took to world record-breaking in
2004 after being inspired by a record-setting rally
driver in Kenya. What began as a hobby soon escalated
into an active publicity pursuit. Today, he promotes the
work of social and environmental causes. For these
purposes, the most fitting game plans are chosen; then
world titles are attempted and frequently created.
Wall Street Journal:
Shaking On It in Times Square
If you would like regular exposure from Alastair's activities, become his Sustaining Sponsor:
- A range of attempts annually
- Your brand in multiple media
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- Receive product endorsements
Behind every world record attempt is the expertise of professionals in their field.
Their success underpins Alastair's.
|They are listed here|
Most rhinestones on the body (shared): 31,680
This is the story behind our Guinness World Record™ for the Most rhinestones on the body.
If ever I'd had a rigorous experience, this is
it! More than 40 hours of treatment, an expert working tirelessly as if
for a world-class show, and the glistening result all made for one
mother of an ordeal. Never before – and never since – have I come
across any person to have exposed their skin to more rhinestones than
most of us see in a lifetime. Sure, I know such folks exist; I just
wonder where they are. When I'm an old man, I bet I'll remember this.
I'm wondering what to write now. That's how I
felt when planning this world record. Every step of the way involved
critical decisions, and each of those choices impacted on the next and
the next. I had no idea what the most effective route to success would
be, so I sought professional advice. I found the very person I needed
in a long-experienced body artist. This woman had designed, made,
painted and managed items that would make one think her handiwork was
from a perfect world. I was so impressed at first seeing her work,
there was nothing to say or do but stare at her. We'd work together and
I was completely obliging.
It was decided early on that I was not to wear a
flesh-coloured body suit, over which to lay the rhinestones. Instead,
an artist who had been working on some of the most famous films made in
New Zealand came round – with her electric shaver. I'd never met this
young woman before but I stripped to the underwear I wore just for that
occasion. After being turned, asked to squat and raise my limbs, and
after plenty of nips from the machine, I felt new. All my arm, wrist,
hand, chest, nipple, shoulder, stomach, neck, back, flank, groin, upper
buttocks, leg and foot hair had been shaven. I didn't actually know I
was so hairy, I will admit. Now, she smiled, I had been prepared for
work. I grinned.
This took place within two days of the actual
world record attempt starting. Between my meeting the body artist and
then, it seemed an era had passed. I was allocated a helper who, with
great energy, spent weeks travelling tens of kilometres of city roads
raising support. I had researched the health effects of litres of glue
being used around my body. I'd had to investigate the associated fire
risks. We needed a premises where we could work around the clock, which
my helper arranged after a lot of negotiating and searching for a place
with suitable lighting, constant access with security guards, parking
and more. I would also need medical staff on call, witnesses to rotate
every so often on set duty rosters 24 hours a day, and people to take
photos and control the video. I needed guidance and help arranging what
seemed like a book of paperwork, then I needed to sort out times that I
could be out of action.
There was media to plan for, plus all the charity
dealings associated, and the extensive management needed to fulfil the
world record rules. The body artist had to think up a pattern for
applying the jewels, there was practising to see to, and everybody
involved needed to make sure their time off would not impact them
long-term. My list was longer than my arm at one stage. But,
thankfully, I survived it. I had no choice, because things were only
Almost completely shaven, and feeling rather
feminine because of it, I had to wear a g-string for the first time in
my life. This was the body artist's instruction, because it fitted in
with her grand plan. Do you think we could find g-strings that were
flesh-coloured? It was as if the country had run out. We searched
endlessly, and just hours before the attempt was due to start, I
slipped into my attire. No, not one pair – for g-strings were all I'd
be wearing, but four pairs. Too bad that I was cold. The glue would be
even cooler as it was wiped on my skin the way one paints a canvas.
