LaRueDrummond has not cut her 14in fingernails for eight years – costing more than £10,000 in upkeep!
The mum-of-four started growing her nails out at age 13 as a cure for compulsive nail biting. Now she says her extreme talons are like her babies and she can spend up to 12 hours at a time getting them pampered.
LaRue, 54, shells out hundreds having her nails coloured and adorned with rhinestones. The grandma-of-eight says she attracts attention wherever she goes from people curious about her extreme nails. And while her look is shocking to many, LaRue says she wants to grow them even bigger.
‘People stop me wherever I go and want to ask me about my nails and I’m always happy to talk about them,’ says LaRue. ‘I like to look after them and the money I have spent I could have bought a car with – but this is what I want to spend my money on.
‘The most frequently asked question is how do I go to the bathroom. I tell them, “The same way as you do. If you know of another way, let me know.'”
As a child LaRue used to bite her nails until they bled, but that all changed after a chance encounter. ‘I was 13 and in the supermarket with my mum when I saw a woman with 12in nails,’ she says. ‘I plucked up the courage to speak to her and she told me if you look after your nails, they will look after you. From then on I let my nails grow and became obsessed with pampering them.’
Up until eight years ago LaRue, from New Jersey, USA, kept her nails at a ‘sensible’ 3in, but then decided to grow them as long as possible. A part-time child-minder, she says, ‘I’d always wanted really long nails and it felt that the time was right. The children aren’t scared by my nails – they’re fascinated. I know their parents because they’re all family friends but I’m always extra careful not to scratch them.’
And since reaching a whopping 14in, LaRue has worked out new ways of working with her hands. ‘I just have to learn new ways to do things. For example, when I’m using my phone I push the buttons with my knuckles. But there’s not a lot I can’t do myself,’ says LaRue. ‘My daughters sometimes help me with tying my shoelaces or fastening jewellery.
‘There has been the odd breakage over the years, so they’re not all the same length, but that gives them more character. In the future I would like to get to 21in and then see if I can go longer.’
But not everyone is comfortable with LaRue’s unique look. LaRue says, ‘I’ve seen people snigger at my nails. Once a woman wouldn’t even sit next to me as if I had a disease or something. It really hurt my feelings.
‘But it’s who I am so I am not ashamed. If I broke a nail that couldn’t be fixed I’d feel bereaved. My nails are my babies.’