No Clowning Around

By Chloe M. Brown

There is no lack of coverage on the fact that there are “killer clowns” around the U.S. that are terrifying people this spooky season.  However, what about the real clowns?

Courtesy Photo from Flickr
Courtesy Photo from Flickr

Juan Santos, or his clown name Chimbi, is a clown in San Antonio at the SA Fantasy Face agency.  He discuss the recent “killer clown” incidents and their effect on the clown community. Santos states, “Sadly, I began to change how I dress, and how I present myself at parties. I feel I have to give up part of who I am in order to not scare kids. There has always been kids who are scared, but never at this rate.”

It’s troubling for a clown, because more people are afraid now more than ever. It’s affected how children perceive clowns and social media doesn’t help. Social media has skewed the perception of what a clown is, and gives no basis on the true profession, only highlighting the scary acts of few individuals. Often times Santos is asked “Can you come with just the colorful shirt and red shoes?” Which has prompted him to change his whole wardrobe, and now he has to tell party planners flat out that he’s a clown, he just doesn’t dress as one.

“I can’t take it personally,” Santos states, “Just like every nationality has bad apples, clowns now have bad apples that make the good clowns try harder to prove that not all clowns behave that way or commit such heinous acts.”

The struggle to combat the new image of clowns compared to the actual profession is a challenge in itself, but this is no clowning around matter. The fact is that many clowns are being cancelled for events and the more troubling end of that is many of those events are charitable events. Santos goes on to say that some of the clowns donate their time to visit children hospitals, shelters, and other fundraising events. The clown community wants schools to encourage kids to not accept the clowns they see on social media as real clowns. All they want is that this phase of scary clowns passes.

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