Kanye West and his MAGA hat inspire a giant pumpkin and Halloween costumes

Raechal Shewfelt
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

If this Halloween season were a movie, Kanye West might be the star.

The rapper’s appearance on the Sept. 29 episode of Saturday Night Live, in which he performed while dressed as a bottle of sparkling water and then wearing a Make America Great Again hat worn by supporters of President Trump, as well as his eye-popping visit to Trump in the Oval Office at the White House on Oct. 11, have served as inspiration to those celebrating. And we haven’t even mentioned the boxy look that he wears in the “I Love It” video.

In fact, Jeanette Paras, of Paras Pumpkins in Dublin, Ohio, chose West as the subject of the giant celebrity pumpkin that she creates and displays every year. She begins thinking about it in September, and finishes the pumpkin in time for Halloween. It sits on display outside her home, where people regularly stop to take photos.

Artist Jeanette Paras poses with her PumpYEkin. (Photo: Jeanette Paras via Twitter)
Artist Jeanette Paras poses with her PumpYEkin. (Photo: Jeanette Paras via Twitter)

“I select basically what’s currently the hot topic of conversation and dominating the news,” Paras tells Yahoo Entertainment. “Frankly, Kanye moved up quickly on the list, probably after the visit to the Oval Office.”

Paras, who has created celebrity pumpkins for 30 years, said she based this year’s PumpYEkin, as she likes to call it, on a close-up image of West on SNL. She studied photographs, created sketches, and then spent about seven hours painting. The “Make Pumpkins Great Again” topper was the tricky part, since Paras doesn’t sew a lot.

“The hat just about killed me,” she says.

The pumpkin is huge — 315 lbs.! — and the hat was three-and-a-half times the size of a regular one.

In the past, Paras has “pumpkinized” — her term for turning a celeb into gourd art — West in the past. She picked him in 2009, too, when everyone was talking about his run-in with Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. She’s also created pumpkins based on Trump himself, Kim Jong Un, Hillary Clinton, Britney Spears, and others. She keeps her personal politics under wraps.

“I can’t say what side of the fence I’m on,” Paras says. “I can’t, because I have to stay nonpartisan. That’s part of the appeal of the display, because typically anybody can like it, especially today.”

Judging by the costumes out there, Paras’s choice of a buzzy subject is on target. Various West looks are being imitated for Halloween this year. (They included a South Carolina man who somehow decided to wear blackface as part of his Kanye costume.)

West himself noted a couple of cute kids who dressed up like West and his wife, Kim Kardashian.

Others latched on to another Kanye look.

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