Just in time for Halloween, creepy clown sightings abound all across the country (and even across the pond). With variations of ugly teeth, red noses and exaggerated features - it's no wonder why many people are quite scared of clowns. Yet on a very visceral level, there are other nonverbal reasons we fear them even more.
In large measure, we're creeped-out by clowns because their faces are exaggerated versions of ultimate insincerity. Smiling out-of-context (or anything resembling a partial, mouth smile) is a form of insincerity - and should always raise colossal red flags. A clown's painted on or masked smile is thus a form of what is known as Duping Delight. It screams ulterior motives.
We also fear clowns simply because we can't see their true faces - we can't "read" them. Thus we don't know their emotions or intentions. We fear the worst - much like swimming in the ocean when believe sharks are lurking.
So clowns, to many of us, are diabolical icebergs hiding their true motives and dangers beneath their surfaces. What we can't see scares us far more than what we can see.
Every day insincere expressions are the living masks worn by "regular" people all around us - and yet these feigned feelings frequently go unrecognized.
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