img_1393Kourtney Magnes

Everybody loves balloons. Kids fill the house with them for parties. National conventions fill arenas with them. The brightly-colored, helium-filled playthings are fun for all. Well, maybe not all. Kourtney Magnes is a “globophobe.” She has had a fear of balloons for as long as she can remember. “It started in middle school with that game where you have to sit on the balloon in a chair,” the Vidor senior says. “I got really scared when everyone started playing it, and I refused to play and started hyperventilating.” Kourtney says that it is scariest when the balloons explode. “I guess the prospect of them always being able to pop just gives me really bad anxiety,” she says. The Lamar University accounting major had to face her fear in 2013 when she was crowned Miss Houston. When her name was announced it was accompanied by a balloon drop. “This was a huge deal for me to be able to be around so many balloons — especially with a pointy crown on,” she nervously laughs. However, while it may seem silly, Kourtney says people need to understand that her phobia is very real. “It is an actual, legitimate fear, and people shouldn’t take that lightly or make fun of someone for their fears and phobias.”

Story and photo by Gabbie Smith

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