There is an exception to my disdain for the popularity-whoring fursuiters and that is for the fursuit makers who go and debut their latest creation. To me it is no different than an artist putting their works in the art show. They are showing off their skills and perhaps even drumming up business for themselves in showing what they could do for you if you want to get a commission. I do have a slight problem, however, with the fursuit creators who will only be seen in their creation either on the stage for a Masquerade or in the most crowded hallway on Saturday night between 8-10pm. The suit is then put away until the next convention or even worse, put away in a closet forever.
I guess I'm just a little miffed because a fursuit should be worn and enjoyed as much as possible because it should be a reflection of who you are. I just see so many entries to Furbid where there are comments like "worn only once." I suppose it could have been worn by the maker and now that person is moving on to the next creation, but I have to wonder about the people that dish out a bunch of money for a suit where it actually was worn only once at a con. I consider myself a con slut, going to 4 to 5 a year. Have I seen the same suits at each con? The answer is usually "No." That means that the really expensive suits out there are only seeing the light of day perhaps once a year. I'm staring at a pic of all of the suiters at AC '03. How many of those suits have I ever seen again? I'm shocked at how few!
To me it just seems pretty shallow that a person wants to be known for a thing as opposed to who that person is or what they do. Are you being loved or is the suit? Does that matter to you? Is it the spotlight that you crave no matter the cost?
I always come back to the fact that the fandom is supposed to be a fun diversion from life and not life itself. It's sad that many don't have a life outside of the fandom, but hopefully it will provide a stepping stone to make positive changes in their life to get out more and do other things. But being "popular" in the fandom means absolutely nothing. Popularity and $5 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I liken it to the quarterback or head cheerleader in a small high school. For 4 years the world is at your feet. Everyone wants to be around you and be your friend. You're on the top! And then graduation day comes. You find out that your star status on the team is not good enough to get you a scholarship anywhere and soon you're working at the local factory. Your best days are behind you. All you have are memories. And the nerds and dweebs that you picked on are now off at college with a life of possibility ahead of them. How much is that popularity worth now?
I guess the moral of my post is to just be yourself and have people like you for who you are. You don't need the best fursuit. You don't have to be the most awesome artist or own the most artwork. Having 50 con badges of your fursona doesn't make you better than the person with 1. Never lose sight of the fact that this is all for fun and is NOT serious business.