One thing I adore about the furry fandom is exchanging stories about the inspirations behind our fursonas, whether they be part of a larger narrative in their own self made lore, or they represent something about themselves, their backgrounds, their hobbies and ideals. Fursonas can be a playground for self-expression and imagination to roam free. And yet for some, that playground is highly fenced, and they can't climb to join the others. As I meet more furries, I find fascinating how many of them don't have a fursona, not because they act as if they need one but because they just don't know how to make a fursona.
To clarify, no, you don't need to have a sona to be a furry. You don't need to have a million sonas, you can only have the one. You can have a straight forward sona or have one with details and layers to their development. But for those that want one, they don't know exactly how to start. I had this conversation with a fur on Telegram and we tried to make him a fursona. We asked him what animal he liked, he said a fox, but then was not sure on his choice. We asked him what he wanted out of his fox-sona, he said "I just want to not be seen as one of those extra, over the top stereotypical fox furs".
This conversation gave me a better vision as to why some struggle to come up with a sona; there is a set of expectations, stereotypes, and the need to be original. Yes, there are many fox and wolf furs in the fandom, but the idea is that you have a sona that represents who YOU are, and if that happens to be a fox or a wolf, treat yourself. Most of the expectations set on some furs when it comes to sonas come from biases about a wider selection of fursonas which I understand as I want to see more takes on different species and be brought to life as art or as a suit. Unique sonas also send to draw so much attention because it is different, and if done well, it's going to attract a lot of attention. Case in point...
A suit like LED Raptor is sure to get people talking because it's new, imaginative, tells a story and is hypnotizing. So someone sees this and their first take is to "give up" because they cannot live up to masters of the craft. It creates a sense of disillusionment because they don't know how to make a fursona, much less make an "unique" fursona.
The last straw for me regarding this was a video discussing someone nefarious in the fandom where he casually made the comment of "meeting colorful fox furry number 204". That in itself is a micro-aggressive comment that throws people off because if its accepted as the norm, it discourages people from even trying. There was also an old TikTok of a guy complaining that the furry fandom is "SO CREATIVE" yet everyone has the same face and they are a fox. Once more these comments send the message that unless your sona is original is gonna get dunked on.
Yes, many of the most famous furries are part of the same species as the most popular species of sonas, and likely many want to imitate that. But many create a sona that represents who they are as people and carry with them a lot of heart and effort. We should not be ones to judge someone's sona just because it's of a species that's very common. Unless it's literal sona theft, it should not be a problem. Until people realize that people will struggle to create a sona because they need to be original to stand out when all you need to do is to just be there and be who you are.