This is part of a series of articles to combat coulrophobia (the fear of clowns), educate the uninformed public about the consequences of masquerading as “fake clowns”, and defend #REALCLOWNS. CLICK HERE to read the other articles on the “creepy clown” stereotype.
This is my editorial on scary clowns and hate.
Needless to say those of us in the clown community dread the opening of the remake of the movie IT.
Most of us fluctuate from anger to despair, muttering: “Enough already with the ‘Scary Clown’ stuff! Move on!”
I am with you.
But there is a glimmer of hope.
This summer at a parade I actually had a teenage girl stand up for me as a clown with her friend who said: “Ew. I’m afraid of clowns”
She said: “What?! That’s stupid, those creepy clowns are only in the movies. They’re fake clowns. They aren’t real!”
She was very supportive of me standing right in front of her and her friend, and happily her friend came around!
See? There’s hope.
The media are experts at telling us how we should “feel”.
If we buy a certain product we will feel so much better about ourselves etc. If we listen to a certain type of music, wear certain clothes, shop at certain stores, we are cool. If you live in a certain zip code you are either wealthy or poor. If you vote a certain way you are either brilliant or an idiot.
And — of course — if you are a clown you are creepy.
It supports their narrative and their bottom line. Stores have creepy clown merchandise to sell; theaters have movie tickets to sell. You get the idea. As long as there is money to be made they will keep at it, no matter how offended we are at these fake clowns.
And so the media perpetuates this false idea, and people continue to believe it.
So… What can we do? Educate!
Education is the biggest thing we clowns can do.
Educate our public through positive performances, blog posts, Facebook messages.
Do NOT post scary images of fake clowns -– PLEASE be careful before posting links to news articles about the movie, because many media outlets use film stills of the creepy clowns in their news websites (yes, even when the story is a positive one about good clowns.)
Instead, I would love to see you post cute pictures of kids in clown make-up in response. Especially when someone replies with “Clowns are scary!”
I’d show them this picture of my daughter Julia when she was a child and say:
“Seriously?? THIS is what you call scary? Get some therapy!” LOL!
If you have pictures of your kids as clowns or yourself as a kid clown, get them ready now to post online!
Guess what? These scary movies are a big joke. No one is going to win an Oscar from this stuff! Years later these movies will be laughed at like Killer Clowns from Outer Space, The Blob, and Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Look, I know we clowns get angry.
Getting into arguments with trolls on Facebook never works. But staying positive and turning the joke on themselves can only help. Posting really cute pictures of clowns makes it all ridiculous doesn’t it?
Speaking of ridiculous…
I love this article about clowns fighting against neo-Nazis, racism, and hate. It turns the argument into a ridiculous farce! I love it.
Here is my favorite quote if you don’t have time to read the whole article:
“Using humor and irony to undermine white supremacy dates back to the days of the Third Reich, from jokes and cartoons employed by Norwegians against the Nazi occupation to “The Great Dictator” speech by Charlie Chaplin. In recent years, humor has continued to be used as a tactic to undermine Nazi ideology, particularly in the unlikely form of clowns — troupes of brightly-dressed activists who show up to neo-Nazi gatherings and make a public mockery of the messages these groups promote. It puts white supremacists in a dilemma in which their own use of violence will seem unwarranted, and their machismo image is tainted by the comedic performance by their opponent. Humor de-escalates their rallies, turning what could become a violent confrontation into a big joke.”
Link to full article: https://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/nazis-afraid-clowns/
Anger against anger never works.
Laughter is a much better weapon.
Ya know, that’s pretty good advice no matter WHAT the argument is about — not just scary clowns. Don’t fight hate with hate. Try love and laughter instead.
Let’s remember to laugh this Halloween season!
If you get the chance, remind people that 90% of clowns are volunteers working at hospitals, nursing homes, and charity events. They might feel bad for offending such giving folks and it might change their mind. Maybe they’ll think twice about saying nasty stuff and be wiser about confusing fake clowns for real clowns.
On the other hand, if it looks like you’re not making any headway and they are truly adamant in their argument about “ALL clowns are scary or creepy”…well, then go ahead and AGREE WITH THEM. Then tell them you will see them tonight — you will be under their bed! Haha!! At least you’ll get a good laugh at their stunned face. (Warning: before attempting this snarky course of action, use common sense if you are surrounded by young children.)
“REAL CLOWNS ARE…” cards download:
Here is something you can do in the meantime. Think of it as arming yourself to fight the good fight!
Download our sheet of cards that explain what a REAL clown is and is not:
This PDF contains two pages, front and back. There are 12 cards to a page.
You can print them off at home double-sided on cardstock.
Save this photo to your phone or computer, and post it on Facebook and social media with the following text:
- Are friendly people in make-up & costume
- Donate time & resources to charity events
- Visit nursing homes and hospitals
- Make people smile and laugh, brightening a weary world
- Are your friends and family
A CLOWN IS NOT:
- Someone in a scary mask or make-up
- Someone who wants to frighten or harm you
- Someone who disrespects your boundaries
…Those people are misguided creeps.
They scare us too!
And please use the hashtag #REALCLOWNS in your online posts. If we all use the same hashtag, it’s way to band together under a single cause.
The next time you feel the urge to sound off, hand out this card or post it online. It’ll be better than getting angry and posting or saying something you’ll regret.
Thank you for being a REAL clown!
- Make improvements to your performance and be better than before.
- Post photos of your fun clown friends with the hashtag #REALCLOWNS on social media
- Be a part of our letter-writing campaign to keep scary clown masks & costumes out of stores
- Hand out our cards educating people what a REAL CLOWN is (free download)
Mooseburger Clown Arts Education has been running one of the world’s most well-rounded clown schools since 1996. Performers from all over the globe travel to Minnesota each summer for a fun and intensive clown training program. Each aspect of our clown camp is designed to meet your needs and boost your confidence as an entertainer.
Whether you want to join the circus, visit nursing homes, run your own birthday party business, paint faces, or twist balloons, there is something just for you at Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp.
Or call me toll-free to discuss your education and see if Mooseburger is the right fit for you: 800-973-6277
Liked what you saw here? Sign up for a free subscription to Mooseburger Newz by email: