Rebecca Romijn was born in Berkeley, California, the daughter of Elizabeth (née Kuizenga), a Community College teacher of English as a Second Language and textbook author, and Jaap Romijn, a custom furniture maker. Her father is a native of Barneveld, in the Netherlands, and her mother is a third-generation Dutch American who met Romijn's father while staying in the Netherlands on a teen-age exchange program.Romijn's maternal grandfather, Dr. Henry B. Kuizenga, was a Presbyterian minister and seminary professor. Many sources say that she was once nicknamed the "Jolly Blonde Giant" because of her height, but she has admitted to making that up "for a laugh". While studying music (voice) at the University of California, Santa Cruz, she became involved with fashion modeling and eventually moved to Paris for more than two years. She stands 5 feet 11. inches (1.80 m) tall.