animal costumes associated with furry fandom(a fandomdevoted to anthropomorphic animal characters). They range from simple tails and ears to full costumes cooled by battery-powered fans. Similar to mascotsuits, they allow the wearer to adoptanother personalitywhile in costume. Fursuits can be worn for personal enjoyment, work or charity.
Fursuits are usually sold at conventions, or
onlineby commission or auction. cite web|url=http://pingmag.jp/2007/09/05/cosplay-girl/ |title= The Mysterious World of Cosplay: Love is Everything! |accessdate=2008-04-04 |date=2007-09-05 |publisher=PingMag ] [ cite web|url=http://www.fursuit.info/03plan.htm |title=Planning/Buying/Commissioning the Costume |accessdate=2008-04-04 |date=2005-01-05 |publisher=Fursuit.info ] Due to their delicate nature, they require special handling while washing. Fursuits are comparable to costumed characters and are similar in construction to the mascots and walkaround charactersused by theme parksand stage shows. The concept is also similar to cosplay, despite the latter's focus on Japanese culture.cite news | first=Dave | last=Maass | coauthors= | title=Fluff Piece | date=2007-10-07 | publisher=Santa Fe Reporter | url =http://sfreporter.com/articles/publish/cover-101007-fluff-piece.php | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2008-04-03 | language = ]
The term "fursuit", believed to be coined in 1993 by Robert King,cite book | last = Riggs | first = Adam | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Critter Costuming | publisher = Ibexa Press | date = 2004 | location = | pages = 13 | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 978-0967817071 ] can also refer to animal mascot costumes in general, as opposed to
humanor inanimateobject mascots. Fursuits have also been featured in visual mediums as backdrops or as part of a central theme.
Types of fursuit
The standard fursuit is a full body costume that consists of a head, forepaws (hands), hindpaws (feet) and a body with an attached
tail. In some cases, the tail is connected via a belt to the wearer and hangs out through a hole in the back of the body.Cite web|url=http://www.geocities.com/pilotwolf143/furry_text.htm|title=Furry text|accessdate=2007-11-03|publisher=Shadow Wulf's Alphas|year=2000] Many suits include special padding or undersuits to give the character its desired shape (this is especially present in larger characters or those of a particular gender). Owners can spend less than one-hundred to many thousands of dollars on one fursuit, depending on complexity and materialsused. [cite news|url=http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/9383594/detail.html|title='Furries' Descend On Golden Triangle|publisher= WTAE-TV|date= June 16, 2006|accessdate=2006-06-30] Furry fans make their own using online tutorials or advice from newsgroups; the suits can also be purchased online or at conventions. [ cite web|url=http://www.fursuit.info/03plan.htm |title=Planning/Buying/Commissioning the Costume |accessdate=2008-04-04 |date=2005-01-05 |publisher=Fursuit.info ]
A partial suit or half-suit has all of the parts of the standard suit, with exception to the body. This allows the wearer to have different clothes over the paws, head and tail, such as another costume or street clothes. In partial suits, the tail is usually attached to a belt, and the arms and legs have sleeves that can go up as far as the
shoulders and pelvis, respectively.
Most recently, a third type known as the three-quarter suit has been developed, which consists of a head, arms and pants made to look like the legs, tail and feet of a specific animal. This type of fursuit works well for characters who only wear shirts. [cite book|last=Riggs|first=Adam|year=2004|title=|publisher=Ibexa Press|isbn=0967817072]
Reasons for fursuiting
Not everyone in furry fandom owns a fursuit. In an Internet survey of 600 participants, the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Davis found out that 18% of respondents own a fursuit. [cite web|url=http://studyf3.livejournal.com/1383.html|title=Furry Survey Results|author=University of California, Davis Department of Psychology|date=2007-05-05|accessdate=2007-05-05]
Furries enjoy wearing their suits for
parades, exhibitions, conventions and informal meetings. Often, these are of a personal character who they are expressing as a form of role play or for expressing their true personality.Cite web|url=http://www.ljwilliamson.com/articles/furries.htm|title=My Life As A Furry|accessdate=2007-10-28|year=2003|author=L.J. Williamson|work=LA Alternative Press] At Midwest FurFest2006, [http://community.livejournal.com/midwest_furfest/51697.html 213 of 1441 attendees participated in the Fursuit Parade] (post by registration coordinator on 2006-11-20), while wore suits at Anthrocon 2007]
Some players of
live action role-playing games (LARP) create elaborate costumes, including fursuits, for their characters. The characters can either wear a half-suit or a full suit, depending on what the character needs. [ cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A747001 |title=Furries |accessdate=2008-04-04 |date=2002-07-02 |work=h2g2 |publisher=British Broadcasting Corporation ] Weapons and armorcould be worn and used by the players; though each convention or meeting has their own rules about weapons on the convention floor. [ cite web|url=http://www.anthrocon.org/rules-conduct#weapons |title=Anthrocon Standards of Conduct (v.2.2) |accessdate=2008-04-04 |date=2006-03-28 |publisher=Anthrocon ] This is similar to cosplay, except the later focus on characters from popular media, with emphasis on Japanese pop culture such as manga, anime, and video games.
