Las Vegas woman nails world record - for nails

If Chris Walton ever started biting her nails, she'd probably wear her teeth out: the Las Vegas resident was declared Wednesday to be the woman with the longest nails in the world.

The professional singer with a combined total of nearly 20 feet (six meters) of nails celebrated in New York after being named in the newly released 2012 edition of the Guinness Book of Records.

Arriving by black stretch limousine, Walton, a flamboyant 45-year-old grandmother with a huge bottle-blonde hairdo, posed for photographs on the steps of the ornate main New York Public Library.

The claws on the famous stone lions flanking the library steps had nothing on her bizarre appendages.

Varnished in gold glitter, Walton's nails stretch and curve from her hands in a tangle resembling something between spaghetti and one of those writhing Hollywood aliens.

The nail on her ring finger is the length of a human arm, her left pinky is the length of a fire hydrant, and it would take only 484 versions of her left thumb nails to stretch all the way up to the top of the Empire State Building.

Stuart Claxton, a spokesman for the Guinness Book of Records, called her a "unique beauty."

Walton, who sings in Vegas and goes by the stage name The Dutchess, has been growing her nails for 18 years. She says she doesn't drink milk or stick to any other nail-friendly diet.

"Candy and a lot of patience," she said was her secret.

Despite the obvious impracticality of having a cat's cradle of keratin dangling from her finger tips, Walton insists that most of life goes on.

She does have a problem getting anything out of a pocket, but she uses her knuckles to text on a mobile phone and adds zippers or buttons to sleeves so that she can put on jackets.

"I don't swim, but it's not the nails that stop me swimming. It's a hair thing," she said.

Walton is not married - she says "I'm in self love" - but she assures that the nails keep men around her interested.

Now that she has the Guinness record, she's ready to think about dusting off the clippers. The only hitch: she'll have to pare the nails back a little bit at a time.

"If I cut them all off I know I will not be able to do anything," she said. "I'm so used to having nails I'd be running into walls and doors."

Claxton said the nails record, and other eye-popping achievements trumpeted in the Guinness Book of Records, had nothing in common with the kind of cruelty depicted in the movie "The Elephant Man," where a deformed man is paraded as a human curiosity.

"The fact that the Dutchess has the longest fingernails is a fact. She's a perfectly normal, rational woman," Claxton said. "We're actually celebrating these people."

English tourist Lynne Hannah, who was walking past the library in central Manhattan, was not enticed to give up her own fake nails after glimpsing the Dutchess.

"She can't be doing much housework. How does she even drive the car? It's something you'd see in a freak show," Hannah, 46, said.

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

    £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

    Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

    Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

    £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

    £18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003
    Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

    Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

    Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

    Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
    Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

    Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

    Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
    New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

    Dinner through the decades

    A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
    Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

    Philippa Perry interview

    The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

    Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

    Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
    Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

    Harry Kane interview

    The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?