Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Coulrophobia: The Fear of Clowns

Photo courtesy of :Peter Demers

Coulrophobia: The Fear of Clowns

What does this have to do with stilt walkers or stilt walking, well I decided to post a bulletin on my MySpace page Sagealicious about the phobia known as Coulrophobia, so I decided to do some research about this phobia....because from time to time I have been known to portray a "clown". And this is some interesting knowledge I obtained from my research thanks to Cristina Olvera~

Everyone experiences a fear of something at some time in their lives. Fear is natural, but sometimes it becomes irrational and develops into a phobia. A phobia is a strong, persistent fear of situations, objects, activities or persons. The main symptom is an excessive and unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. One particular phobia affects as many as one in seven people. Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns, is clinically known.

Coulrophobia is the official name for the fear of clowns. This condition is one of the most remarked-upon phobias on the Internet. Coulrophobia was coined during the 1990's and is based on the Greek word Koulon or limb. Related derivatives are suggestive of stilts and stilt walking. For example the Greek work Kolobathristes means one who goes on stilts. Clowns are often known to walk on stilts and so this how the relationship developed and the word Coulrophobia was made.

Those who suffer from Coulrophobia, do so, for many reasons. The most fear-inducing aspects of clowns is the heavy make-up that is accompanied by the big red nose and different color hair. These things completely conceal the identity of the wearer. It is also possible that the costume conceals a darker personality. Although clowns are known for being happy and creating a fun atmosphere, Coulrophobes tend to fear who the clown is as a real person.

Another reason for fearing clowns, is the clowns ability to act outside social boundaries. Clowns have been around for thousands of years and they serve an unique role in many societies. In Egypt and China as early as 1800 B.C. Court Jesters were allowed to mock and criticize Kings when no one else was allowed to. They can get in your face and squirt you with water and generally make fun of you without suffering any consequences. It is because of this that some people feel uncomfortable in the presence of a clown.

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