Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm Calling Bullshit On Your Clown Phobia


It is my personal opinion that about 9 out of 10 people who claim to be afraid of clowns are totally full of shit.

This is just my opinion. Don't quote me your psychology textbook. There's some stuff the shrinks haven't gotten to yet. But one day my theory that 90% of clown phobics are not really phobic will be proven true, along with my theory that owning more than three cats is a sign of mental illness.

I'm sure some people have legitimate coulraphobia. (That's what it's called. Science.) But 9/10ths of you are saying you're afraid of clowns because you want attention for your adorable, quirky phobia.

"I'm afraid of clowns! Isn't that just kind of weird and cool? That I'm afraid of clowns?"

No. No, it's not.

Look, masks are inherently scary. I get it. In fact, "reputable" online knowledge source Wikipedia tells us:
According to a psychology professor at California State University, Northridge, young children are "very reactive to a familiar body type with an unfamiliar face".


Hell, yes, they are. But grown-up people know a clown is a person with makeup on. There is no reason to be afraid of that, and most people aren't. They just like saying they are.

Like I said, masks are creepy. Masks - and I'm counting heavy makeup as a mask - hide something. That's suspicious. But adults are capable of knowing a clown is a clown. You may find them vaguely off-putting, but you are not afraid of them. Stop saying you are.

John Wayne Gacy, I blame you for a lot of this.

Aw, I can't stay mad at you.
John Wayne Gacy is not scary because of his shitty clown makeup. He's scary because he murdered people and hid them in a crawl space.

A lot of people are fake coulraphobics because of the Gacy Effect. They point to extremely - often intentionally - evil-looking clowns (like the photos above, and of course, Pennywise from Stephen King's IT) as reasons to be afraid of clowns. Of course an evil clown is scary. It's scary because clowns are inherently innocent. They're there to fall on their butts and drop shit to make you laugh. When you give them bloody fangs and weird, smeary eyes and a hatchet, of course that's creepy.

Don't point to intentionally creepy clown makeup and say that's why clowns are scary. That's scary because it's meant to be scary, not because it's a clown.

My hetero lifemate, Melodee Lenz, was a clown for Ringling Brothers Circus. This is what she looked like in costume.


How adorable is that shit? Kids loved her. Now she works as a "clown doctor" in a children's hospital. She makes kids with serious and terminal illnesses happy. Virtually all of the children love their clown doctors, but of course some of the nurses and parents like to make comments about how they're "creeped out" by clowns, because that's quirky and adorable.

Whoever you are, you know deep down whether you are honestly afraid of clowns or making it up to seem interesting. Guess what? It's not interesting. It's tired. If you're truly afraid of clowns, you might even keep that a secret. Because it's a dumb thing to be afraid of. Flying? Okay. Planes go really high in the sky and occasionally crash to earth with the fire and the screaming. Snakes? Sure. They have big-ass fangs and sometimes they bite you and poison you and you die.

But clowns are people with makeup on. You're afraid of makeup. That's dumb. Try to get that shit fixed.

And if you're just pretending to be afraid of clowns, stop doing that. It's fucking stupid.

33 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. The truth shall set them free!

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  2. FOR SURE... REPOSTING... plus you put me in a room with two kids slightly "Shy" of a clown, mostly because it's a popular trend to have the "terrifying clowns" so readily available to their little eyes and minds, and I guarantee within 2 minutes, they will never stop talking about how much fun it was to talk and hang out with that clown.... Also don't take this as an unfair advantage, but I also worked with Mel, it's a genuine fad to say your afraid, but in the last 17 years, I've only seen 1 person truly RUN in fear on the look, not me, THE LOOK of a clown.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, well I'm a runner. I don't tell people that I'm terrified of clowns because people get all jokester and giddy intent on finding a way to scare me. I guess I deserve it for getting our snake out knowing a visitor has a fear.

      I didn't tell my husband, when we went to the fair with our son, a clown sat at a picnic table across from where we were walking. Our son took off towards a ride past him, and I dug my nails into my husbands and arms, Eyes closed, dizzy, heart pounding, nausea set in. He asked what was wrong, and said," really the clown?" in a joking way. I said, yes (in shame of the ridiculousness). He told me, ok we're past him. I open my eyes and the clown was right beside me, so I took off. It was embarrassing. I don't know why or if people fake a phobia but mine is not fake.

      I'm scared of 3 things, clowns, spiders, and bridges. The same fear sets in with all 3.

      Delete
    2. Yep, well I'm a runner. I don't tell people that I'm terrified of clowns because people get all jokester and giddy intent on finding a way to scare me. I guess I deserve it for getting our snake out knowing a visitor has a fear.

