Saturday, August 31, 2013

Barberphobia: An irrational fear of haircuts and Barbarians.

I got a haircut today. (In case you care) I realized that I have an irrational fear of barbershops. I looked on the internet to see what the name for the fear of barbershops is. It turns out that there's actually no such thing as a fear of barbershops, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have it. The closest I found was Chaetophobia, which is the fear of hair, and I don’t think I have that. I would coin the phrase “Barberphobia” but the word barber, is derived from the Latin word for beard and the Romans, who originally spoke Latin and were a clean shaven people came up with the word for beard from the word “Barbarian” which means “bearded people.” Ironically, they chose to name them "bearded people" instead of "people who ruined our country by pillaging our cities." They obviously thought the beard was the most prominent trait. So, “barberphobia” would mean the fear of barbarians, and that wouldn’t make sense because I’m pretty sure everybody would be scared of Barbarians. Especially Italian people like me whose DNA is telling them that Barbarians aren’t to be trusted because they toppled the Roman Empire. However, despite the historical inaccuracies of the phrase, let's say "barbarphobia" means fear of barbers.

It's the beards that makes them scary.

My fear of barbershops is probably closest to Aphenphosmphobia, which is another word I looked up on the internet that means the fear of physical contact. And barbers are always touching your head. Then they expect you to talk to them while they touch your head. I find it hard to speak to people when they’re touching my head because I barely touch my own head. I wash my hair in the morning and sometimes I rub my head when I’m thinking and that’s it. And I realize that it must be awkward to touch strangers’ heads all day so this is why they're trying to get to know me. It probably makes them feel better about touching someone's head when they feel they know the person a little. But it still doesn’t help me out because I don’t usually engage in casual conversation while strangers are touching my head.

However, I think the barbershop conversation is very important. Because the barber can make you look like any person he wants you to be. So I think that the barber is trying to see what kind of person you are and then then they give you the haircut to match personality. If you seem depressed, he's going to give you that "Emo" haircut with the stupid bangs over your eyes. Or if you accidentally say something racist, he'll make you a skinheadThis was an actual thought that was in my brain! This is probably where my fear of barbers ultimately comes from. I actually believe that the kind of haircut I receive is based on the barber's perception of what my personality is. I actually found myself thinking, "Don't bring up how much you like Apple because if he likes Windows he'll make you look like Bill Gates out of spite."

So when you see me with my new haircut and I look like a socially awkward neurotic person with barberphobia you'll know the reason why.

No comments: