It takes a newborn baby 18 years to grow into adulthood. And it took Chris "The Dutchess" Walton just as long to grow her record-setting fingernails to 19 feet, 9 inches long.
"The hardest thing for me to do is dig in my pockets," the 45-year-old rock singer from Las Vegas says. "Everything else I can do myself -- driving, shopping, cleaning the house ... although when I vacuum, the cord gets tangled in my fingers."
A day before the release of the 2012 Guinness World Records, The Dutchess visited The Huffington Post to talk about her life and celebrate her inclusion in this year's edition -- a celebration of "unique beauty," including fresh pictures of the world's longest tongue, the largest afro, and a "holy man" with 453 piercings.
"I never set out to make it into Guinness," she says. "It just happened."
"One day I stopped cutting my nails. I liked the way they looked. And they just kept growing."
With five kids and three grandchildren, The Dutchess considers herself a very young, very active, hard-rockin' grandma. Her forthcoming single, "Phoenix," off the album "Live And Let Live" drops later this month.
"The nail on the middle finger of her left hand is as long as two Nathan's hot dogs [22 inches]," said Guinness marketing manager Stuart Claxton.
"The average skateboard is about the same size as the thumbnail on her right hand [35 inches]."
The Dutchess had her famous fingers lacquered in glittering gold. She painted them herself, and laughed when asked how many bottles of nail polish she uses in a single session.
"A man wouldn't ask that question," she says. "It depends on the brand, and how it goes on."
Fashion, however, can be a challenge, but "when a girl sees what she wants," she says, "she goes out and gets it."
Jackets need buttons or zippers installed on the sleeves. Tying a shoe is tricky, but not impossible.
As for sports: "I don't swim, but it's not the nails that stop me. It's a hair thing."
Lee Redmond, the last woman to hold the World's Longest Fingernails record, broke hers in an auto accident. Redmond's nails were 34 to 35 inches in length, and collectively were nearly 10 feet longer than her successor, requiring nearly 30 years to grow.
The Utah retiree, now 70, decided to keep her nails short after the accident, telling the AP that she found it easier to do simple things with her hands.
The Dutchess, however, can't imagine clipping, and doesn't even want to think about an accident. When she's in a crowd, she'll count on a friend or family member to walk in front of her so she doesn't get bumped.
"They're kind of like a body part that I've lived with for years," she says. "I don't know what I would do without them. I've adjusted the way I've lived for so long, it would be hard to go back."
And to those women who have trouble growing their nails, The Dutchess says she doesn't have a special diet. As a vegetarian, she doesn't drink milk, nor does she take nutritional supplements.
"I eat a lot of candy, and I have a lot of patience."
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