Minnesota woman, Diana Armstrong, 63 has not cut her nails since she lost her 16-year-old daughter Latisha in 1997. Latisha used to do her mother’s nails but after her death, Armtrong couldn’t make herself cut them out of trauma.
As per reports, Diana Armstrong from Minnesota, USA, has broken the record for the longest fingernails on a pair of hands (female) and the longest fingernails on a pair of hands ever (female).
Longest nails in the world
Armstrong’s longest nails in the world have a combined length of 1,306.58 cm (42 ft 10.4 in) as of 13 March 2022. Her right thumbnail is the longest of all her nails, measuring 138.94 cm (4 ft 6.7 in). By comparison, her shortest nail (her left pinky fingernail) is 109.2 cm (3 ft 7 in) long.
But according to reports, this world record wasn’t planned out by Armstrong, it roots in a tragic incident. When 25 years back she got a panic call from her youngest daughter while she had gone out for groceries she said, “At the store, my baby daughter called me and told me ‘Ma, Tisha won’t wake up.'” Latisha, her 16-year-old daughter had passed away in her sleep due to an asthma attack. Armstrong says, “That was the worst day of my life.”
Armstrong said that she always had longer than average nails and it was her daughter Latisha who took care of them every weekend. She adds, “She did my nails that night before. We was [sic] up all night, so I just couldn’t cut my nails off after that.”
Armstrong didn’t tell her other kids about the reason for not cutting her nails so they kept convincing her to trim them until she revealed one day and they all supported her ever since. She says it has been 22 years since she visited a nail salon as they wouldn’t agree to do her nails.
Rania, another daughter of Diana Armstrong says, “When she told us the back story, it kind of changed my feelings towards it,” she added, “Because just as much as she missed my sister, I missed her too. So, if that’s her way of holding on to her, then I accept.”
Armstrong also shared that she had been battling depression for a decade and her nails helped her remind of her late daughter. She said, “Every time I look at my nails I think of my daughter. I think she’s my guardian angel.”
Armstrong worked as a hairstylist but after the death of her daughter, she became a stay-at-home mom and focussed on growing her nail.
It takes four to five hours to paint all of her nails and she can’t do them herself so Armstrong takes the help of her grandchildren to get them painted. Armstrong’s list of things to do has been restricted due to the length of her nails, she can’t pick things from the ground so uses her feet to grasp items like money bills but an object like a coin cannot be picked up by her. She also had to give up driving.
Longest nails Guinness World Record
When the Guinness World Records team approached her, she thought it was just a joke. Initially, she was scared of any recognition through her nails as she expected people to criticise or judge her harshly. But she grew confident gradually, she said, “I think my nails are pretty. To somebody else, they might not be, but to me, they is [sic].”
When she received the certificate of breaking the record, she said, “I think she [Tisha] would be proud of me because she’s the last one who did my nails.”