Coulrophobia is basically referred as the fright of clowns commonly called clown phobia. The public has in the recent past become gradually more conscious of this form of fear and it is quite unclear whether the baby boomers had this type of phobia when clowns emerged in films in the 1970s or the young generation have been used to such kind of horror appearances of clowns. I carried a research to find out how different generations perceived the issue of clowns and people had divergent views towards the issue (Waterfield, n.d.). One of the baby boomers who was aged 47 was enthusiastic about the issue whereby she pointed out that she liked the clown films of 1970s since by then clowns were seen as being safe, gentle, and positive and many people wanted to be associated with such characters. The other interviewee aged 51 said that while he was young he somehow didn’t like clowns that much but clowns of those days had little terrifying makeup on their faces and he found the character entertaining.
The current generation seems to have mixed reactions towards the issue of clowns as many despise the traits portrayed by clowns. An interviewee who was aged 18 seemed to be unsettled with the mention of clown and she actually reported that she was extremely frightened of clowns and she doesn’t even watch films which have clown-like characters in them. The first impression she has when she see clowns is that of maniacs, monsters, and even slashers and this conception is manifested in many people and has actually reshaped the society’s view of clowns. The second interviewee had similar thoughts even though he liked the thrill which is accompanied by clowns’ films but went further to narrate an incident which really touched him. While in an eatery, a clown actor joined us and since several people noticed him they shouted “clown” and a woman who was in the adjacent table cried out that she was afraid of clowns and immediately ran out of the building carrying with her a terrified expression. This clearly shows how the general public is having coulrophobia.
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The sociological research on clowns opened many thoughtful avenues towards the perception of clowns to our society and the impact it probably will bring to the young generation. The society is collectively terrified of clowns and the general explanation behind the matter is the negative experience one gets with a clown at a tender age. The character of clowns is influential for instance in the 1970s a volunteer clown committed murders in Chicago and many theories have been raised on what made John Wayne Gacy commit those crimes and many people propose that the clown alter ego in him may have played a role in influencing him (The Painted Face of Evil, 2011).
The young generation is prone to suffering from coulrophobia and this phenomenon is due to the emergence of technology which has enabled the production companies come up with terrifying theatrics of motion pictures. Many older generations developed the fear of clowns after viewing the Steven King’s horror film “It” which pictured a brutal monster in the form of a clown and therefore the media has played a major role in creating clown phobia in the society. The media through creating these murderous mean looking clowns has implanted a negative image of clowns in the general public which will probably haunt them for a long time. Nevertheless, the fear of clowns is not entirely caused by real clowns and the people affected by this kind of phobia ought to be respected and therefore they should not be debated or teased because of their fear since their fear is real and furthermore they are our fellow humans.
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