Once I had gone through some admin, I lay on the
purpose-sourced massaging table. It had been placed in a large glass
display window along a trendy street in a busy central city location. I
wasn't the only world record contender, in fact. A young model wished
to take part so it was agreed that a second body artist would work on
her while I was being adorned alongside. I heard the plan was for media
to run stories on her. However, the event hadn't been going long and
the young model quit.
special glue smeared across my upper
chest, the body artist picked her way through tiny bowls of coloured
rhinestones, searching for what would make her art beautiful. Each of
these stones had been counted, by the way, which was a world record
claim requirement. You can imagine how careful we were not to lose one
if it meant the attempt could then fail. As I lay there in silence,
hearing only the body artist's tools scratching through the stones, I
felt so relaxed – not bothered that I was on show to the public with my
groin facing them.
The body artist worked like a slave. Decide,
pick, stick, check, neaten up, apply more glue, decide... I respect
this lady for the stamina she showed non-stop during this repetitive
application process. I could feel each rhinestone being applied and
moved carefully into place. Its surprising how sensitive the skin on
one's upper chest is when someone's putting body art on it. It tickled,
but I knew I couldn't move. Every few hours, I thought I could feel the
patterns developing as they swirled this way and that across my skin.
Then I'd look up and yes, there were beautiful patterns, but they
weren't as I was imagining them.
When I needed to empty my bladder, things got
interesting. I was not in need of another type of toilet visit since
part of my preparations had been to eat no solid food for some time
before the event began. As the body artist worked painstakingly, bent
over me, others were passing me liquid which had then expired its
welcome in my body. The glue hadn't set yet, and we were all worried
that if one area of skin touched another, I'd become glued to myself.
The artwork could be pulled out of shape. Or worse, the rhinestones
could get glue on their upper surfaces in which case we would find it
very difficult to work with them. The others were cautioning me with
every limb movement I made as I changed position from horizontal to
vertical. Next, it was time for action. Have you ever seen a dog doing
the three-legged dirty? Then you'd know precisely what I looked like –
except that I was also part-covered in shining stones that alerted
anyone and everyone to my presence with every move I made.
Night soon fell. Shoppers and passers-by
vanished, street lights came on and human night life emerged. I was
once again on the massaging bed, lying unnaturally flat on my back. How
uncomfortable, but I could do this for as many days as the body artist
needed so I could get that world record. Everybody involved was putting
in a lot of effort. There was no way we would be happy for this event
to fail. The body artist energetically continued. And she continued.
And she kept going, right through the night.
When morning arrived, others may have had a good
break from the day before. But not us. I was still lying in the same
position, the witnesses on duty were still sitting quietly, and the
body artist was still hunched over my chest. This was going to be a
long event, and we all knew it. Then, much to our surprise, the owner
of the shop we were currently in decided we had to get out. Right then!
We tried to explain the difficulties this would cause, but to no avail.
So off the entire team moved, me in the most unprepared state: coated
in glue, partially patterned, tired, hungry, cold, and worried about
the world record attempt failing. My helper wrapped me in a sheet to
contain any rhinestones which fell, and we left.
In a spare room at the charity premises, we
unloaded every item we'd brought over with care. When I gently
unwrapped myself with help, fewer than a dozen rhinestones had fallen.
These were cleaned and stuck onto me again and I had to complete the
associated admin. The patterns on me were beginning to take shape and
they looked smart. Contrasting colours. Bold curves. Intertwining
designs. I liked them! But there was no time for me to stand admiring
myself in a mirror. I was told to get back where I belonged: on the
mobile bed and on my back.
The predictable process continued for what seemed
like eternity: rhinestone after rhinestone being placed on my skin.
When I next needed to prevent my bladder from bursting, I made sure
with the body artist it was fine for me to sit up. She helped pull me
up because the crust of glue and jewels from my neck to my navel was a
limitation. It didn't work – I was glued to the bed! We had a brief
chuckle. But I needed to get to the bathroom. Using hands and
implements, others freed me from the surface and I was able to stand.
The artist had applied a lot more of the stones by this time, and my
groin was almost covered. This, I was to discover, would all but
prevent me from urinating until the event was over. That meant I'd be
forced to stop drinking and perhaps I'd not survive.
Yes, these thoughts crossed my mind fleetingly.
But by the time I had waddled to the bathroom, bow-legged, I realised
it wasn't that bad; it was worse. The glue on one upper thigh was
rubbing off on the opposite. The rhinestones had skewed out of
position. My g-strings were now smeared in glue which made it even more
tricky to waddle, crab-walk or whatever else I tried. My mind couldn't
spend too long focused on the artwork, however – there was far more
urgent business to attend to.
