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Rules governing costumes became established in response to specific costumes and costuming trends. The first nude contestant at a Worldcon masquerade was in 1952; but the height of this trend was in the 1970s and early 1980s, with a few every year. This eventually led to "No Costume is No Costume" rule, which banned full nudity, although partial nudity was still allowed as long as it was a legitimate representation of the character. Mike Resnick describes the best of the nude costumes as Kris Lundi wearing a harpy costume to the 32nd Worldcon (1974) (she received an honorable mention in the competition). Another costume that instigated a rule change was an attendee at the 20th Worldcon (1962) whose blaster prop fired a jet of real flame; which led to fire being banned. At the 30th WorldCon (1972), artist Scott Shaw wore a costume composed largely of peanut butter to represent his own underground comix character called "The Turd". The peanut butter rubbed off, doing damage to soft furnishings and other peoples' costumes, and then began to go rancid under the heat of the lighting. Food, odious, and messy substances were banned as costume elements after that event.

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