[Placed this in the 'General Convention Discussion since it would be seen more here than in the Cosplay threads. If the mods feel it's in the wrong place, please feel free to move it.]
Each Con me and my sister go to, we seem to have the same things happen over and over in cons with the mascot costumes we make and bring. I thought it would be alright to just put out a little 'reminder' for everyone about the proper etiquette on how to interact and be around suiters and mascots. I in no way am trying to offend anyone, or upset anyone, I just wanted to express the proper way of handling things.
Sometimes, the Con air makes us forget that people in costumes are just that: People in costumes. I would like to use this as a reminder.
*This guide is for all Fursuit/Mascot Quad suits and large over-the top costumes. I will how ever call them 'fursuits' in this thread, but it goes for them all.*
Fursuiters have terrible vision.
Many suiters can only see what is directly in front of them and have no peripheral vision. Suiters also have trouble hearing and feeling things due to the padding the suit creates between them and the world. If a suiter does not acknowledge you, chances are they are not snubbing you but simply did not see you.
If you want to approach a suiter
~Approach from the front
~Wave as well as speak to get their attention
~Get the attention of the handler so that they can point you out to their suiter.
*DO NOT: Tackle/Glomp/ Jump on a suiter.
As previously mentioned a suiter cannot see well and 99% of the time the suiter will not see this coming. On top of scaring the suiter you may also break parts of the suit. There are countless cases where expensive suits have had parts broken or have been torn due to people playing too rough with the suit.
Suits are expensive, play nice.
*If you want to touch, ask first.
If you want a hug from a suiter stand in front of the suiter, making sure they see you, and hold your arms open in a universal gesture that means “I want a hug”. This is easy to see and easy to understand. If the suiter does not want a hug don’t push it, just because a suiter is in costume does not mean they do not have a right to personal space.
*If a suiter is in a hurry, do not delay them.
If a suiter looks as if they are in a hurry there is usually a reason. Chances are they are going to their room and may be in desperate need to get some air, water, or something else. It is easy when a suiter wants to play and when they need to go. If a suiter is in a hurry let them go. You’ll have your chance to play later.
*Pictures! Ask a suiter for a picture.
99% of the time a suiter will say yes, they love pictures. Asking allows the suiter to pose for the picture and helps to avoid any headless suiter issues. Many suiters want to keep their anonymity and take their character seriously for professional or personal reasons. Headless pictures “Ruin the magic” and can mess things up for pros. If you accidently catch a headless suiter and are asked to remove the picture, it is easiest to avoid drama and remove it. Do not take pictures in the headless lounge.
*Elevators, please give suiters priority.
Do to their vision problems as well as their inability to feel things well stairs become a deathtrap in suit. At conventions it is considered polite to allow suiters priority with elevators. This practice is not to make suiters more elite, but simply to avoid any incidents where a suiter is in a hot suit too long while waiting, or harm’s themselves while using stairs. I never said you HAVE to do this. I only said it would be polite, but it's not a must.
*Don't pull on the ears, tail or any part of the suit.
This is a huge rule. A Suit is a VERY expensive costume. Most are over 1k worth, so please, please, PLEASE do not pull on it! You can come up and gently pet, but please don't pull on anything; it can break.
*Quad suits are NOT real animals. Please do not try to ride them.
I know they look fun, I mean they are like really big animals! But please do not try and jump on their backs or try to ride them. There is a person in the suit, and they are already trying very hard to walk and see in the costume, so if you jump on them you may hurt them and the costume.
* Be nice to the handler, they are the eyes and ears of the suiter.
I've been a hander for my sister for the better part of two years. And as a handler, we have to keep a look out for the person in suit. Please be respectful to them.
*No means no.
If the suiter or handler tells you 'no' on something, please don't get upset or have a fit. They always have a reason for it. Please respect personal space and choice.
*If the suiter is sitting down/resting please don't ask for pictures.
Suiters get tired VERY easily. And sometimes, they need to take off the head and rest for it bit. If they are resting, please be curious enough NOT to ask for a photo until they are up and moving around again.
*Do not ask to wear the suit head, or parts of the suit.
The suits are made to fit the person inside, and ONLY the person inside. So it's almost 100% that it will not fit you, and could get broken.
If anyone else feels like more needs to be added, please comment below, and thank you for taking your time in reading this ^__^.