Whenever I see mayonnaise, I probably turn just as white. I would rather eat live insects than go near a jar of Hellmann’s mayonnaise. There’s something about mayo’s slimy, gooey texture that makes it not right. People think I’m absolutely nuts when I tell them I’m scared of a harmless condiment.
Why are people so scared of mayo?
The psychological understanding of mayophobia is tied to evolution. Evolutionarily, humans are built to reject things that remind them of illness. We don’t like things that are slimy or sticky because they remind us of spoiled and rotten foods. This also applies to slimy body fluids like mucus, boogers, and spit which all carry disease. The texture of these gross body substances is very similar to mayo and freaks us out.
Is it possible to get over mayophobia?
Lately, TV shows have brought mayophobia to light and have tried to treat it through therapy. Some methods have worked and some haven’t.
In “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” matriarch Mama June sees a hypnotherapist about her mayo fear. The hypnotherapist tries to get to the root of the problem by challenging her to think about when she was first afraid of mayo as a little girl. Unfortunately, this did not work and just made Mama June more grossed out.
On TLC’s “My Food Obsession,” Shiseido, a 25 year-old woman, also terrified of mayo undergoes exposure method therapy. In this treatment, she dips her hand into a big bowl of mayo to help her realize that mayo is harmless. Although frustrated at first, Shiseido claimed that this slowly helped her overcome her fear of mayo.
How do you get over it?
My personal suggestion to get over a fear of mayo would be to make your own mayo. You’ll see that it’s just made with the five simple ingredients: oil, vinegar, eggs, milk, and salt. Nothing to be scared of at all. Lots of people associate mayo with the preservative filled jars stacked on shelves at the supermarket. When you make it at home, it ain’t so bad anymore.
Mayo’s slimy jiggly texture will probably always be unappealing to us mayophobes. However, it’s important to keep an open mind when exploring new foods. One day, maybe you’ll try a food with mayo in it and actually like it.