Why Are People Afraid of Clowns? They Don’t Look Under the Make-Up!

The attraction to disability may be nothing mo...

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by Eric Pudalov, Community Events Coordinator

A topic I frequently joke about among friends is clowns, in particular “evil clowns.”  I don’t remember as to why this has become a running gag among my group of friends, but regardless, I’m aware that many people are afraid of clowns.

Unfortunately, I feel the same is true of people with disabilities: many outsiders see only the “makeup” on the surface, and are afraid to meet the real person.

Fortunately, this isn’t true of everyone, or we wouldn’t have some of the excellent disability support services that exist today.  And remember: not too long ago, most of these individuals would have been locked up in mental institutions or displayed as circus freaks (as sad as it is to admit that).

In a sense, the same concept could be used as a metaphor for racism, or any kind of fear of the unknown.  Have you ever been afraid of someone or something that at first seemed unfamiliar?

So, as funny (or creepy) as it may be to joke about the “evil clown” concept, I encourage others to look past outside differences, as much as possible, and find some inner connection.

We can manage that, right?


About gcsscommunity

My name is Eric Pudalov, and I work as Community Events Coordinator with Georgia Community Support and Solutions, whose mission is to provide creative, life-enriching solutions to people with developmental disabilities and their families. I became interested in this field, however, due to having a disability myself; namely, I had brain surgery in 1996 at age 14, to remove a benign tumor. Following this, I had many difficulties with short-term memory, loss of strength, confusion, and emotional control. Fortunately, at present, I've recovered much of what I'd lost. Despite some setbacks, I graduated high school with honors, and received an academic scholarship to Adelphi Univ., where I earned a BA in Communications. Since then, I've held a number of different jobs and internships, among them a TA position at Sylvan Learning Center, and work as a "Service Leader" with Hands on Atlanta. Since living in GA, I've also been involved with two programs (including GCSS) that serve people with disabilities. My experience has included sharing apartments with adults with autism and other disorders. Though my so-called "limitations" may differ from those of others in the program, these experiences have helped me to realize that people, overall, are capable of much more than we may at first perceive. Search Engine Submission - AddMe
This entry was posted in Appearances, Autism, Criticisms, Disabilities and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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