A few months ago, I scheduled my first cosplay photoshoot that wasn’t at a convention! (I haven’t been to a convention since before the pandemic.) I actually booked it with the same photographer who did the sole convention shoot I did, Michael Largé, because I liked his work, knew it would be great for the character I wanted to do, and also I was too scared to look for other photographers too okay I can admit it.
While some folks may be unsurprised to hear that I — a certified nerd — watch The Boys, others may be wondering how or why I sit through the graphic violence that I’m typically very averse to. Honestly, I wasn’t too interested in the initial promotions of the show. Superhero fatigue had started setting in, and I didn’t need more superhero media to get into while the MCU still had such a hold on me. But then! I saw a cosplayer in Starlight’s costume and I kind of immediately fell in love with the costume. Stars! Her name is Starlight? Did someone design this character for me? (I would soon learn… not really no haha) But I loved this costume and wanted to watch the show to see if I’d love the character enough to buy this costume and wear it myself.
Content/trigger warning: This post may be difficult or triggering to read it if you are struggling with your relationship with food or your body and contains mentions of disordered eating.
I grew up skinny, most of my family did. But I didn’t know how abnormal it was for me to be so skinny until a specific moment in the 5th grade. I loved my 5th grade teacher, but I still remember — 2 decades later — being at an ice cream social with teachers and classmates and hearing her tell me:
I wish I could eat that much ice cream and stay as skinny as you!
I remember feeling immediately embarrassed that I was eating so much ice cream, especially because I was apparently so skinny that no one expected me to eat this much ice cream. This moment also contributed to an unhealthy mentality I think I adopted later, wherein I felt a need to prove myself as a “skinny girl who can really eat!” but I’ll get to that later.
For a while, I’ve been the kind of person who spends a lot of time thinking about how I’m feeling and feeling about how I’m thinking. (Long-time blog readers know this well.) So it was nearly impossible for me to not notice a distinct… shift… in both over the course of this pandemic so far. And I’ve spent a lot of time wondering how to put it into words so I can better understand it myself, likely thanks to 2 decades of making a habit of crystallizing my thoughts into blog posts for a handful of friends and an unknowable number of strangers to read.
Time has been so strange during this era of human history and this past year was no exception. It feels both like ages ago and just yesterday that I was reflecting on a year of working from home, that I was seeing my coworkers for the last time, that I was nursing my husband back to health, that I was welcoming my brother to New York. Time doesn’t feel quite precise enough for reflecting on the past 2 years.