The 400-pound Taylor Swift pumpkin can’t hurt you . . . but we can’t guarantee it won’t stick with you. Ohio artist Jeanette Paras is causing a stir online after unveiling a giant pumpkin she painted to look like Taylor Swift at the 2023 Grammys. Although this is her 35th year creating larger-than-life pumpkin masterpieces that resemble celebrities, her rotund “Taylor Swiftkin,” as it’s been nicknamed, is sending the pop star’s fans into a lavender haze. “We have Swifties outside,” Paras tells POPSUGAR. “There’ve been kids outside dancing and singing and everybody’s taking pictures.”
After sourcing the perfect pumpkin to be her canvas, Paras says it took about 11 hours to paint and several days of prep time. She also tracked down enormous re-creations of Swift’s 136-carat Lorraine Schwartz earrings, plus a smaller matching pair for herself. The finishing touches included nine blond wigs to mimic Swift’s bangs, fake ears, midnight blue fabric for the dress, and red paint to copy her signature lipstick. Paras primarily worked out of her garage, covering up the windows in order to evade “pumpkin peeking people.”
“We have Swifties outside.”
As a Swiftie herself, Paras made sure to hide several Easter eggs throughout her viral gourd display, including a sign announcing the “Paras Tour” and a 25-pound pumpkin painted like a football in reference to Swift’s rumored relationship with NFL tight end Travis Kelce. The smaller pumpkin has a logo for the “NPL,” short for National Pumpkin League. “It’s one of my favorite parts of this whole thing. I just think that’s funny,” she says.
Laughter is at the heart of Paras’s mission to “pumpkinize” the world. She remembers people tearing up in her yard at the height of the pandemic because they were happy to have a tradition that felt relatively “normal.” Now, as a two-time breast cancer “thriver,” she hopes her pumpkins will help raise awareness for and encourage people to donate to Ohio State’s Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research.
Once spooky season concludes, Paras intends to hoist her pumpkin up via crane and drop it on top of a pumpkin that says “cancer.” But until that day, she just wants her newfound fans to follow their passions and have a good time. “Figure out what you’d like to do that’s fun and that other people think is fun too and just do it,” Paras says. “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing here, but at least I’m trying.”