Friday, January 18, 2008

Clowns

A recent study of 250 children between the ages of four and sixteen found that 100% thought clowns were scary. Duh. Psychologists have a name for the fear of clowns: Coulrophobia. But Coulrophobia is defined as the “exaggerated or abnormal fear of clowns” so that must be something else, because the state of normalcy is to find clowns creepy. They simply are scary.

Some people think Stephen King and his book "It" are to blame, but the truth is that fear of clowns has been around forever. Long before Pennywise, there was Ronald McDonald and Bozo. Sure, you may think that kids love those clowns, but that is not entirely true. Watch a kid being introduced in person to their first clown sometime. They have to be taught not to fear. The natural instinctive reaction is usually unbridled terror.

It’s not hard to understand. Their feet are too big. Their noses and lips are blood red. Their skin is a deathly, pale white. They act strange. They like kids…a lot…maybe too much…maybe…like…to eat them. Sorry, just creeped myself out there.

Say you’re at a birthday party and a clown is sitting off in the corner waiting to go on. Every time you look at it, you catch it staring at you. Quick! Look away! You look back, and it waves at you, offers you a balloon, beckons to you. That’s what clowns do, and it’s really creepy for a kid! Not convinced? Imagine you open your door after dark some night and there’s a clown standing there.

Where exactly did the idea of clowns really come from? What is the socio-cultural root here? Ten to One there are some dark roots in this tradition.

2 comments:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clowns

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your assessment is spot on. Put a clown in a field of corn and I will pass out!

    ReplyDelete

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