Monday, March 29, 2010

On Goth is a Lifestyle, Part 2:

True Goths find the trappings of the Goth world irresistible. They can’t help themselves. They remember being told that the things they liked as children were odd or weird. They just don’t understand why other people are afraid or repulsed by death or gothic things. They innocently can’t wait to go to their first wake/funeral just to see what it is all about.

This and other feelings of Goth don’t just go away as they grow older. They may learn to hide them, but the feelings grow. They find a Goth look makes them feel sexy or alive. They want to stay out of the sun, sit on the sidelines, reject the norm/establishment.

Goths have deep feeling about others and the world around them. They don’t shy from the dark side of life. They find themselves drawn to jobs that repulse others. Emergency personal, horror books and films industry workers, crime control or cleanup, and yes morticians. They are happier in fringe jobs, edgy music, artists, or fashion. Some even like to take risks.

They tend not to immediately trust others. Still, once a friendship or bond is made they also don’t take it lightly. They have their friends backs. But if this bond is broken it is rare to have it mended and rarer still to its former state.

There are many un-tattooed, un-pierced, non gothic fashion wearing Goths out in the world. They secretly love the stuff, but don’t want to jeopardize their jobs or family relationships; they believe the media hype about being vampires, Satan worshipers or into bloodletting, but are themselves religious and/or feel that if they let their feelings be known they will be pegged as insane or depressed and locked up.

Goths are not crazy. They don’t do strange or dangerous things on the whole. They are not depressed all the time. They don’t kill and eat babies, small children or their enemies. They don’t drink blood as a rule, the exception being: Halloween or party shenanigans. They don’t revel in the death of others or laugh at their demise. At least, no more than any other group out there.

They tend to be smart, they like shock value, are green/eco friendly, careful, caring, responsible, people who like crafts, music, fun and fitting in with like minded groups. They are most often Christian in religious affiliation. They also have their own sense of style, as few goths look exactly alike.

The fact that they like to look different makes them scary to the norm and even other Goths at times. But Goths are in the habit of looking beyond the exterior. And the variety of Goth looks can make the most devoted Goth’s head spin.

I for one don’t get into the Lolita or Vampire styles of Goth, and Industrial Goth leaves me cold. (More power to them for being what makes them individuals and going with what they like.) But a filmy tattered wedding gown, a dark Goth fairy or Victorian mourning garb makes my heart sing. And a man dressed Victorian makes me weak in the knees. Add a pale face and dark eyes and lips, and I could just swoon.

Blackwaterfall has a good list started on the different types of Goth. There are others not on her list yet because she is still working on the art for them.

Goths just ‘Are’ and are not ‘Made.’ It doesn’t wear off or diminish with time. It is not a mental illness or unreleased fragment of youth. Goths grow up, have jobs, have kids, become good neighbors, car pool, are soccer parents, but rarely join the PTA.

They may tone it down in public or for lack of time with their other responsibilities, but it is who and what they are, how they think. It is what makes them tick.

You are not a Goth if you dye your hair, wear black, quote death poetry, and like the music. You are Goth if you can’t imagine yourself any other way. Goth Style is an outward manifestation of an inward attitude.

And, there is a little Goth in everyone, believe it or not.


Batty said...

The ways Goth can be incorporated into even the most mundane things and the most stodgy environment are many. My cube at work is decorated in bat (bat is my favorite color), and my co-workers love it. I'm slowly transitioning to corporate goth, and so far, it seems to be working...

nniiccoollee said...

I really really loved this piece. Now in my mid-30's, I've just never managed to "grow out of" my love of goth fashion. After reading your post, it made me realize that I dig the lifestyle, not just the fashion.. you hit the nail on the head with this article.

Goths are so misunderstood, we sometimes don't even recognize it in ourselves!