Have you ever struggled to grow out your fingernails? It’s a common problem and most people try at some point in their life but they either break off or they get nervous and end up chewing them off. Other people, however, find it easy to grow their nails and they may keep them long all of the time.
That is where Elena Shilenkova comes in. She not only keeps her fingernails long, she has the distinction of having the longest fingernails on the planet. Believe it or not, her long nails started as a bet.
One of her friends made a $3000 bet with Elena that she couldn’t grow out her nails any longer than 2 inches. Most people would give it their best try, even if they have had difficulty growing their nails in the past. Elena put her best foot forward, accepted the bet and won the cash.
The thing is, she didn’t stop at 2 inches. She continued to grow them out longer to see how long they could get. As of last year, she qualified for the 2018 Russian book of national records because her nails and grown so long.
She has experienced her problems along the way. In fact, she had to sacrifice a lot of things she enjoyed to keep her nails that long.
“I love playing tennis, but I really can’t run the risk of tripping over and having to break my fall with my hands,” she said. “I also don’t really go abroad anymore because the only thing I like doing on holiday is swimming in the sea. I can’t swim because the risk of snapping a nail is too high.”
She also thinks about her nails constantly. They can be fragile so she has to make sure that she protects them at all times.
“It’s a hard job growing your nails out. It takes a lot of dedication and commitment looking after something that is so fragile,” she said. “I am constantly wary of breaking them and looking after them can be a full-time job.”
Not only does she look after her nails, she even considers them to be her ‘babies’. When you stop to think about it, she really does care for them as much as she would any child.
“Even when I’m sleeping, subconsciously, my mind is worrying about them—that’s why I call them my babies, because I have to take care of them.”
Some people wince when they see her nails but other people love it. Total strangers have come up to her to complement her nails regularly.
“People often come up to me in the street and tell me how pretty they think my nails are,” she said. “They are beautiful because they’re unique. They make me stand out from the crowd and people certainly don’t forget me in a hurry.”