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.

News
US comedian Bill Mahr
people
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Sport
football
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Life and Style
Models – and musicians – on the catwalk in Dior Homme for the men’s 2015/16 fashion show in Paris
fashionAt this season's Paris shows, various labels played with the city boys' favourite
News
i100
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: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

    £15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

    Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

    Ashdown Group: PHP Web Developer / Website Coordinator (PHP, JavaScript)

    £25000 - £28000 per annum + 25 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: PHP Web...

    Recruitment Genius: Estates Projects & Resources Manager

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in London, Manchester, Br...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us