In the October issue of O Magazine, Oprah Winfrey makes a surprising confession -- she's afraid of balloons.
And we're not talking about the hot air balloons that take riders up to scary heights. Instead the talk show host is terrified of their smaller cousins, the colorful party balloons that are used to celebrate special occasions.
Oprah thinks that her fear has something to do with gunfire since balloons make similar loud noises when they're popped. According to ET Online, her phobia is so bad that she described her 40th birthday as an "anxiety-filled day" because her staff decided to surprise her on her talk show by filling the audience with balloons. "I walk downstairs, it's a surprise and there are balloons everywhere and everybody is so excited and all I can think is 'This is a room full of balloons!'" she said. "No way around it, just had to walk through them. That became a metaphor for facing all of my fears: 'No way around it, just walk right through it.'"
Balloons aren't Oprah's only phobia -- she once confessed to being afraid of chewing gum because her grandmother used to keep used wads of it in her cabinet. She must really hate it when people pop bubblegum bubbles.
Oprah isn't the only celebrity who is afraid of something that most people would consider fun. Here's a look at a few other celebs with strange phobias:
Disneyland is supposed to be the happiest place on Earth, but this "Twilight" actress used to be terrified of visiting the magical theme park. "I was always afraid of Disneyland," she told MTV in 2009. "Because there was an urban legend that they used to steal the kids and shave their heads. They'd take them out of the parks, and then the park would shut down [in an emergency] to try to find the bald child. I never wanted to be that child!" Luckily, Kristen says that working on the amusement park-themed movie "Adventureland" helped her to conquer her fear.
Johnny has donned a lot of white face makeup in his movies, but don't expect to ever see a round red nose in the middle of his pale mug. According to The Guardian, the actor once said this about his clown phobia: "There always seemed to be a darkness lurking just under the surface, a potential for real evil. I guess I am afraid of them because it's impossible -- thanks to their painted-on smiles -- to distinguish if they are happy or if they're about to bite your face off.'' It sounds like he's spent too much time in Tim Burton's twisted worlds.
According to OK! Magazine, this reality show star can't stand a fun party food that many Americans love. She said this about her feelings about pizza after working at Papa John's: "It's like a phobia now because the smell that was on my hands. I get really grossed out when I think of that pizza because I had to work with the pizza."
During an interview with Interview Magazine, this brunette beauty fessed up to having a fear that actor Hank Azaria might be able to help her with. "I remember as a kid being really scared of the Smurfs," she said. "Because that bad guy, Gargamel, was so terrifying. I was scared of a lot of cartoons. I'm kind of wussy like that." Hopefully her son Aleph isn't a fan of the little blue beings.
So if you're planning on throwing a pizza party at Disneyland featuring a clown that makes balloon Smurfs, you might not want to include any of the stars above on your guest list.
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Oprah Winfrey
- hot air balloons