      I didn't tell my husband, when we went to the fair with our son, a clown sat at a picnic table across from where we were walking. Our son took off towards a ride past him, and I dug my nails into my husbands and arms, Eyes closed, dizzy, heart pounding, nausea set in. He asked what was wrong, and said," really the clown?" in a joking way. I said, yes (in shame of the ridiculousness). He told me, ok we're past him. I open my eyes and the clown was right beside me, so I took off. It was embarrassing. I don't know why or if people fake a phobia but mine is not fake.

      I'm scared of 3 things, clowns, spiders, and bridges. The same fear sets in with all 3.

      Delete
    3. If you take responsibility this is your problem & you are getting Therapy wonderful!

      Delete
  3. Hey!! I own six cats. But yeah I think it is a sign of mental illness. Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. n00b. We have 14 and we're perfectly well adjusted. Except for the (perfectly rational) misanthropy...

      Delete
  4. Yes, yes, yes! . Thank you for saying what a lot of us are thinking!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is amazing and wonderful and glorious and I love you. From someone who gets paid to be a clown, I salute you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. .....unless, a course, ya grew up in Nort-ern WisCANsin in the late 50's. We had da chart-topper aff all clown masks up dere and wasss it scairy fer sure, youbetcha. Fer yer consideration: Ed Gein's Dead Skin Mask:
    http://www.wisconsinsickness.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/edgein_skinmask-300x216.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  7. as an inexplicable lifelong fan of Ed Gein, i just want to say GO ED GEIN!

    oh, wait. what was i doing? er...oh yeah. this post. read it aloud to my husband. it made laugh come out his nose a little bit. consider your job done.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Allow me to add the following wish: that folks would please stop using the term "clowns" to describe politicians...!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for this! As a mother of a clown (another really wonderful, funny and endearing clown who worked at RBBB with Mel) and friend to many clowns and a circus employee, I want to say, HEAR HEAR! I'm so tired of hearing this attention-seeking silliness I could scream!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree you 100%. Simon Cowell sez he's afraid Clowns alone with Johnny Depp who played the Mad Hatter who looked like a Clown!!!

      Delete
  10. Love this! I have a friend who started Clowns Without Borders, South Africa. A truly amazing organization (http://www.cwbsa.org). And being the child of two jugglers, who oftentimes played vaudevillian-style clowns, I appreciate this bit of writing, and have never understood the fear. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well I paint clowns. When I do an art festival and I have my booth setup with clowns... I do see some run or totally avoiding the booth. But then I see 3 times as many who seek it out cause they heard there is a crazy lady who paints clowns and they had to come see for themselves. Little kids love the color so they come running to see all the bright colorful works often with their clown shy parents being dragged over. I think it is a learned trait brought on by TV and the media. Personally I love clowns.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you. Glad someone stands up for those falling down for our amusement. I was born and raised in Ringling Brothers. My first babysitter was a clown. They used to dress me up in sombreros and ponchos, give me an unlit cigar and an empty beer bottle, and pose for pictures. That's not creepy. That's just funny.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yeah! Dat's It! I couldn't have said it better myself.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just joined this group 2 minutes ago & i have to comment on this article. I have never actually met someone who suffers from Coulraphobia but after 25 years of performing 9 out of 10 clowns i have seen & met are SHIT. Thats probaly more of an accurate statistic . Many people without any talent or any funny bones for some reason, as soon as they can work a hand held pump, pump up a balloon and put on 'The Must Have 'Red Nose' ( which somehow , majically makes them funny) call themselves clowns. That's where your problem lie's with 9 out of 10 of the public saying they are scarred of clowns. It should read 9 out of 10 people just can;t handle some dick with a red nose and a balloon invading their personnel space. Personally speaking , i have had a fear of people wearing red noses for over 25 years . As soon as i see one ( unless it's a black & white film) i hold up my hands and walk away. (Yes they have a place in hospitals etc ) but outside in the world , if you have to put on a red nose to be funny, it;s you that has the mental illness. I've seen too many people who have who have real jobs make an arse of themselves with a red nose..
    Before i get hate mail.(.no problem there,) I can hear you..' Why did you join ?'..I clicked to join this group as i saw 2 friends in the wee box of photographs..Funny that the 2 of them don't wear red noses.
    Just to finish off, i haven't even seen the rest of the site yet, as explained, i joined , now 5 mins ago, But i stand by what i have said about 9 out of 10 Prats with a balloon & a red nose are really, real life clowns..Now that is SHIT

    ReplyDelete
  15. But one day my theory that 90% of clown phobics are not really phobic ... iclownmaske.blogspot.de

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 99.9% are not. If I had a clown phobia I would be getting treatment with a psychologist. All these people that claim that phobic are not doing that. They just claim it. No one ever asked them are they getting professional help.

      Delete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I guess people really do fake it, which I don't understand at all. But from a person who will avoid a clown in all personal ways, including nearly being fired for my fear, I can tell you that at least some of your statistic is correct. Some people are simply fearfilled in the presence of a clown. Myself included. I don't care if it's joker from batman, a scary mask, a supposed to be funny one, it scares me. In fact, one of the above commenters has a profile photo of a clown, and I can't tell you a thing about his comment because I had to scroll past. I have an identical reaction when on bridges, especially stopped on them, and around spiders (big, small, poisonous or not).

