Meet Elena Shilenkova, a Russian blogger with a unique claim to fame: she didn’t cut her nails for over four years.
While many of us struggle with chipped nails or can’t grow them out due to habits like biting, Elena’s nails have reached an impressive length of 12 centimeters.
It’s a feat that sets her apart in a world where long nails are often admired but rarely seen to such an extent.
Elena’s journey began as a challenge from a friend, who bet her a little over $3000 that she couldn’t grow her nails longer than 5 centimeters.
Accepting the challenge, Elena dedicated herself to the task, even giving up sports and travel to protect her growing nails.
She refers to them as her “babies,” a testament to the care and attention she has invested in them.
Within a year, Elena won the bet, but she didn’t stop there.
She continued to let her nails grow, eventually earning a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
It’s a remarkable achievement, considering the level of dedication and patience required to maintain such long nails.
Despite what many might think, Elena leads a relatively normal life, albeit with a few modifications.
She has had to give up swimming and tennis, activities she enjoyed even when she had long nails.
Elena explains the adjustments she’s had to make in her daily life, saying,
“For example, I would say that my way of typing is a little bit different. I just need to constantly control all my movements. I have to think beforehand about all my actions and movements and try to avoid sharp movements and ‘behave’ softly – sharp movements are my enemy.”
People’s reactions to her nails vary greatly.
Some are frightened, others are puzzled, and many are fascinated.
As a YouTube and Instagram sensation, Elena enjoys the attention her nails bring.
“I do like having these long nails because I always get a lot of attention. If a person meets me once he/she would never forget me. My nails are like a personal calling card. People see thousands of faces and are always erased from the memory – but someone with nails like mine would never been forgotten. It’s impossible not to notice me,” she says.
Despite her love for her nails, Elena admits to having vivid nightmares about breaking them.
“I am most worried about breaking the nails in my sleep and I often have nightmares that I wake up with short nails.
The dreams are quite real so I wake up in panic and check closely my nails to make sure they are alright,” she reveals.
Elena’s Instagram and YouTube pages are filled with photos and videos showcasing her daily life with her extraordinary nails.
Her nails have generated an allure and fascination, but she has since cut them and even offered each cut nail for sale.