June 29, 2012

Tips to Avoid Con Funk

by Gale Ellis, Contributing Writer

Once you start attending conventions, a problem you start to hear about time and again is Con Funk. What exactly is Con Funk you may ask? Well, it's pretty much what it sounds like: awful body odor radiating from individuals and sometimes entire rooms at conventions. Contrary to what you might think, Con Funk is entirely avoidable!

Here are a few simple tips as to how.

First: Make sure to shower (with soap!) throughout the convention weekend. I don't just mean before you leave home, but at least every other day, or more if you've been sweating a lot. Certain conditions, such as warm temperatures, wearing heavy or non-breathable fabric in costumes, or significant physical exertion like at dances will cause you to sweat and get smelly a lot faster. Please, if you go to the dance, remember to shower after! Not only will showering keep the Con Funk off, but it will wash away germs and keep you healthy.

Second: Don't forget deodorant. Now, to be clear, this is not an "either or" situation--deodorant is NOT a substitute for showering. You should do both! Deodorant, as well as perfume or cologne, is not a cover-up. Trust me, BO smells no better, and sometimes worse, when mixed with flowers. Speaking of which, if you choose to use perfume/cologne at a con (and I'd really advise you don't), make sure not to apply too much.

Third: Wear clean clothes (and/or clean costumes) the whole weekend. This is, in my opinion, the biggest offender that goes unnoticed in the fight against Con Funk. Even if you wash the sweat off your body daily, your clothes absorb it too, so you really need to pack accordingly. If you're attending the con for multiple days, bring enough clothes to last you that long--including costumes! Especially if it is a costume that you are likely to sweat a lot in, like one of those Organization XIII cloaks. If you insist on wearing a costume multiple days, make sure it's still smelling nice before putting it on.

In addition, between cons please launder your costumes! I understand there are a lot of costumes in cosplay that simply can't go in the washing machine, but there are other options: you can hand wash and line dry things, or get them dry cleaned, or if they are really so delicate you can't do either of those options at least spray them with Febreze as a last resort. No amount of time in your closet will take smells out on their own.

So, to summarize: 1) wash yourself--with soap; 2) use deodorant; 3) wear clean clothes and launder your costumes between conventions. Do yourself, and others, a favor and please follow these simple tips so you can avoid contributing to Con Funk.