One of my biggest disappointments involved both a mosquito costume and the NYC Marathon of 2012. My sister worked for the United Nation Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign to fight malaria, and they needed someone to run a section of the marathon in a mosquito costume. I was beyond excited to be their bug.
When the NYC Marathon of 2012 got canceled 36 hours before go-time because of Hurricane Sandy, it was for good reason. Even so, I’ve spent the last three years of my life thinking about the time I was so close to being a bug for a day. So, naturally, I freaked out when I was asked to be the mosquito for this year’s Global Citizen Festival in Central Park.
My job was to represent the Nothing But Nets campaign at the festival as their mascot Mozzie the Mosquito. Before becoming a mosquito, I memorized some key facts. Nothing But Nets is a global campaign that raises awareness and funding to fight malaria. Every 60 seconds a child dies from malaria. Nets only cost $10. Send a net – save a life. You can help!
Since Nothing But Nets is based in DC (shout-out to Lee Mimms), they had to bring the costume on the train to NYC for this event. The person who had the honor of carrying the massive mascot bag told me that more than four people on the commute asked her if she was carrying a dead body.
Getting into this bad boy was no cake walk. But with the help of two fantastic UNF staff, I was transformed into the best bug you’ve ever seen.
Mozzie the Mosquito and Nothing But Nets Champions!
Over the course of the day, I was asked if I was a bedbug, a scorpion, and even Wolverine. I spent hours buzzing around and accidentally whacking people with my gigantic wings. I answered as many Nothing But Nets questions as I did questions about where to find the port-a-potties. I even made a baby cry! It was unreal.
With 60,000 people at the event in Central Park, there was no cell service and, therefore, no photo posting. Never have I wanted to post photos more! Luckily, I can always rely on Twitter/Instagram to document all my greatest life achievements.
I ended the day by seeing Steven Colbert, Hugh Jackman, Beyoncé, Pearl Jam, Coldplay, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Bono, Sting, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Malala Yousafzai, Leonardo DiCaprio, Connie Britton, Usher, and costume rival Big Bird.
I’ll leave you with this video that represents everything I stand for.