Button phobia?

EDIT – 10/1/06 – If you have a phobia of buttons don’t click on this link. Apparently it will upset you.

Month of Sofites - April 2005, Front

April’s theme for A Month of Softies is "The Recycled Monster.

Why buttons? I recently returned to work from successful thrift shopping at lunchtime looking for vintage buttons. Excitedly showing my boss the buttons, I wondered why she’d gone quiet and a little strange….I mean, why not be as excited as I was about the scabby looking bunch of buttons that obviously needed a wash? It wasn’t until a few hours later I remembered that she had (and still has slightly) a phobia of buttons. As a child they made her feel ill. Any clothes she wore couldn’t have buttons! Apparently this isn’t as unusual as I thought.

The button phobia ended up driving my MOS design this month. Made from recycled denim jeans, her bottom is from the band of a thrifted felted jumper and the buttons, are all thrifted. The stuffing and thread are new.

Overall I’m pretty happy with her. She looks fairly creepy and sinister I think (well if you had a phobia of buttons), just imagine if you had a button phobia, how would you feel? Now the question is, do I take her to work on Monday to show the boss….whooohaaaarrr

19 thoughts on “Button phobia?

  1. bellablue says:

    WOW! What a cool and creative idea. I love it! I had never before heard of “button phobia”. I just scored a bunch of vintage buttons at a yard sale today and I’m very excited to go through them!!


  2. bellablue says:

    WOW! What a cool and creative idea. I love it! I had never before heard of “button phobia”. I just scored a bunch of vintage buttons at a yard sale today and I’m very excited to go through them!!


  3. sam says:

    I had never heard of button phobia either, but I just read your post after this evening flying from London to Copenhagen where the May issue of the in-flight magazine (Scanorama, SAS) has an article on phobias – one of the most talked about phobias in the article was a phobia of buttons!


  4. Jess says:

    There is a children’s book called Coraline written by Neil Gaiman. In this book Coraline is lured into a a dark and twisted version of her house where her parents are all changed and they have buttons instead of eyes. Her other mother is trying to keep her forever and wants Coraline to replace her eyes with buttons too. Fabulous book but very very creepy.
    This is all just to say that your monster makes me think of the other mother and her black button eyes. Fabulously creepy.


  5. kathreen says:

    this is great (ugly but monsters are supposed to be ugly aren’t they?) I love the concept and love the button phobia story to with it. And regarding another topic – the cat was supposed to be Romana not Ramona (I think someone else suggested that name). 😉 Kath


  6. Kylie Dover says:

    That’s absolutely horrid. I can’t stand – I can’t even say the word – buttons. They are ugly and full of germs and contaminate the material that they come in contact with! Your boss is not alone in her phobia. I own nothing with them on it and refuse to handle my husband’s clothes with them. If I happen to touch one i scrub my hand endlessly. Yuck!!


  7. Jane says:

    While I am all in favour or artistic impression, did you know that if someone writes Button Phobia into Google, your page appears!
    Imagine what it is like for someone like myself, with a button phobia, to suddenly have a web page pop up on the screen with a picture which (to a phobic) is utterly revolting (I don’t mean that as an insult to your art, obviously).
    Perhaps you could put some sort of ‘warning’ on your page or something, or have a link that links to the picture. Many people with phobias search google looking for cures or centres that can help with specific phobias, and it was really no fun to come face to face with the photograph of your work.
    Thanks for your understanding,


  8. bee morris says:

    as poor jane states it is really scary to come across your page on a google search to be confronted by buttons! as riddiculous as it sounds i am petrifed of them and don’t even know why!! they are however disgusting things and it was great to find out that i am not completely alone in my fear. Good luck with the art! Bee


  9. I Crayons says:

    Hi. Since childhood, I’ve had button phobia. I wasn’t sure if I was some sort of nut case or if this phobia was actually common; however, I did some research on the net and it seems I’m not as alone as I thought!! Your boss sounds kind of like me. I went to a Catholic school in first and second grade (which required wearing a uniform w/ buttons). That was the first time I could recall being completely disgusted and freaked out by buttons.
    ….I guess we all have our quirks, hehe.


  10. Rune says:

    I went to a catholic school in first and second grade too, but I’ve had my phobia since I was three 1/2. My parents used to force me to wear buttons. I wouldn’t call it a fear, though. I just feel sick when I look or think about them. You know, the way people feel about bugs. My mom is disgusted by bugs. I know my “fear” is irrational, and so I have always felt to ashamed to speak to people about it.


  11. Jas says:

    I was looking for cure for button phobia and google with the keyword… Unfortunately.. the picture of your work shows up immediately in front of me.. I was really in shock… your work is very creative.. but I really cant look at that pic for than 2 sec…I love your work.. but I hate buttons…


  12. thomas robinson says:

    please please help me i am a fashion design student and we have been set a brief to design a collection for a specific type of person!i design to help peolple and i think a fashion collction for people with button phobias would be excellent! please send me information to my email adress – all help wanted. thank you very much .
    thomaas robinson


  13. Ashley says:

    I’ve had koumpounophobia (yes, it has a name) since as long as I can remember. And when I clicked on the page and found myself looking at a…button monster…I cringed. Eh. I mean, I don’t mean to insult your art, it’s really quite creative. I wouldn’t call it a ‘fear’ as it really is kind of a disgust. I’m not really ‘afraid’ of them, they just disgust me. I just have no idea why though. I can’t look at them without cringing, and I certainly can’t touch them without wiping my hands off, and giving them a thorough wash.
    Other than that, I’m sane though. So I’m not some nutcase.


  14. natalie says:

    I have a phobia of buttons.. looking at the photo up ther made me think ahh! i can just about live with the buttons on my school shirt but i cant look at them. i was just looking around to see if i can find out if it is unusual, i FEEl really uncomfortable talking bout them and gett really embarassed. Love natalie age 16 x


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