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I got a LOT of attention in a weird costume and I don't know what to do with this information

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I got a LOT of attention in a weird costume and I don't know what to do with this information Empty I got a LOT of attention in a weird costume and I don't know what to do with this information

Post by Hielario Wed Jun 08, 2022 10:15 pm

I live in a city whose Carnival celebrations are huge. It's neither Río nor Venice, but it's still pretty big, attracts a lot of attention and tourists, and for a lot of people, it's extremely important and the high point of February, if not of the entire year.

Because of Covid, the local government cancelled all the official celebrations again. But, since the risk was lower than in the previous years and people are less scared than they used to be, they still went out to the streets to drink and do silly stuff, in a sort of unofficial Carnival.

Meanwhile, I was helping my father to care for an ailing relative in a very difficult situation. It came to a point when we were coming and going everyday. I started doing the nocturnal part (giving them dinner, getting them to bed, eventually staying to sleep) a lot of times so my father (who has his own physical issues) could rest.

And then came the Carnival weekend. I was neither willing nor able to join in the fun, but to keep with the spirit of the festivities, I put on a partial mask that we've had around the house forever before going out of the house.

So I was wearing:

-Messy, poofy I-need-a-haircut longish hair.
-A partial black mask with a long nose, wrinkles, a wart...it looks like half an old man's face.
-a regular Covid face mask under that one (yes, as ridiculous as it sounds).
-A heavy, off-black duffel coat
-(First night only, I took it to their house thinking it might be useful for someone who can't kneel like my father) A grabbing pole in my hand.

Picture a guy, with all of that on them, and walking very quick and angrily, like someone owed him money, because having to do all of that stuff for the old disaster cousin and his useless sister was getting to my nerves.

The streets between my house and theirs are full of bars and very popular with tourists right now, so they were packed with people drinking that I had to go through. And while I was crossing in front of all of those, I noticed that, here and there, women were...looking at me. The appreciative, pleasantly surprised kind of looking. I don't understand why, but through all my path I saw surprised eyes, and appreciative smiles: I even heard one or two say things like "look at the masked one!", without the disdain that one would expect in those words. I was making a sensation! By Momo! What the hell was going on!?

(Personally, I thought I looked like I was going to someone's house to beat them with a crowbar. Hell of an idea for a movie.)

And, the following two nights (without the pole), the same happened.

Apparently, I'm more attractive to women like that, with my face fully covered by two masks and a fat coat, than I've ever been in normal dress (and I can dress well, mind you). My normal experience is maybe, once in a blue moon, seeing a woman staring in my general direction, or being told by my mother how some shopgirl couldn't take her eyes off from me when I wasn't looking.

I still don't know how to process this.

Like, what do I do with this information?

What do you think?

Can you hook up at a LARP?
Hielario
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Post by Enail Wed Jun 08, 2022 11:22 pm

Huh, strange but cool! My best guess is that the outfit highlighted the way you move, and that the way you move is attractive, possibly your 'quick and angry' reads as confident or purposeful or intriguing in some way. Or the duffle coat and longish hair with an incongruous mask might give a bit of a dark, romantic, mysterious vibe.  Plus, Carnival going on probably has people in a hedonistic and open mood where they're more likely to show their attraction than in everyday life.

One thing you could do with this info is try to pull a little of what you had going on this weekend into your regular, unmasked existence, playing around with some personas as ways to try out things that might have been working for you. Sometimes playing a character can let people tap into parts of themselves they don't otherwise know how to bring out - not in the sense of saying you're someone you're not or acting totally different, but just trying to feel what it would be like to be someone different, move like them, though things like LARP or acting can also be ways to practice that in a more overt way that might make it easier to figure out how to use those feelings more subtly in everyday life.  Almost like the adult equivalent of a kid feeling stronger and braver because they're wearing their Spiderman underoos, if that makes any sense.
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Post by Datelessman Thu Jun 09, 2022 4:08 pm

I can't quite explain why this happened, but it could be a combination of elements Enail described. Your body language may have been seen as assertive in combination to being clad in an imaginative costume in an appropriate venue which encouraged more hedonism. It's not altogether unheard of; there are many cosplayers or Halloween party/club veterans who know the thrill of being in a cool costume at the right place and time.

I've dressed up for Halloween and cosplayed many times, and for various reasons prefer full face masks, too (partly out of fear of being allergic to makeup or getting some into my eyes, which are also sensitive). And there have been a few times where whatever outfit I came up with was memorable and I would pose for pictures (which was always fun). Ghost Rider and Casey Jones seemed to be my most popular guises. The face is the first thing most people look at so a cool mask can go a long way. I personally always felt more liberated in some of those get-ups. I mean, without them I am just me, but behind a mask I can be anyone. Perhaps in a parallel universe, my counterpart is a satisfied theme park performer or sports mascot.

Also, never underestimate the appeal of imagination. If there is one thing I have learned recently, it is that while kindness and a willingness to listen are appealing, so is imagination. I cannot count how many times I seemed to impress someone because I happened to come up with some idea on the fly or whatnot. To me it was nothing; a parlor trick. But a lot of "normal people" are kind of bland. Your outfit may have seemed hastily compiled to you, but for others it looked very original. That is part of why a sense of humor is seen as such an appealing trait; it usually involves a degree of imagination to make people laugh.

I've never done LARP but I have done some tabletop RPG's during high school and the start of college (and a brief stint a few years back), and done text or message board RPing for about 20 years now. It can definitely be liberating to reveal other aspects of yourself while playing a character; after all, actors basically do that on a more professional level (despite many of them being shy in their private lives, too). As for bringing some of those aspects into your "real" life, well, that can be a challenge. If you figure it out, let us know. But life is short, so if something makes you happy and it doesn't involve harming anyone, roll with it and enjoy the experience while you can. MeetUps or whatnot about games and D&D were pretty common and popular pre-Covid, and many continue virtually.

For me personally, that kind of thing happens with my voice. I've done call center work for much of the past 9 years and been told many, many times that I have a nice "telephone voice." I've been told many times I have "a voice for radio" by strangers who had no incentive to lie. To me I sound like a middle aged white cop, but people apparently like it. I considered trying out one of those "phone dating lines" to try to play to that strength, even if the heyday for those was probably 15 years ago.

Ideally you don't want to pretend to be someone else, but figure out a way to incorporate whatever confident swagger and/or imagination you displayed into more of your everyday life or dating situations. At the very least, Covid has made wearing creative masks more socially acceptable. Some people buy elaborate ones or even doodle or paint their own designs onto cheap ones; that's always one way to show creativity and personality.
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