Friday, January 25, 2008

Fears of a clown

A British think tank finds that kids hate clowns, particularly in hospitals:
"From children's perspectives," the researchers explain, "the babyish feel of hospital décor is something that child patients between seven and 16 tolerated, rather than appreciated." Interestingly, all children disliked the use of clowns in the décor, with even the oldest children seeing them as scary. "Given that children and young people do not find hospitals frightening per se -- and only express fear about those spaces associated with needles and associated procedures -- ­ this finding is somewhat ironic," Dr. Curtis points out.
My theory is that this is part of the mainstreaming of gay culture, as bad drag queens tend to look like clowns. They may be fun when it's late and you've had a few drinks, but they're not exactly comforting under harsh lighting and the looming threat of a tonsillectomy. Clown wallpaper may be especially alarming to young boys, who must contemplate tucking before they're mature enough to handle it. Construction workers, policemen, and American Indians would be far better images for children's ward wallpaper.

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