I've been going to NYCC since 2013. It was the outlet that filled my love for Halloween, but being only one day a year and I wanted more than one day/occasion to dress up. It's funny because I've always loved Halloween. I even went home from college during the first few years to take my baby sis trick or treating still since I wasn't the partying type. I just like the dress up part.
And in spring of 2013 my friends suggested we check out NYCC. I knew about it but not what it entailed. And this was back when cosplay was not a big scene yet and you had to make/put together your own costumes. There wasn't a big commission community yet and the designs were all very primitive. It was a lot of trial and error. There weren't a lot of "good" cosplays either and nerds got a bad rap for being, well, nerds. Basically, if you cosplayed you got made fun of unless you were really good or really hot.
Today, cosplay has become more mainstream and popular and there are a lot more outlets and resources when it comes to making your costume or commissioning one to be made and the end product is much better in terms of quality and end product than before. And cheaper too since there is also more competition. And people are more supportive. But with all things that evolve and become bigger, it comes with a price. Cosplay is not all it's cracked up to be. There's a lot of negativity, drama, backlash, controversy, snakes and hypocrites in the community. When I started in 2013, for me and my friends, it was simply putting on a costume and attending a convention. Then as we delved into the world of cosplay and the community it entails, I learned there's a darkness unto it and a world that can be pretty draining, time consuming and a wasteful money sink of a hobby. 

In 2013 I dressed up as a minion, Iron Man, and Sucker Punch's Babydoll. These "costumes" were very bad so feel free to laugh. 

Photos by Eddy Suarez (besides my obvious phone photos because first year as a noob)

In 2014 I attended again as Sailor Moon, Harley Quinn and Nurse Joy. Sailor Moon was pretty ratchet and Nurse Joy I still am pretty ashamed of, looking back. It's funny because at the time you personally think to yourself "This looks great!" But seriously I look back and I'm like wtf was I thinking. My Harley tho. I will always love her. I'm still proud of her today. She was my original design and it was the year I got married so I was my best shape at the time training for my wedding and stressed out from wedding mishaps and wisdom teeth removal literally a week before NYCC. 

Photos by Eddy Suarez, Jaycee Estrella Photography

In 2015 I attended again but started going 4 days. This time I was my own version of Suicide Harley, Alice: Madness Returns' Royal Suit Alice, BioShock's Little Sister and Tinkerbell. I was actually pretty proud of these and how they came out. I went big with the props and invested more into the cosplays in making sure they looked decent for this year. I would love to rewear Alice and Little Sister again. Harley I actually threw together as a joke because the trailer for Suicide Squad just came out that summer and people were rooting for me to do her but I wasn't in love with her original design for my body type to be honest so I threw together a crop top and high waisted version. Ironically she didn't turn out so bad and I wore it purposely on a Thursday as a throwaway costume since Thursday is the lowest turnout but it ended up being a hit and a lot of people really enjoyed it. Tinkerbell was a fun one to do as well and I loved wearing the wings and seeing all the kids light up when they saw me. I rewore it later that month for my first Disney Halloween and I loved it. 

Photos by: Sage Studio, Ron Gejon, View Beyond Sight, Future Photography by M3,  Maze Studio, Hero Hotties, Kim Photos, Jaycee Estrella Photography, NYC Traveler TV

 In 2016, I attended again all 4 days as a Suicide Squad Harley and Sailor Moon fanart mashup, Super Sailor Moon, Falcon and Fleur Delacour. I prob shouldn't have done the mashup as my body was slowly going downhill this year so it wasn't the most flattering. But the design itself I liked. I would love to redo those pics now though in my current shape. Super Sailor Moon was one of my dream cosplays but I wasn't in love with how it came out especially since my hair just would not cooperate and there were so many hiccups that day. It was also my first time handling a big group. I give props to the girls for bringing it altogether in the end and making my dream cosplay a reality but truth be told, groups are stressful and a LOT of hard work. I never want to put together another one again. Its great when it all comes together but it's a really big thing to juggle.  

Falcon I was excited about and I enjoyed this cosplay but the day was so busy for some reason I honestly never got good pics of this. I don't even really remember the day, honestly. It was all a blur. Fleur was a short day because of how cold it was and it was on a Sunday, the day everyone starts to feel burnt out and lazy. I didn't get a lot of decent pics that day either.  

