By Liv of Live By Surprise
Céstlavie, France has commenced enforcement of a new bylaw which requires a wholesale ban on red clown noses or big shoes worn in public spaces. The stunning move comes after several recent bank robberies in the town by men in red noses and wigs.
Céstlavie’s city council was reportedly split on the ban, which passed by a narrow 7-6 margin. The charge was led by the local mayor, who sources say has had a real “hate-on” for clowns since his fourth birthday party.
The mayor said, “Clown dress which ostensibly presents clown affiliation, when France is currently the target of every Buster and Chuckles with suspenders and a squirting flower lapel, is likely to create risks of disturbances to public order that are necessary to prevent.” (Translated from French)
The law suggests that access to city streets is prohibited “to any person not properly dressed, respectful of morality and drudgery.” Violators will be fined €38 ($42). The ban currently covers a wide array of clown wear (and is being extended daily) including:
- Face paint
- Multicolored wigs
- Shoes over size 13
- Red noses
- White gloves
- Pants which are more than one inch larger than the waist they’re supposed to fit
- Any clothing with stripes or rainbows
- Pocket squares that are any color other than white
- Rubber chickens
The bylaw also places restrictions on all European cars of “small stature.” Such cars are currently not legally allowed to fit more than two people of “normal” size while on town streets. Any person more than 5’8” or exceeding 350 lbs in weight is prohibited from owning, driving in or being a passenger of any of the excluded cars within town limits. European car makers BMW (who makes the Mini Cooper) and Fiat are said to be looking at their legal options, as the cars are designed to fit four people with seat belts.
The Céstlavie bylaw has been challenged by civil liberties organizations and the Collective Against Clownophobia in France (CCIF) as a “new attack on the most basic rights.” But on Saturday the court rejected demands for an immediate injunction to stop enforcement of the ban.
One senior government official said authorities must be cautious and not exacerbate existing tensions. “We have several thousand clowns in France who are mostly moderates or non-practicing. If they feel that it is the only subject in public debate, they won’t feel at home and will be tempted to withdraw to their communities,” the official said, “and nobody wants that.”
About the Author
Liv is the pseudonym for a rocking forty year old working mother of three who remarried after a terrible divorce, had a terrible car accident and almost lost her leg, and yet continues to have a positive attitude. Her work has been featured on ScaryMommy, HuffPost and The Mid, and she’s a contributing writer at DivorcedMoms.com. You can also check out her blog: Live By Surprise.