Some furry fans do fursuiting for a job or to bring attention to an event or
charity. This can include mascots, but not all mascots are furries. Many are hired through an agency to represent a character, while others bring their own constructions to an event instead.cite news | first=Dave | last=Maass | coauthors= | title=Fluff Piece | date=2007-10-07 | publisher=Santa Fe Reporter | url =http://sfreporter.com/articles/publish/cover-101007-fluff-piece.php | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2008-04-03 | language = ] There are also several volunteerfursuiting groups across North Americathat either ask or are asked to entertain at various social functions. Some groups even set up their own charitable events or perform on the streets to passersby. [cite news|first=Alina|last=Larson|url=http://www.xydexx.com/anthrofurry/trivalley.htm|title=Animal Instincts: Fans of Furry Critters Convene to Help Mankind|publisher= Tri-Valley Herald|date= January 23, 2003]
A few members of the furry fandom consider the fursuit a
sexualitem. Fursuits can be sold with or modified to contain provisions for sexual activity, such as openings, removable panels, and anatomically correct artificial genitalia. These openings are called "strategically placed holes". While these are the most common in the media, they are the least common instance of fursuiting.Cite web|url=http://www.montrealmirror.com/ARCHIVES/2001/041201/cover.html|title= Welcome to the jungle|accessdate=2007-10-28|year=2001|author=Siobhan O'Conner|work=Montreal Mirror]
In popular culture
In the visual medium of
moviesand television, fursuits have been used either for background elements or part of a major plot. In the television procedural drama , episode406, " Fur and Loathing," featured murders taken place at a fursuit convention. [ cite web|url=http://www.csiguide.com/episodedetail.aspx?csi=118 |title=CSI Episode Guide - Episode 406 (Fur and Loathing) |accessdate=2008-04-04 |date=2003-10-30 ] The film adaptation of The Shining has a brief depiction of someone in a dog costume performing oral sexon a man, a reference to the owner of Overlook Hoteland his homosexual partner. [ cite web|url=http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/faq/#slot3 |title=What is that strange Bear scene in The Shining about (and is it a bear)? |accessdate=2008-04-04 |date=2002-04-29 |work=The Kubrick FAQ ] Fursuits are occasionally featured in music videos, the music group The Flaming Lipsare well-known for using rabbitfursuits in their music videos and concertperformances. [cite news | first=Gene | last=Stout | coauthors= | title=Musical innovation stokes Flaming Lips' creative fires | date=2000-03-24 | publisher= | url =http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/pop/lips24.shtml | work =Seattle Post-Intelligencer | pages = | accessdate = 2008-04-05 | language = ] Other musicians who have included fursuits in their music videos include Moby, [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Moby mocks KFC | date=2008 | publisher=Food24 | url =http://www.food24.com/Food24/Components/F24_Cuisine_Scene_Article/0,,1-12-14-66_18177,00.html | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2008-04-05 | language = ] DJ Format, Grandaddy, Jurassic 5, Marilyn Manson, Of Montreal, Daft Punk, 30 Seconds to Marsand Gym Class Heroes, [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Gym Class Heroes "Clothes Off" | date=2007-06-20 | publisher=P!ATD Online | url =http://www.patdonline.com/archives.php?subaction=showcomments&id=1182389390&archive=1183283708&start_from=&ucat=& | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2008-04-05 | language = ] as well as Cobra Starship.
* [http://fursuit.org/ The Furry Costume Information Exchange]
* [http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=fursuit The Fursuit community] (on
* [http://fursuit.timduru.org/ The Fursuit Archive]
* [http://www.fursuit.co.uk fursuit.co.uk] The British fursuit site
WikiFur, a specialist wiki
* [http://www.radioopensource.org/jay-van-buren-and-the-fursuit-portrait-project/ Jay Van Buren and the Fursuit Portrait Project]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
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