10
   

Coulrophobia

 
 
chai2
 
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 04:48 pm
Fear of clowns

You?

Here's a link to an NPR story I listened to on the way home (sorry, the sound won't be linked until 7pm EST, about, oh 10 minutes from now)

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127911469

In Britain, fear of clowns is #3 on the list of phobias, right behind needles, and spiders (not afraid of needles, and am rationally cautious around spiders, in case they are the kind with a poisen bite. Otherwise, live and let live, I say).

I can't say I'm Afraid of clowns, but I certainly don't like them.

Thinking about why, it's mostly that they are wearing a disguise, and you can't see Them, who they really are.

What are they hiding? Why does anyone have to distort their features so much that the person underneath can't be recognized?

Those blue people from Avatar? You could see who were though. Same with people who wear their hair spiked, are tatooed (well most people), who color their hair, or wear edgy clothes.
They are showing who they are, and you can see their expressions.

A clown, IMHO really doesn't look like a person at all.
It could be an evil alien, or the clown from IT, or John Wayne Gacey.

hmmm...a lot of it also has to do with the idea when you see one, you're supposed to feel they are funny, you're sorta obligated to notice them, their antics, and laugh.

I don't even like looking them in the eye, they are deceptive. In any case, I think they look more evil than good.

http://thinningtheherd.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/gacy.jpg
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 04:51 pm
@chai2,
I have the same reactions for the same reasons that you do, Chai; perhaps a little less strong, but essentially the same.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 05:03 pm
@chai2,
I love clowns. One of my favorite childhood memories is of the clown parties BBB put together for our birthdays. This clown would come over with his portable merry-go-round and magic show and there'd be about 50 kids with parents in the cul-de-sac having a good time. I remember playing with the pet rabbits he pulled out of his top hat and the fake guillotine he used to cut carrots and then our fingers, and all the card and coin tricks, and the clown faces his assistant painted on us. More than a few times I've dressed up as a clown for Halloween.


I think the style of their made-up face is what creates the differing impressions of them. That clown you posted would have scared me too as a child.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 05:07 pm
@chai2,
This also brings up masks in general. My x-business partner absolutely hated masks, which I tend to be able to take or leave. Venice (italy) carnival masks, for example, are ok with me, although I am not all gaga for them either; just a cultural phenomenon to me.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 05:12 pm
I also love clowns. I loved Bozo and Clarabelle and Jimmy Stewart (The Greatest Show on Earth). Emmett Kelly was considered by many to be the greatest.
http://www.annotatedmst.com/episodes/monsteragogo/emmett_kelly.jpg
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 05:23 pm
btrfly & edgar, what is it about clowns that you like (specifically).
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 05:23 pm
@edgarblythe,
Add Soupy Sales to that list. He had such an elastic face, he didn't even need clown make up most of the time, but when he wore it, it was hilarious.

http://www.timewarptoys.com/soupysales.jpg

I got to work with him as a kid at Oakland's Fairyland. We were at the peacock exhibit and I was Mary Mary Quite Contrary, handing out the magic keys to the audio storybook kiosks and reciting the Mary Mary story. He was in clown face and making balloon animals to keep the kids entertained while they were waiting in line.

BBB made my costume out of head-to-toe ruffles in red, white and blue and hula hoops. I think I still have a photo online somewhere...just a sec...

Yep!

http://butrfly.net/images/Lynnfairyland1.jpg

0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 05:25 pm
They bring fun and unreality into our lives, the way the early Disney and Warner Brothers cartoons did. It was just a minority of them that tortured Dumbo.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 05:34 pm
@chai2,
Probably the same thing that you don't like about them...their exaggerated facial expression of emotions. When I've put clown face makeup on myself, I have exaggerated my mouth and eyebrows so that when I smiled or make facial expressions they were more pronounced. I've also worn exaggerated bow-ties and clown shoes and colorful clothing.

They're just bigger than life, funny and entertaining. Part of my attraction is probably also the slapstick nature of their comedy. I don't find most modern comics all that funny. Soupy Sales, Red Skelton, Laurel and Hardy, the Three Stooges, Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Jim Carrey -- those are all comics with a slapstick nature to their humor.

http://granitegrok.com/pix/RED2.jpg
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 05:40 pm
@Butrflynet,
Meant to post this one, not the one of Red Skelton's faces. Timed out before I could fix it.

http://www.face-painting-fun.com/images/face-painting-examples-clowns-grimas.jpg
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 06:12 pm
@chai2,
Are you afraid of /don't like ventriloquist dummies, too? Wink
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 06:19 pm
@Reyn,
well, yes actually.

but, I like the people behind it.
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 08:42 pm
@chai2,
Just what happened to you in your childhood? Shocked Laughing
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 09:05 pm
@chai2,
I always hated clowns even as a kid in elementary school. I remember going to a circus back in Massachusetts with my father and my sisters and Bozo the Clown (or the franchisee Bozo that followed this particular circus) was handing out glow sticks and whatever and my sisters and my father tried to encourage me to go up to Bozo and get one of the glow sticks.

I remember feeling a mixture of apprehension about the crowd of kids, and aversion and disdain towards the clown. Cynically thinking about the adage, laughing on the outside and crying on the inside and that all clowns must be high on drugs or something. I think I was 8 or 9 years old at the time.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 09:11 pm
This clown phobia is a lot more common than most are aware of.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 11:23 pm
@chai2,
I am indifferent to clowns.





David
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 11:44 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

This also brings up masks in general. My x-business partner absolutely hated masks, which I tend to be able to take or leave. Venice (italy) carnival masks, for example, are ok with me, although I am not all gaga for them either; just a cultural phenomenon to me.


A adore masks!
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 12:14 am

I shoud wear a mask like Darth Vader. I never liked my face.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 12:16 am

On the other hand, a mask 'd be cumbersome n awkward; better off without it.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 12:26 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:
I always hated clowns even as a kid in elementary school. I remember going to a circus back in Massachusetts with my father and my sisters and Bozo the Clown (or the franchisee Bozo that followed this particular circus) was handing out glow sticks and whatever and my sisters and my father tried to encourage me to go up to Bozo and get one of the glow sticks.

I remember feeling a mixture of apprehension about the crowd of kids, and aversion and disdain towards the clown. Cynically thinking about the adage, laughing on the outside and crying on the inside and that all clowns must be high on drugs or something. I think I was 8 or 9 years old at the time.
Children ofen practice facial distortion, occasionally employing their hands
to further distort their faces, which I suspect is toward the goal of producing a scary image,
of a vague monster. I wonder whether the use of clowns is in furtherance
of this concept of distortion of the paradigmatic human visage.





David
0 Replies
 
 

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