I clutched the toilet door to open it. Sure, it
opened, but I had also stuck myself to it. Stupid door! I withdrew my
hand and it peeled loose with a bubbling noise. Do you then think I
raised the toilet seat? No. Flinging one leg far out to the left, I
made the necessary move, while making sure I didn't slip the other way.
Oops. Things got stuck; and I wished my thigh hadn't been coated in
glue. By fiddling a little, I solved that problem. But, as you can
imagine, now the same problematic item was stuck to my hand! Too bad. I
emptied my bladder.
When I returned, the ladies asked why I took so
long. I didn't comment. Up I went, onto the bed once again and the
artwork continued, beginning with repairs to my groin artwork. If
anything was taking long, it was the entire world record attempt. By
the time we finished it, the body artist had not slept properly for
almost two full days and nights. To compensate, everyone was being
patient, positive and encouraging. At long last, I could see the event
was drawing to a close. My legs had been covered, and so had part of my
face. I thought this woman's art was exquisite. Then she proved it by
explaining how many international awards she'd won for her efforts. I
would have believed the artist no matter how many awards she claimed to
What a pleasure it was to see the artist get
through the last of the little rhinestones. It was time to get the
admin over with. I was eager to get this done as soon as possible,
since getting clean was my first priority. The team all left the
premises in relief, once we'd taken photos, then removed all the stones
and thanked each other copiously. Freeing me from my shining cage was
very painful. The body artist and her assistants did the job
professionally, but it still had me yelling. Perhaps the high quality
glue had adhered to the hair bases because the mats of glue came off
only by being pulled with noticeable force. I was loaned an available
car. Wrapped in the same sheet, and looking somewhat ghostly, I made my
way to the only shower I knew I'd be allowed into.
At my girlfriend's house, I stripped – for lack
of a better word – off the sheet. She was faced with me looking like a
lunatic. Besides the g-strings and the odd rhinestone which hadn't been
plucked off, all I had stuck to me was lines and blobs of jelly-like
sticky glue. Lots of it, I remember. It was as if I'd been skinned:
slime all over and in a very irregular pattern. In a sense, I had
actually been skinned alive. My beautiful, never-to-be-seen-again plate
of artwork had been stripped off and I was left artless; artless and
It took 11 showers, a small bar of soap, a
kitchen knife, half a container of floor cleaner, a bottle of shampoo
and a hot water tank of shower water to clean me. Never again! My
fingers could not scrape the glue off. The hot water didn't seem to
make any difference. Cold water just made me cold and the soap may as
well not have been wasted. It took me my first two showers to discover
all this. Very good glue, I must say. So I asked for something to
scratch the glue off with and my girlfriend's hand reappeared with a
butter knife. From below my eyes to the base of my toes, I scraped
until I was numb. My skin went red and the hot water cylinder began to
run lukewarm but I could not afford to stop. How would I sleep like
I decided the knife on its own was too slow so I
used the remainder of the soap. By that time, I'd taken seven showers,
although I was a long way from being clean. The unopened peach-smelling
shampoo bottle was next but with it I made little progress. So I mixed
the last of it with what my moaning to my girlfriend returned next:
kitchen floor cleaner. Right. It seemed I had found the recipe. Shampoo
rubbed into floor cleaning concentrate and applied to the skin, then
scratched at with a blunt knife worked. Blob by blob and lump after
strand of dried glue, I got the stuff off me. It was a big job, and I
had to turn the shower lower so I wouldn't completely empty the water
tank. Even so, the water began to run dry. Thankfully, this was while I
stood under the flow, relaxing just before hopping out. And when I did
eventually get out, I found my girlfriend asleep. I was bright pink all
over, but I was clean at last. I was also ready to sleep for a full
Since then, this world record has been published
in various books. It was chosen as a challenge offered by at least one
TV station, but nobody beat the record set by this body artist and I.
Almost half a decade later, we were beaten and the world record
returned to Europe, which is where the body artist and I took it from.