Dear Papa Bear,
I have been a part of the furry fandom for about 3 years now, but I have only become active in the fandom about a year ago. I consider myself an artist and I make furry art all the time. I'm hoping to attend a con sometime soon as well. One thing that I really want to get is a fursuit. I only want a partial because I know I could grow out of a full suit quickly. I want one mainly to entertain and to advertise my character at conventions. I'm willing to save up the money, but my parents do not really understand why having a suit is important, or why it is not a waste of money. One of their main arguments is that I would never wear it. I know they can cost around $1,000 or more for a decent suit, so I could see their point. I don't have any big issues with paying for college or a car, so I do have room to buy one. I just need a good reason to justify my purchase to my parents. They tend to think that people who go to cons are weird, and I know that they are not entirely wrong. I've tried to explain to them that being yourself and expressing your hobbies is not a bad thing when in the right places. I don't exactly know how they would react to the fursuiters at cons, so I need your advice. How can I convince my parents that fursuits are not weird and that it is not a waste of my money (and yes I know that fursuiting is a little weird, but you know what I mean.)
James the Arctic Fox (age 14)
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Smart of you to only get a partial for now, since you are probably still growing. Also, if money isn’t an issue for you and you save up the money for yourself, then you should be able to purchase what you want to without having to get parental approval, especially if, by the time you get a full fursuit, you are 18 or older.
Secondly, furry is a hobby, right? Many hobbies can cost a considerable amount of money. For example, golfing, skiing, SCUBA diving, horseback riding, etc. These are all things that could easily rack up hundreds of dollars in costs over a short period. Would your parents consider these things a “waste of money”? We all need some fun and hobbies in our lives, and I bet they wouldn’t criticize such pursuits. Therefore! Their objection is not the money; it’s the hobby itself, right? “Waste of money” is code for “We think that’s weird and don’t want you to do it.”
So, is fursuiting “weird”? Well, no stranger than being, say, a mascot. If you wanted to dress up as a lion for a local high school team, would that be weird? Oh, no no, heavens no, because that is related to socially sanctioned sports, so it’s cool. Is fursuiting weirder than people going to Star Trek conventions and dressing up as Vulcans and Ferengi? Again, it is the furry thing your parents object to.
Oh, here’s something interesting, too: if you are trying to be an artist—a professional, money-making artist—and create a fursuit to promote your business, your fursuit is tax deductible as a marketing tool, so maybe you could use that as an argument, too. Quite a few furries make money doing this sort of thing.
Finally, fursuiting is a lot of fun! Don’t your parents like you to have fun? I love donning my bear fursuit and having people wanting to give me a hug because I’m a cute fuzzy bear. It’s a way to interact with others and to bring fun and joy into people’s lives. What’s weird about that?
In summary: fursuiting is fun, a fursuit can be a marketing tool, and fursuiting is no stranger or more expensive than some other hobbies out there. And, anyway, you can't hug money, but you can hug a furry. Argument made.
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