I’ve been goth for almost fifteen years, and it’s a battle! Not so much in the struggle for societal acceptance since people no longer fear goths or stereotype us as blood-drinking Devil worshippers, but rather those minor irritations due to my choice in clothing and accessories. If you are goth, know that you are not alone. And for those of you who are non-goths, maybe you will become more sensitive to our plight after reading this.
You ever put on an elaborate piece of jewellery to go shopping at Wal-Mart? Maybe a full-finger ring? Rings like that are the worst because they have a tendency to get caught in just about everything, particularly plastic bags. Sometimes I get hung up on things by my collar. I have the same problem with chain bracelets. And chains worn around the neck can be heavy and uncomfortable. Fellow goths know what I’m talking about. But at least we’re stylin’!
As a goth, you can get away with having a really bad haircut. However, if you want to go out and cavort amongst the normies as a normie, you’re going to have to work with it more than the average person because the hairstyle that looks great on a goth doesn’t look so great when you need to pull off a put-together look. I recently had to cut my hair a little more “normal” because it wasn’t suitable for everyday situations. Now, even when I’m dressed goth, I look *gasp* normal….
Black talon polish used to be sooo goth. Now it’s become *cringe*…trendy. Yes, what once separated us from the normies has become their trademark! It’s used by glossed over pop stars like Pink and featured as a staple in fashion magazines. Thankfully we can still call black lipstick our own, but if you’re judging someone by their nail colour, you just can’t tell anymore. You may approach them in hopes of having a lovely conversation about Marilyn Manson, but instead they respond with, “You mean Paul from The Wonder Years? No, but hey, have you heard the new Pink album?” Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Horror and the paranormal is now mainstream. You can’t turn on the telly without finding a programme that’s about spirits and such. And because of the availability of such shows, they’re all the same. Back in the day when you had to seek these things out for yourself, the standard of quality was a bit higher. Thanks to The Ring, horror has now become a commercialisation to please the general public instead of the hardcore horror buffs out there. I find the pop-culturalists saying how scary a movie was, only to find the film lacklustre and disappointing in my personal opinion. Maybe it’s because horror enthusiasts such as myself are harder to please, so opting to make it less scary while giving it a glossed over mass appeal is the better marketing option.
I break the goth mold when it comes to being pasty-white. I prefer a bit of a tan myself. Sometimes to the point where I actually end up looking lobstery. Which is partly because I am pasty to begin with so my love for the sun has led to my own downfall at times. So for those of us who have a pallor in competition with the Undead, the sun can be an enemy. If you go out with anything less than an SPF of 45, you could get a really nasty burn!
While the majority of people don’t see us as ritualistic axe murderers because we dress like Marilyn Manson, there are still a few out there who go all Antoine Dodson, hiding their kids, hiding their wives, hiding their husbands because they think we’re axe-murdering everybody out here. Most of us are pretty normal people. Do not be afraid!
You know how young children are drawn to furry animals? They are also drawn to goths. I think it’s because we have a tendency to be shiny with all of our accessories. I’ll be walking around in the store and suddenly there’s a baby attached to my skirt while its mother stands there smiling at me. I’ve also been followed as I take my evening walks by little kids exclaiming their love for my bracelets. It can make you feel like a rock star sometimes with all of the shallow popularity. They only like me for my bracelets. It makes me wonder if these kids and sometimes their parents have ever watched Stranger Danger. Maybe the emphasis of that show was too much on what to do if a stranger approached you, but they should focus on how you’re not supposed to approach strange people and follow them around, even if they are shiny. However, I also get that from kids I know, but the kids I know have a tendency to become slightly more aggressive. I’m constantly poked and prodded in the face because of my piercings and elaborate makeup. “What’s this? Ooooh, how pretty! I want one of those when I grow up! I like your makeup! Let me see how this is attached…” I know how a classroom hamster feels.
So there ya have it. Those are some of the things that I have to deal with on a day to day basis as a goth. It’s an existance filled with struggle and strife. I hope that reading this piece has either made you feel that you have an ally, or has just helped to enlighten you on some of the problems your goth friends may silently struggling with.