Every Christmas when I was a kid my mom would get me the new Guinness Book of World Records. The book from the year 2000 was ~silver~, so yes, very exciting and fancy. The best picture in each edition was always the person with the longest nails. They’d proudly present their curly, long, yellowed-from-age talons as though this was the thing everyone was striving for. The real American dream. And ya know what? Good for them. But even heroes have their limits, and Ayanna Williams, who held the record for longest fingernails on a pair of hands, decided nearly 30 years with these suckers was long enough. So she went to the doctor and got them sawed off. RIP to ten coiled, keratinous souls.
Ayanna won the title in 2017. At the time, her nails measured 18 feet and 10.9 inches. They required two bottles of nail polish to complete a manicure. Before she cut her nails, she actually broke her previous record and said she needed at least three to four bottles of polish. I pity the manicurist who had to tackle Ayanna’s claws. “Shit, Ayanna just drove up! All hands on deck, ladies!”
Ayanna decided to cut her nails because she was sick of having to be super careful all the time. She constantly worried about hurting herself with her nails or breaking them. Ayanna says she has “mixed emotions about my babies going”, but she’s ready for a new life:
“I know I’m going to miss them, but it’s just about that time – it’s time for them to go. I’m just about tired of them so it’s time for them to go.”
“With or without my nails, I will still be the queen. My nails don’t make me, I make my nails!”
Dollar store nail clippers couldn’t cut it, though, so Ayanna went to a dermatology clinic in Fort Worth, Texas to have her nails sawed off with an “electric rotary tool.” You can watch the procedure here:
After the nails were cut, Ayanna said she loved it, and that her knuckles (and probably her butthole) felt instant relief. Her nails were taken to be preserved at the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum in Orlando, Florida. Ayanna says:
“It’s gonna be awesome,” she told Guinness. “It’s going to be like a wax of myself even though it’s just my nails. I can’t wait to see that, for real. I’m going to be grinning from ear to ear. Just really think about it, it’s amazing.”
Here’s the before and after pics of Ayanna:
View this post on Instagram
Although Ayanna was the current record holder for a woman with the longest nails, the all-time record holder was Lee Redmond. Alas, her record-breaking 28-foot beauties broke in a 2009 car accident. Hmmm, where was Ayanna in February 2009? Anywhere near Salt Lake City? If the answer’s “yes”, I think we know who caused that four-car pile-up.