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I'm Feeling??? Ummm...Confused for Halloween

Being part of the non-political Alt-middle, I’m okay with about 50% of political correctness, right or left. I try to take the feelings of people who aren't me, whose experiences don't correspond to me, and treat them as humanely as possible.

Shouldn’t there be one day where people just have fun?

But in a time when many people are fueled by bias, self-interest, and righteous indignation, it’s pretty hard to keep up with the cause du jour or even care. Shouldn’t there be one day where all that goes out the window and people just have fun? Enter stage left: HALLOWEEN.

I do love Halloween, always have. There’s no special skill set or knowledge needed to enjoy Halloween. It’s actually super fun for kids AND adults, at the same time! Just throw on a bad wig and splash some fake blood on a T-shirt, or buy a pre-made costume. Some of us, of course, will take a different route and go all-in. Elaborate makeup, expensive customs, and yes, political messages that are borderline offensive. I admit I have no idea if it is politically correct or incorrect to wear a Trump mask, a Kaepernick wig, dress up as the opposite sex, or wear a dog costume—would a Canine American group find offense if I did?

This 573 Magazine Story is proudly sponsored by the City of Cape Girardeau!

Hopefully clowns are a safe subject.

They say, “Life isn’t perfect, but your makeup can be.” Well, I'm not sure who said that, but I’ll go with it as a lead into this story. For the last year, we have been working with a very talented makeup artist—and she’s very young. We have been using her to do both beauty and theatrical effects make up. Filled with ideas and passion, it’s hard not to love this young woman. So it just seems appropriate that we would let her go wild on a Halloween story.

Meet the ever talented Alyssa Parnell.

My name is Alyssa Marie Parnell. I live and grew up in Jackson. I am a freelance makeup artist and have been since age 15.

I’ve never been too interested in reality. Seems like I focus more on creative ideas and darkish thoughts. I relate more to Wednesday Adams from the Addams Family and Alice from Through the Looking Glass.

I was a complete loner.

It’s this attitude that made me not-so popular in high school. I was a complete loner. I simply just wasn't like the others kids and I really never understood why. Being different made me feel bad and I was an easy target for bullies. When I was in the 7th grade I was picked on all the time about how bad my makeup looked. The other girls were brutal to me and I was embarrassed. After crying and frantically trying to scrub my makeup off in the girl's bathroom, I was forced to get to class with a total mess on my face. When I walked into my class there was an immediate, "WOW MY DAUGHTER DOES MONSTER MAKEUP TOO," from my teacher. I was totally taken aside. At first, I thought she was joking, but when I saw myself in the mirror, I did look like something out of a horror flick.

I was intrigued by what happened in that classroom. I began to study theatrical makeup. After lots of practice, I began to hear good feedback from trusted adults. At 14, I got my first job to have money for makeup and I just grew from then on. Today, I get paid for doing makeup for weddings, parties, photo shoots, film, theater and of course Halloween. The most notable makeup job I’ve had so far was being the main effects makeup artist for the feature film, Interviewing Monsters & Bigfoot with Tom Green and Les Stroud. That was a wild ride!

Wigs, props, balloons, and make up provided by Younghouse Party Central.

Younghouse Party Central in Cape Girardeau is a second generation party supply store. They help with all of your party needs for anniversaries, floats, birthdays, weddings, themed parties, carnivals, and just about any type of decoration imaginable! In stock, you’ll find costumes, wigs, makeup, and accessories year round. This time of year they pull out the big guns—the Halloween Dungeon.

2005 N. Kingshighway St. | (573) 651-5488

Dresses provided by Pastimes Antiques

Pastimes Antiques is a perfect place to find the perfect strange item or dress for your vintage Halloween costume. Located on the corner of Main Street right by the clock in historic downtown Cape Girardeau, the place is huge and loaded with the most interesting antiques and vintage clothes. I have no idea how they find all that stuff! They also hold the annual VintageNOW fashion show fundraiser using clothing from their shop.

45 N Main St | (573) 332-8882


words & pics by t. smugala


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