What You Probably Missed In IT Chapter Two
When you think clown do you think:
a. A stranger with a big, round, red nose.
b. Those upside-down ice cream cones from Baskin-Robbins.
c. Your friend who keeps texting someone who leaves them on Seen.
The image of the clown with a red nose is a persistent one. It’s as essential to their look as their big shoes, endless scarves and smart cars. And if you’re anything like me, this is a bit more “menacing” than “cute” or “fun.”
The movie IT (the original, cause I am an old) was formative in making me hate and fear clowns. For this reason I have not seen the new ones, but this is good news for you because this article will contain no spoilers. But it will answer the real questions, like why do clowns wear red noses?
The Violent Origins
See, the clown you think of as “clown” is actually an Auguste clown. This is an archetype (or category) of clown who’s dopey, benevolent, and always getting dunked on. He wears big, polka dot clothes which probably hide a snatched waistline. One legend attributes the red nose motif to the original Auguste getting a bloody nose. But most of the articles reporting on this take a sort of skeptical, inquisitive tone about it, so we're not going to assume it's the whole truth.
If you’ve ever done theatre (yeah that's right - theatRE) you know how much those stage lights can hide. This sounds like the confessions of an emo clown, but I mean it: the bright lights drown out everything. That’s why performers have to pile on makeup just to look like themselves. Combine that with the distance from the audience. When your favorite performers are singing and dancing, they have to make every motion bigger. It makes sense that everything would need to be exaggerated so it reads from the circus ring.
Not All Clowns...
Clowns of all kinds have definitely invaded the public consciousness. Consider Juggalos. The fandom of rap duo Insane Clown Posse, they embrace what could only be described as an “abandoned carnival” aesthetic. This means dressing up as freaky clowns. The performers themselves most often appear in black and white surveillance-evading face paint. Instead of a prosthetic they paint their nose tip / nostril area black. The effect is more like a Jack o’ lantern or dog.
If you spend any time on TikTok you know people are getting their clown makeup on fleek. With all this clown representation you have to wonder how the vision of the red round nose persists. Like an emoji, it’s an easy representation of clownery. Whether you’re celebrating Red Nose Day or doing cosplay of The Greatest Showman, find the clown in you.
Life’s A Circus - Don’t Be The Clown
Nose issues like deviated septum are no joke. Here at HALE, we’re developing a discreet product for improved nasal breathing you can wear from day to night. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @wear_hale, and sign up to our mailing list to follow our progress to launch!