For fuller, more polite descriptions of the costuming process, please see THIS LINK.
Lycra body suits... are like footy pajamas for perverted people. When mine came in the mail, I wormed my way into it, SOMEHOW managed to zip it up by myself, and then I sat on my bed thinking "This is weird. I am weird."
There are things that I did not understand about painting a spandex suit that I understand now.
1: It's POROUS, which meant that if I wanted to paint it while wearing it (and I DID), then I was going to be white with paint afterward.
2: The fabric loses its flexibility when painted, which essentially translates into: the parts you cover in paint become a weird fabric cast of your body. This meant a lot of discomfort when sliding my right leg in and out of the suit.
But really, things were going pretty well. I'd sit like a creeper in my boyfriend's dining room, painting myself and then blow drying my limbs for long periods of time in the hopes that I would dry before I had a spasm and got paint all over the place.
And then the incident happened. The picture above depicts the back of the suit. I could not reach my own back and boyfriend was having an aneurism every time I asked for help (because he was afraid of screwing things up), so I decided to paint the back OFF of my body. This was the single most catastrophic mistake I've ever made (dramatization).
For you see, when the paint dried, the fabric constricted, rendering it highly inflexible. When I went to put the suit on the next day - "vvvrrrrrrrrt!" the zipper, I'm not even kidding, split down the middle. And then I cried. And then my boyfriend thought I was crazy.
It was then, as I sat crumpled over in bed, crying, that I realized I wasn't having fun anymore. I had spent 6 months pulling all of this together, and this one mistake called into question all of that. Suddenly I was taking it all way too seriously. Realistically, this only happened within the final two weeks before the convention. Because before then I couldn't have been happier.
But the gods of cosplay had to remind me that I was a novice, and amateur, and most of all, they had to put me in my place for being so damn cocky.
I spent the parts of CON in costume perpetually keeping good posture, because if I bent over too far, the zipper would split. I soaked the back in peroxide, which chipped and loosened up a lot of the paint enough that I at least had some flexibility. But I cannot stress how much more comfortable I would have been had I not had the constant worry that my life could at any moment get embarrassing.
But the result...?
Got a lot of hugs that I didn't want. Got a lot of compliments that reassured me that the last six months of my life weren't wasted, and I had a really great time.
So... now I know what that's like. Now I never have to put myself through that again. I'm glad I did the character justice, and I'm glad people liked it. I'm glad I did it. I'm happy to know what it feels like to get a lot of attention at a convention. And now that I know, I can say I think I'm happier just being part of the crowd.
But no, seriously. I was badass. Mwahahahaha.