Thoughts (Rant?) on Fursuiting

I don’t know why it is, but I’ve been switching between really wanting to get a fursuit and not minding that I don’t have one. While it is true that the majority of furries don’t own one, they’ve almost always been a huge part of the fandom; they’re the first thing outsiders see and think of when furries get brought up. Anytime someone posts a pic of their fursuit, primarily on social media, it almost always gains the most attention, both good and bad. I’ll be honest, this bothers me a bit.

I understand the amount of work that goes into making a good fursuit, and I respect those who perfected the craft so well that they’re able to make a stable business out of it. Even I’m still timid to try making one of my own, as I’ve never touched a sewing needle nor worked with foam before. I also don’t consider myself the best 3D artist, as this is a craft where you need to think in such a way.

I understand the reasons behind getting a fursuit too. Of course, the obvious one, and why I want to get one, is self-expression and improving self-confidence. Plenty who are generally shy and quiet have shared the immense joy and confidence they get when romping around as their sona. For me…it just wouldn’t feel right if I put myself out there in someone else’s fursuit or a pre-made one. Ricky is a huge part of who I am, and so is Jamie. I know it sounds like I’m being picky. Like I said, my reason for getting a fursuit is to express myself as Ricky; he’s basically me as a person, except a tiger.

Another thing with fursuits is the wide range of outfits you can wear with it. They could range from just a shirt and/or pants, sports gear, swimwear, harnesses, cosplays, even underwear. I’ve seen cleaver outfits, funny outfits, sexy outfits, and awesome outfits furries wear with their fursuits. These just further that self-expression I mentioned earlier. Why do you think we do the same as humans (within reason, of course)? Like the never-ending stream of furry art, this goes to show fursuits can also be an art form.

And yet, this is my biggest gripe: it gets to a point where fursuiting becomes a popularity contest. I’ve seen those I know and know of either gain a mass following of attention (*cough* popufurs *cough*) or make it sound like they wished they got that kind of attention. All because they have a cute fursuit. Granted, some may have started fursuiting for the reasons I mentioned before, as well as other good intentions. And then they get more popular and slowly become hollow. Or they see other fursuiters get popular and become try-hards to be like them. Really? You already own a fursuit, one of the most attention-grabbing things a furry can own, and the most expensive. Grow up!

Because of this, fursuiting tends to shove other parts of the fandom aside.

Art in furry will always be around, and has been around since the beginning of the fandom. By extension, this includes fursuits, as I consider them a form of 3D art.

Performance art will still be prominent as well, because most fursuiters tend to “act” as that character or just act goofy in general, even on stage; same is true for comedy, because who doesn’t love a good comedy act?

Music gets pushed to a grey area. Unless you write and/or perform poppy songs or are a DJ who puts on live sets at furry raves, you won’t exactly get big. Even being popular with this is enhanced if you have a cute enough fursuit to attract the masses.

So what else is left? Oh yeah…the second oldest method of communication to speaking in human history.

Unless you’re in the writing circle of furry, chances are you’ve never heard of the many authors in the fandom, aside from Kyell Gold. You may have seen publisher stands in the Dealer’s Den at cons, or people trying to sell their own, self-pubbed work at cons. You may have stumbled upon some cool or sexy story or poem online, either one-shots or series. But one thing I’ve noticed about most writers in the fandom, the ones I know of and are fairly well-known in this circle, do not own fursuits. I can think of three off the top of my head who own one, and I doubt they wear it often.

Is there some formula I’m missing here? Cute fursuit + x = instant popularity? Shit I better get a fursuit if I want to be noticed! Oh…wait I’m a responsible adult who’d rather be famous for being a damn good writer…shoot! If only I bitch and moan enough to get people to throw money at me, then I’d be set!

Yes, I am envious of those who have a fursuit, and are well-known solely because of that. Because of where I’m at financially, and what my life’s been like in general, I doubt I’d save up enough to get one, if at all. I’ll admit that I’m too stubborn to ask for help, but I also don’t want to sound like a winey bitch who’s incapable of being a responsible adult. As I’ve mentioned in the beginning of this rant, if you want to call it that, I’m not too keen on trying to make my own. Part of it’s fear, and part of it’s my stubbornness. The fact is, I don’t want to be “that guy” who tried to make his own fursuit and utterly failed; I want to boost my self-confidence, not tear it down further. With anything I create and put a lot of time and effort into, be it a story, poem, a drawing, something I photoshopped, or a fursuit (should I make an attempt), I want to be proud of what I made and be confident that it looks good.

Bottom line: I want to express myself further in the real world, beyond the badges and a tail.

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One thought on “Thoughts (Rant?) on Fursuiting

  1. Archantael

    I’m absolutely with you there, and I even HAVE a Fursuit. I’m always torn by the popularity contests with people virtually making their own memes of themselves in suit and wanting to feel a connection with my own character that I can share as passionately with others. My worry would be that what begins in earnest as a ‘here I am’ kind of post turns into a means of self-advertising and the reinforcement to keep sharing for personal assertion becomes greater as more notice is given. I would.much rather have a following for my books than my suit, as much as I love both making and wearing them. I love the confidence I have in suit but I don’t feel like I as a person deserve any more attention than the next person. My books, though, I’d love to scatter to the world and have everyone enjoy them because that’s where I’ve laid the majority of my passion and labours in these last years, and ultimately that’s what I’d like to make a career of.

    But like you said, it’s so hard to get noticed when your primary art form is literary in a fandom that is almost entirely visually based. I can all but guarantee that the main reason my books have sold at all is because of the cover art. So there are times I consider my fursuit to be a secondary marketing mechanism or at least a means of telling people that j exist as a person and an author. But it does become shallow very quickly.

    I would always strive for authenticity in whatever you do, whether it’s having a fursuit to supplement your confidence and freedom of expression or staying in the wings to let your writing speak for itself. Either way, you have every right to celebrate yourself as you are and as you want to be. As long as you’re you, and you’re happy with the direction you are going, the popufurs can star in as many YouTube videos that they like :p

    Like

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