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Species Desirability: Physical Verses Cultural Attractiveness

Why did you choose the species for your fursona or primary character(s)?


  • Total voters
    53

Punji

Vaskebjørn
It is no secret fursona species composition is heavily biases in favour of certain animals over others. Exactly why is this?

Two common examples are wolves and foxes, both typically depicted in positive manners by Western societies. "Lone wolf," loyal like a wolf, "sly as the fox," "quick as a fox," etc. However there is no denying the physical appeal of the two. People love dogs and aesthetically wolves are pretty much just bigger, fluffier dogs. Foxes are prized for their beautiful furs and have been highly sought after for much of history.

But what about other animals? Are grizzly bears chosen for their strength? Otters for their cuteness? Opossums because they play dead whenever they encounter stressful situations? Have films and media inspired the creation of new characters based off the traits represented by the characters rather than the animals themselves?

Myself, I knew I was going to be a raccoon pretty much right away, but I don't really know why. When I thought of myself as an anthro character, he was a raccoon and that's never changed. I like raccoons but they're far from my favourite animals and cultural depictions of raccoons are very often negative. (Fat trash-pickers mostly). I see my character as much the opposite, lean and muscular, prim and clean, but he's still a raccoon.

How about other furries? Why did you choose the species you did?
 
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The_biscuits_532

Eternally Confused Feline
Physical. Only read up on the cultural stuff afterwards. Unless you also mean stuff like my stepdad comparing our cat to the Lynxes at the zoo, and then my stepmum comparing the cat to me.

Apparently Lynxes are associated with sight - not just good eyesight, but also precognition and general perception. Ironically mine wears glasses.

I don't know much about the cultural perceptions of Oncilla - the species of my secondary character. I've not been able to find much about them aside from the fundamentals.

I've been looking into using the Red Ruffed Lemur or Indri for my third. The former again, is mostly physical but for the latter I find the Malagasy Folklore surrounding them pretty interesting. They believe the loud banshee-like calls they use to communicate are invites to humans to return to monke, as the Indri are upset that they've been abandoned in the jungles. They're occasionally called "Babakoto" too, meaning "Father of Man".
 

MCtheBeardie

Queen of Laziness
Honestly, I didn’t choose to have my main fursona be a beardie for cultural or physically appealing reasons. I picked it because of my passion for the animal itself. I personally own a beardie, and I see myself in him all the time.

If I had to pick an accurate descriptor, then I’d say it’s more symbolic/self introspective.
 

Telnac

Fundamentalist Heretic
Both. I love dragons because back when I was a pre-teen the common depiction of dragons was both extremely intelligent and extremely evil. I never liked that. I thought any intelligent being would be able to choose to be good or evil. I thought that a dragon who was good, but was regarded by society as evil, was an interesting twist on that trope.

Note: that was before Drizzt Do'Urden, Shrek and countless other similar characters took the theme of the hero who's seen as a villain by society from an interesting concept to something so overdone that it's become little more than a meme. I'm older than dirt so my formative years were back when this was still a novel concept so that's what first stirred my interest in dragons.

Later, I saw drawings of dragons that I thought were genuinely attractive. That's when I became interested in dragons for their physical attributes as well.

My fursona came into being when I merged my love of AI with my love of dragons. The rest is history.
 

Astus

Well Known Foxxo
I chose a fox primarily because I would rarely see them walking alone around my house at night. I felt some sort of connection to that before, so I made my character based on those ideas (first in story form then converted to my sona).
 
My choice of duck was cultural; I knew I wanted a duck based on love for favorite cartoon duck characters and their popularity.
The specific species was based on physical appearance. I wanted something that I thought was quirky and unique and I think outside of bird enthusiasts and a subsection of hunters, most people would be unfamiliar with the red-breasted merganser.
 

The_biscuits_532

Eternally Confused Feline
I chose a fox primarily because I would rarely see them walking alone around my house at night. I felt some sort of connection to that before, so I made my character based on those ideas (first in story form then converted to my sona).
I've only ever seen one fox IRL, in Battersea, London. I love wildlife that's like that - shy and mysterious. Most cats are like that - and what do you know, both my characters are cats.
 

TemetNosce88

Technology won't save you
I picked a deer for two reasons. First was having a (for lack of better word) spiritual experience or connection with a white white-tailed deer a few years ago which stuck with me, so it made sense to pick that for a species and coloration.

Secondly was I think personality-wise I'm more of a deer than anything else. I like dogs and cats but don't relate to them, and while horses are visually my favorite animal I am not a horse. So while deer often annoy me IRL, I can relate to the whole mosey around outside, poking around in the woods and prairies vibe because that's what I do on my off time anyways.
 

Guifrog

Blue Frog with a Squid
I chose frog, most specifically a blue dendrobatid, thinking of physical characteristics and attractiveness in the first place, and the more I've learned about the species, the more I've identified myself with it.

