around on fetish Web sites; I already feel like a public person,” she says. “I might as well have some fun with it... because my life already feels like I’m part of a show. People [on the street] feel entitled to talk to me and ask for my life story.” Graciously, Bavendam views the spotlight as more amusing than annoying.
“I find it fascinating that people are fascinated with my height.”