Photos by: Jaycee Estrella Photography, Cantera Image, Odin's Iris, NYC Traveler TV, The Junkman, Chris Narvaez, Maze Studio

In 2017 I attended all 4 days but with 3 costumes. I came as Lollipop Chainsaw's Juliet Starling, Valentine Harley and Wonder Woman. I was my heaviest this year so in retrospect, I wasn't happy with how these photos came out. They were okay at the time but looking at how I look now and then, I wish I had taken my fitness more seriously and buckled down to make these look better. I hated how I look as Valentine Harley with my stomach bulging. My Wonder Woman looked a little too chunky and I was struggling to hide rolls in my Juliet as I posed. 

Photos by: Jason Laboy, Jaycee Estrella Photography, Ron Gejon, NYC Traveler TV, Boris Quezada

For this year, I honestly have no plans because I did pretty much all the dream cosplays I wanted to do. There are still some on my list I would love to do but I'll live if I never get around to them. I might just rewear my favorite cosplays again since I'm in better shape now and would love to just finally do them some justice.

I've actually neglected cosplay all year since I've been working on my weight issues and fine tuning my body and my health. I've been working out for the past 6 months and I really hope to keep it up for the rest of the year. It's my biggest goal I've set for myself years ago and I'm finally achieving it and being much healthier. 

It also felt good to not waste money on cosplay although I didn't really save any money, it simply was allocated to different things. I saved in the sense that my money was better vested in different outlets. I spent it on traveling instead and adventures in Paris. No regrets though. I do think that my money is better spent on travel and experiences since cosplay is starting to get monotonous and not as fulfilling anymore. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy it, but it's starting to get boring and the same old- same old after a while. I don't really get as much out of it anymore. But my adventures and sightseeing and experiences in Japan last year, Paris, and even back to California? I enjoyed a lot more. And I want to spend my time making memories with the ones I love most. I would love to spend more time with the boy since cosplay isn't exactly something we can do together. So this year, I've limited myself to just NYCC and no other cons. And again, slowing down on cosplay, or rather a halt altogether on new cosplays. 

If I redo cosplays, I would love to redo my original Harley, Juliet Starling, Sailor Moon, and Royal Suit Alice. 

If I work on new cosplays, I would like to do Ranma 1/2's Shampoo, Chobits' Kotoko, Oh My Goddess's Belldandy, and Silent Hill's Pyramid Head (this project is forever ongoing actually, idk if I'll ever complete it.). 

Everything else I would love to just reshoot and get nicer out of con photos. 

It's also been refreshing to take a step back from the people in cosplay too. I realized I've grown apart and out of it with the people in it. Honestly, cosplay is on the decline for me. It was a lot more fun when it had its mysteries, but over the years from getting to know people and see their insecurities, their selfishness, shameless self-promotion, sell-out ways, daddy issues, rudeness, hunger for drama - especially dumbass bullshit drama that doesn't even matter compared to real life serious shit, and everything else, the magic has faded. This is why they say don't meet your heroes. You find out the ugliness behind everything. 

I've never wanted to climb this ladder. I just wanted to put on a costume for a day and have fun with my friends. I just like taking pictures. So this year, I attend for the sake of just having fun with my friends and family. I want to keep it simple and enjoy the day. Maybe take more time to look at booths and see everything and experience things. This was how 2013 was when we didn't know anyone. We simply enjoyed all 3 days there and took our time exploring and soaking in everything. Back to basics. But with a bigger attendance since NYCC has grown a lot since 2013. If you see me there, feel free to say hi, but don't be creepy. A lot of people are creepy. I've had those experiences too. Last year, a weirdo asked to take a pic with me in my Juliet Starling costume. He tried to touch me and I moved his hand several times indicating my boundaries, but of course some people just can't take a hint. Then he proceeded to ask me to "share my lollipop with him." WTF. Get out of here. Don't do this. If you do this, you're a fucking weirdo. Just leave. Do yourself a favor. Before you start a scenario with someone in real life, think about how it plays out in your head. If your own mother would rate it a heavy 10 on a creepy scale, don't do it. Step away. Go back to your basement. 

Oh yeah, and here's your reminder that I'm married. So it's hella creepy. And oh yes, he finds out everything you try to do. And the internet does too. I'll roast your ass. Just unfollow me now while you're at it. 

Hope you have a good NYCC 2018, bitches.