MARIA ORTIZ: These are my nails and it’s not bothering me. Why should it bother you? MARIA ORTIZ: Long nails are sexy, of course, look at me! MARIA ORTIZ: Your nails are looking great, everybody. MARIA ORTIZ: Welcome to the Long Nail Goddesses, for the new ones. MARIA ORTIZ: My name is Maria and I am a Long Nail Goddess. I started doing long nails over
fifteen years ago. MARIA ORTIZ: I started growing my nail because of my clients. I see how happy they was and
I was like, you know I see them all the time. I was like I want to try it myself. And I
tried it and I have been growing them since. WOMAN: I went to scratch my head and this nail broke in two spots at the same time.
You know what? Maria is the best. I know if I break one, she can fix it. She is definitely
the best. WOMAN: I am from Kenya. WOMAN: I just started coming to Maria in November. She just always kept saying, ‘You need to
come see my lady.’ You need to come see my lady.’ And one day I just was like, ‘Okay!’ She came and she said, ‘Welcome to the Long Nail Goddesses.’ MARIA ORTIZ: We are not aiming for a group with the longest nails. It’s just a small
community and it’s a sisterhood. Some girls like short nails, some girls like the real
nails, some girls like their artificial nails – it’s no competition. It’s different categories
to each and one of them. LA RUE DRUMMON: You know, we said we have functions and we talk, we are like one, you
know, and the world is against us. They don’t understand. We understand each other. VANESSA SCOTT: Is it an obsession? Yes! I break this nail, I will probably cry. I will cry. INTERVIEWER: How much do you think you have spent on your nails? VANESSA SCOTT: I can’t even give you a figure. If I come every two weeks, that’s
a $100. Okay! So, multiply a $100 for twelve months. But I spend a good piece. INTERVIEWER: I mean that’s like? VANESSA SCOTT: That’s a mortgage. MARIA ORTIZ: The longest nails I have done, it’s 19 inches, my client, La Rue Drummon. This long. Long, long. Yeah! That takes me approximately six to seven hours. LA RUE DRUMMON: Well, I started growing them at the age of 13. It’s been well over thirty,
forty years, probably more. I won’t tell you my age. MARIA ORTIZ: It is a fetish thing for some people. And those fetish guys, they love them.
They love from them drumming of the nails to, just me holding a cigar or a pen, playing with something, anything. I am pretty sure we all do, right girls? MARIA ORTIZ: Long nails have affected my love life a bit because there are some guys that
don’t like it. But it comes with me, it comes as part of my personality. So eventually
if you can’t accept me with long nails then I don’t want you. LA RUE DRUMMON: We are like a package deal like, so get used to it. If you don’t like
it, you will learn to or it’s bye-bye. VANESSA SCOTT: How do you clean yourself? How do you cook? How do you drive? How do
you put your clothes on? Do you tie your shoe? Those are the question they ask you. LA RUE DRUMMON: Only one issue is really like tying a shoe. But everything else I have mastered
like, like I am not going to actually tie the shoe, but it just would take a long, a
long time. VANESSA SCOTT: You have to learn how to work with them. It’s just like anything else.
Just learn how to function. MARIA ORTIZ: Rudeness, how people could be sometimes towards that. They don’t even
know you and they want to ask you how do you wipe your heinie’ and stuff like that. Tissue,
with tissue, I am tired of saying ‘with tissue’, with tissue. This is like family
to me you know. When it was rough out there I needed somebody to talk to, one of you was
out there and vice-versa, there is stuff that is so intimate between us that y’all don’t
even share with your partners and that bond I was like, you know I am going to make a
group out of this. We got to get together one day and that’s exactly what I did and
from the beginning, this is exactly where I wanted to be at. You know, the sky’s the
limit but one step at a time. LADY: I was into drug use back in the day and this is what I do in my recovery. Instead
of spending money on drugs, I spend money on getting my nails done. And I pay for myself
and this is what I love to do. VANESSA SCOTT: Until they put me in the ground, I will continue to have long nail. Whoever
doesn’t like them, get at the end of the line, because I am going to keep my long nails. MARIA ORTIZ: We are here to stay whether you like it or not. We are taking over the world
one day at a time. LADIES: Long Nail Goddesses.