    I was a waitress in a busy restaurant. My sister's grandma worked there too. I had a table of 4 party clowns come in. They were my table, during lunch rush. I could not wait on my section with them there. I could not do it. I wanted my professionalism to be strong enough, so I tried. As I was carrying a tray of coffee out, I was shaking so bad that coffee cups were rattling And coffee was spilling. My sisters grandma came out and waited on them. She told them She was sorry for the wait. And they asked her if I was scared of them. She told them yes. They offered to get up and move to another section so I could handle my tables, but I gave her My section and I went to work in her place. I feel bad to this day, like I was discriminating against working people. It was not about them at all. It was me. It would be like waiting on 4 giant spiders. I just couldn't.
    The next day, I had 4 men come in and sit in the same spot. They asked if I remembered them. I said no. I took their order, waited on them like I'm supposed to. They told me, it's nice to see me smile. Said they'd definitely come back when they were in town again. I said, where are you from. They told me They were with the circus, and got a balloon out and made a poodle. One said, now do you know. I got red faced and embarrassed because I knew it was my clowns from the previous day. I wasn't scared of these men at all. One said, "we felt horrible that we scared you yesterday, so we drove 45 minutes to come back to show you, we are just regular people." I apologized to them for being rude. I know they weren't anything to be scared of now. I know how ridiculous it is. I know. Fear is an irrational thing most of the time. But truth be told, if they came back dressed as clowns, I don't think I would have been able to separate them from the fear.

    I don't know if others fake it. I don't know why people would think it's funny to fake phobia. Personally, I hate telling people. I go be being able to rely on no one, and I prefer to have control of myself. So for a person like me, fear is something is a lack of control, and I hate it. I read about.it. I try to face it. But it's still there.

    My fear of spiders, I get. Its understandable to a degree. I was bitten by a brown recluse spider at 12, right in the vain in my arm. It seemed fine until the swelling. Then the sore. Then the er Visit for the infection. The skin started turning black and it made me sick. So I suppose my fear began then.

    I never had a run in with a bridge or clown to make me scared, but it's there and it's real.
    I hated those pop-up jack in the box as a kid, so maybe it stems from that? I don't know, I wish I did though.

    My point in commenting, please don't count it out as truth. If someone is faking it, then so be it. But I have to tell you, if even one person you come into contact is and you disregard it as far, then your intention as a clown, has been lost. Don't let the incessant need of a few to be ironic, get in the way of sensitivity for those that could be thrown into a full blown anxiety/panic attack. Panic turns to hyperventilating and I don't think your intentions are to send a person to the hospital or worse. Fear can be dangerous, so even if some fake, err on the side of caution for those who aren't.

    ReplyDelete
  18. 99.9% who claim they have clown aphobia have Munchausen syndrome. You've been describing it but not realizing it. Everyone that reads this can do a favor by exposing this nonsense. Keep in mind people who have pseudo clown phobia AKA Munchausen syndrome may be hard to reach because ego is connected into it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  20. this is exactly how I feel about the Clown bs that is taking place nowadays. Makes me insane how everyone is "afraid of clowns". Thanks for the post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I can't believe this was written in 2013 and you were saying that pretending to be afraid of clowns is "tired" and now it's 2017 and people are STILL doing it! I'm so sick of it! I found this page after googling "why do millenials pretend to be afraid of clowns" after yet another stupid post on facebook. It's beyond tired now. When will it stop? I'm from an older generation, nobody I knew ever talked about clowns, thought about clowns or mentioned clowns at all. It just didn't come up, probably because none of my friends work in a circus. And then one day, there was all this stuff on the internet about how clowns are "terrifying" and it's being going on ever since. It's just nonsense, and it seems such a lame thing to lie about. Thank you so much for your blog post, I loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  23. You are right! This whole thing really isn't about clowns. I know that sounds absurd but it has been fanned by Hollywood, Immature adults, wannabe Dr. Phil Media Shrinks who push junk science. I call it Pseudo Clown o phobia which is a variation of Munchausen syndrome Syndrome. This is a story that has many elements people haven't realized. It's basically to make someone into "the OTHER". The Scary ones are not clowns here. It's amazing how you can smear other's occupations & love in life with impunity. How would you feel if this was done to you? These supposed experts are not! If you have a phobia you don't tell the world about it like its a Badge of Honor. You don't go look at films, books or on the web for photo's of it. I saw Silence of the Lambs & there has been a few deranged Shrinks so now I'm afraid to see one see how this works? They have tried to do that same number on Santa, Magicians, Ventriloquists & Mascots & other Targets. The Web helped this take hold.

    ReplyDelete