Salma Hayek and the snake. I have never seen anyone this terrified

Hell, I’m so snake-phobic I can’t even look at pictures* of snakes. (Seriously, if I want to read an article about snakes, I’ll go into the settings on Firefox and turn off the images) There was no way I was watching that video. So for some of us, it’s EXTREME. I can look at cute, cartoon snakes (think Sir Hiss in the Disney Robin Hood movie), but other than that, no fucking way.

*My cousin used to looove chasing me with National Geographics when we were kids.

The snake doesn’t appear in the video, so far as I can tell.

Snakes don’t bother me much, either (I’ve petted them on occasion - they feel kinda neat). Bugs don’t bother me; I play with the worms in my yard every day. Spiders, however, can all FOAD. I don’t mean to hate them; I know they’re good, useful arachnids, but if I never see another one as long as I live, I’m good with that.

I learned recently that my mom actually isn’t bothered at all by spiders, but at least one of my sisters is.

What kind of snake was it?

I wish Salma would march on me. She has the most beautiful feet I’ve ever seen on a (legitimate) actress. :wink:

Poor woman. My mother is also extremely phobic of snakes and would have reacted exactly that same way. She won’t even look at a picture of a snake; or go into the reptile house at a zoo; or watch a snake on tv. Once, when we were hiking in he desert, we saw a snake and my mom (who is a wonderful, loving mom) almost knocked my little sister off a cliff getting away from the thing. With that type of fear, instinct just takes over.

As for the snake-dance scene – I wonder if Hayak is more frightened of smaller snakes? While I doubt my mother could ever be convinced to touch a python, she is less afraid of bigger snakes than smaller ones. She says the bigger a snake is, the less it looks like a snake and the more it looks like a monster… and she isn’t phobic of monsters.

Poor Hayak. I think this just ruined that scene in “From Dusk Till Dawn” for me - I mean, I’d known she was scared of snakes, but good grief. I’ve been that scared before - that sort of all-consuming, SOMEBODY HELP ME panic - and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

I think Bello was almost as panicked as Hayek and her smile was an indication of anxiety. There was one moment of Bello speaking that was censored.

Huh. I guess I’m the only one who rolled my eyes and thought Hayek looked ridiculous. My phobia is puke, but I guess for the most part I’ve learned to deal with it . . . a friend puked in my car a few weeks ago and I just held my breath and kept driving until we could clean it up.

I hesitate to say this . . . but I think the general reaction around here would be different if she wasn’t a super hot actress. I mean, come on, a fear of snakes is one thing, but then to just jump on Maya Rudolph like that? And to need Bello to hold you in place from the back? That’s not cool.

Definitely not cool. That should be me holding her in place from the back.

It was a small boa constrictor, I think - it was in our biology room in high school. They have a very strange texture - very smooth and leathery, and very bony underneath. Well, that one did, anyway.

You don’t really have a phobia. Holding your breath would have been the last thing you could have done with a true phobic response. You may have at one time had a phobia and worked through it, but you do not have one now.

A phobia us not just a fear. It’s a mental illness. When you go through a phobic response, the logical part of your brain shuts off. You just have a sudden overwhelming feeling of needing to escape. Nothing else matters. It takes a lot of work to train your mind around that.

And, no, just because you may have had a panic attack before doesn’t mean you have a clue about what a phobic response feels like. It’s ten times worse, and the normal coping techniques don’t work.

Yes, Ms. Hayek should get herself to a professional, and get over this. But it’s not like the majority of the population ever does it. How cool the reaction is has nothing to do with it.

And begrudging someone for a mental illness is a lot more uncool. I actually consider it the next great prejudice we’re going to have to attack as a society.

She did look ridiculous, but what do you want us to do, berate her for it? I have sympathy for her precisely because it is embarrassing to look so ridiculous.

I agree with BigT. I do not have any true phobias (that I know of). I get creeped out by big spiders, but I don’t have a paralyzing fear of them. While kind of amusing (since no one was hurt) Salma’s response in this situation was beyond her control and not something to roll one’s eyes at. I knew a guy once–big, manly, muscle-bound–and a group of us went hiking. We got up to the peak of a mountain–it was a flat area about the size of a house, with a sheer drop-off on one side. The big guy crouched down in the very center and started panicking when the rest of us would wander anywhere near the edge–he was actually shouting at us to get back. He started hyperventilating and basically shutting down and we had to talk him into moving so we could climb back down. He was okay after that-- embarrassed maybe–but his response was definitely not theatrics.

How do we know it’s a “true phobia,” though, and not just an “ick, snake,” reaction? By the extent of her hysterics? By the nature of her hysterics?

I’m genuinely asking; I don’t quite know what differentiates a “true phobia” and a simple irrational fear.

They were right there in the video.

Look at Maya Rudolph. That’s “Oh look, a snake.”

Look at the interviewer. That’s “Ick, snake, I think I’ll move.”

Look at Maria Bello. That’s “Oh shit! Snake!!” That’s “irrational” fear.

Look at Salma Hayek. That’s true phobia.

I’ve done both academic research on this subject and have directly experienced prolonged exposure therapy, so I feel the need to gently correct you here.

Exposure is not a myth at all; it’s a clinically proven behavioral principle spanning nearly a century of hard scientific research. If it doesn’t work there’s usually a specific reason. For example, if someone is exposed repeatedly to the feared stimulus, but the anxiety has not decreased by the time the stimulus is removed, the fear will only be reinforced. Another reason the exposure principle might fail is safety behavior – someone performs some superstitious act believed to protect from the anxiety-provoking stimulus. OCD is a classic case of safety behaviors run amok. Finally, there may be some cognitive distortion at work preventing Ms. Hyek from truly acclimating to the feared stimulus.

This is obviously not a controlled therapeutic environment so it’s hard to say exactly why the fear has not diminished, but the idea that exposure is a myth is patently false. It is one of the most well-documented behavioral psychology phenomenon we have, and under the guidance of a trained professional, is one of the absolute best treatments available for OCD, general phobia, social anxiety, PTSD and panic disorder.

I never realized it before, but look at her eyes. She is absolutely fucking terrified.

Climbing a folding camp chair in four inch stilettos - phobia. :slight_smile:

Well, what y’all say makes sense. In that case, my comments were unfair and I retract the eye roll. And it is unfortunate that it was caught on tape, particularly for someone who otherwise seems as poised and glossed as Salma Hayek. Doing that dancing scene must have been sheer torture for her. Why make her do it?