While I do enjoy cosplaying from time to time, I actually hate putting money into it. It doesn't spark any joy. Especially from trial and error putting together a costume and getting the desired look right. In retrospect, I spent an insanely ridiculous amount of money on cosplay, which I could’ve easily spent elsewhere. I could’ve used that money for travel instead of making excuses saying I can’t afford to do this or that, when in reality, I probably could have, I just wasn’t committed to it. Instead, I tricked myself into thinking it wasn’t so bad. A little bit here for a wig, a little bit here for a prop, and a little bit here for a costume and some shoes. But all those ‘little bits’ eventually add up. One costume fully put together ends up being $300+. And then the costs associated with traveling to cons. Food, transpotation, hotel stays, spending money for showfloor goods. And the costs of attending cons isn’t exactly cheap either. When I first started going in 2013, once upon a time, a NYCC 3 day ticket was $65. Now a single day is $55 and a multiple day pass is no cheaper at $190.
All these costs add up. Not that I was doing any of this to profit from anything other than just having fun at my own expense, but at this point, the fun no longer justifies the costs and time. I don’t get as much out of it anymore. NYCC is the same year after year with no improvement or evolution on the entertainment and content it provides and all the various cons I’ve attended are no different. Big cons are getting too crowded and repetitive at what they have to offer. Small cons are claimed to be “more intimate” and “less stressful” with more room to breathe, but I find them rather dinky in what they have to offer. The booths are all the same after a while too regardless if it is a big or small con, selling the same wares and marked up 3x more than what I can easily Google for cheaper. Sometimes, I’ll find a small gem of a indie creator for art, novelty toys or accessories but is it really worth my time to sift through the crowd to find this diamond in the rough? It’s like circling a Forever 21 several times to make sure you didn’t miss anything. As I grow older, my patience grows thinner and I start to care less and less.
I mainly stayed and attended for the cosplay aspect as I’ve always enjoyed dressing up, especially in costume, and getting a photo taken to bring the character to life. But I find this process even more grueling lately, the hunting down of photos from cons. Aside from my regular go-to photographers, I absolutely hate when people ask for photos or a quick shoot at conventions, only to find out the photos turned out garbage because the photographer’s skills were lacking (seriously my sister can do better on my camera sometimes compared to half the garbage that comes back) or I wasted my time because they're never going to even send back photos. Which is another rude annoyance because why did you bother to stop me for photos if you were just going to waste my time?
It’s so hard finding good photographers too, let alone REAL photographers and not just creepy weird men with cameras posing as photographers. Every guy out there thinks they can just buy a camera and put “photographer” in their bio just so some cosplay hoe will do artistic nudes/lewds (god I hate that dumb word) and voila, slyly gain some new spankbank material for their personal collection. Some of these wolf in sheeps clothing will also try to sleep with you. There is a lack of professionalism as these imposters don’t know a damn thing about photography nor social graces and common decency. This harms the chances of a real photographer from being found. The missed opportunities of great networking with new talent. It’s truly annoying because I am actively looking for new photographers to collaborate and work with to increase my portfolio, always. But it’s hard. It’s hard to find the good ones and it’s hard to find people who are truly there for the art. Who want to photograph more than just tits and ass. Who have an eye for the shot. The color. The composition. The bigger picture. It’s also hard to find people who are humble and easy to work with. I found a lot of egos in the cosplay community. And let me tell you, you ain’t shit. It’s just cosplay. Unless you’re out there in the real world and able to create beautiful photos of more than just cosplay, I’m not impressed. Expand your horizons.
That’s the other thing I’m tired of. The community. There’s so much about that annoys the hell out of me. Which is probably why I’ve distanced myself from it for a while now. The egos. The rants. The elitists. The social justice warriors. The trolls. The ones looking to start fights. The passive aggressive frenemies. The weirdo white knights that come out just because someone didn't like a particular cosplay(Yes, not everyone will nor is required to like a cosplay.). The fakeness between cosplayers as they shoutout for shoutout and fakely post each other as each other’s #womancrushwednesday to increase each other’s follower count mutually. It’s a lot of high school drama. Fake friends and when you get called out, you hide behind each other trying to back pedal your words instead of owning up to what you said.
So this NYCC will probably be my last. I was talking to an old friend earlier this week and it's true, I think I finally did grow out of these conventions. I'm going to give it one last shot this year, try to finish up old projects and then finally sell off the rest of the cosplays in my closet and give them all new homes before moving on. Of course, I’ll still keep a few of my top favorites like Harley, Juliet and Sailor Moon, in case I ever feel like busting out an oldie from time to time. Halloween and costumes aren’t what I grew out of, I still love October regardless. And I still love modeling and dressing up, I just no longer enjoy attending these conventions and taking part in cosplay activities. I don’t regret my dabbling in cosplay as I did enjoy the characters I did get to cosplay, but I do regret the time and money spent on it, as there were some characters I really never had any business doing and a lot of money thrown away as I tried to get the Sailor Moon look right several times. But you live and learn. Had I not wasted my money on cosplay, I’m sure it would’ve been allocated to some other dumb hobby I picked up for a minute. Or more expensive shoes. I am slowly learning to cut back and de-clutter my life as well. I sold a lot of costumes and dresses in the past year and got rid of a lot of make-up collecting dust in my room. Of course, being the person I am, I’m never going to be a minimalist/basic bitch but I do want to cut out the unnecessary things in my life to free up more time and space. I stopped trying to buy every new makeup release that comes out.
The one thing that always has remained constant is my love for fashion, photos and shooting all the time. I started modeling in 2009 and I still love it to this day even if I’m shooting a simple look. I hibernated for the winter barely doing any shoots but now that the weather has gotten warmer, I’m ramping up to get back to work. I’m excited to shoot more looks this summer and share them soon. I also started taking more photos with my husband from time to time during my shoots. I LOVE when I get the chance to do this, as it’s rare for him to be a willing participant and rare for me to be able to get nice photos of us together. I’m in love with taking photos with my loved ones lately. I’ve also been starting to shoot with my sister more and I love the photos I’m able to get back from those shoots too.
It may be the end of an era for cosplay but I’ve been modeling way before I started going to NYCC. The model in me will always live on. And I’m excited to see what adventures I’ll embark on to fill the NYCC void next year come October! The closing of one chapter is simply the start of a brand new story. 2020 is going to be an interesting year as we venture into new territory.