The fact that it's a native species to my country played a role in it as well, but I'm unsure of how much that counts as cultural influences.
 

Queen Brie

Active Member
Physical but only after having a few rattos of my own. Looking at their cute little hands and getting over their tails, realizing how soft and sweet they are (especially when they beg you for treats or to be let out of the cage) I was able to appreciate how they appear and wanted to have that same level of cuteness mixed with smarts. Most people don't look to positively on rats (same with trash pandas :3 )
 

Queen Brie

Active Member
I've been looking into using the Red Ruffed Lemur or Indri for my third. The former again, is mostly physical but for the latter I find the Malagasy Folklore surrounding them pretty interesting. They believe the loud banshee-like calls they use to communicate are invites to humans to return to monke, as the Indri are upset that they've been abandoned in the jungles. They're occasionally called "Babakoto" too, meaning "Father of Man".
Wow that is very cool and compelling. I would love to see what your character would look like.
 

Queen Brie

Active Member
I picked a deer for two reasons. First was having a (for lack of better word) spiritual experience or connection with a white white-tailed deer a few years ago which stuck with me, so it made sense to pick that for a species and coloration.

Secondly was I think personality-wise I'm more of a deer than anything else. I like dogs and cats but don't relate to them, and while horses are visually my favorite animal I am not a horse. So while deer often annoy me IRL, I can relate to the whole mosey around outside, poking around in the woods and prairies vibe because that's what I do on my off time anyways.
Where I live, the deer will usually peer in through the window and check out what you're eating or doing. The other day I actually had a deer stop, look both ways, and then wait for the cars to stop before casually walking across the street. They have such great personalities.
 

Frank Gulotta

Send us your floppy
Both wolves and foxes were a lot more often portrayed in a negative light, only a handful of Aesop's stories for instance do otherwise. To my knowledge the only positive one involving the wolf is "the wolf and the dog", where the dog argues that his life is a lot better, he gets fed and doesn't get hunted, and the wolf is almost convinced until he notices that the dog's neck fur is damaged by his collar, then he nopes out of here. This story celebrates the wolf's love of freedom.
The fox is more often in sort of a gray area, because he tends to trick dumbasses so it's hard not to root for him. In some others tho, he's clearly the bad guy

I think wolves and foxes' appeal is 50% physics, 20% positive portrayal... and 30% negative portrayal because being bad boys is fun
 

Xitheon

I may be mad but I'm perfectly good at it.
I've only ever seen one fox IRL, in Battersea, London. I love wildlife that's like that - shy and mysterious. Most cats are like that - and what do you know, both my characters are cats.

I lived in London for 24 years and I often went on night walks. I saw foxes practically every day/night. I once went out at 4am and followed a fox through the city. I got so close to him that I could have petted him.

There was a field close to my house and every evening foxes would congregate there and local humans would feed them on raw chicken and cat food. I used to watch them through my binoculars and I named them all.

One of my homes in London was on a railway embankment and there was a fox den literally next to my garden fence. I remember the delight of seeing little sooty fox cub faces peering out one day. I had the privilege of watching them grow up.

My main fursona was a fox for a long time. At the moment I am focusing on my rabbit fursona, Buck, but I still have a deep connection to foxes. Maybe I'll be a fox again some day.
 

Yastreb

Well-Known Member
Both wolves and foxes were a lot more often portrayed in a negative light, only a handful of Aesop's stories for instance do otherwise. To my knowledge the only positive one involving the wolf is "the wolf and the dog", where the dog argues that his life is a lot better, he gets fed and doesn't get hunted, and the wolf is almost convinced until he notices that the dog's neck fur is damaged by his collar, then he nopes out of here. This story celebrates the wolf's love of freedom.
The fox is more often in sort of a gray area, because he tends to trick dumbasses so it's hard not to root for him. In some others tho, he's clearly the bad guy

I think wolves and foxes' appeal is 50% physics, 20% positive portrayal... and 30% negative portrayal because being bad boys is fun
I agree, probably this depends a lot on the country and culture but around here wolf tends to be the embodiment of pure evil for most people, to the extent that illegal hunting kills more wolves than all the other causes combined. I was really surprised to see @Punji saying that wolves are generally depicted positively. Or maybe Finland is just a complite backwater in this regard.
 

The_biscuits_532

Eternally Confused Feline
I agree, probably this depends a lot on the country and culture but around here wolf tends to be the embodiment of pure evil for most people, to the extent that illegal hunting kills more wolves than all the other causes combined. I was really surprised to see @Punji saying that wolves are generally depicted positively. Or maybe Finland is just a complite backwater in this regard.
It should also be noted that Wolves are associated with Greed in Christian literature, and are tied to the Demon Prince of Greed, Mammon.
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