My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Cliques, Judging and Subcultures

Most goths, at some point, will have been judged for how they look. At the darkest end there are things like when people get beaten up and even killed for how they look, and at the other there's assumptions made such as "goths are rude and pretentious" etc. We don't like being judged for being goths. We shouldn't do it to other groups. Just because someone wears fashionable clothes, that doesn't make them snobby and elitist about those who don't. Just because someone wears over-sized plastic-rim glasses and plimsols does not make them vacant and pretentious. Just because someone is wearing tracksuit bottoms and hooded jumper, that does not make them rude and violent (maybe they're going to the gym!). Just because someone wears skinny jeans and has dyed black hair does not mean they are histrionic attention-seekers. Goths aren't inherently nicer than everyone, that's why I have to make this post. 

Really, there is no reason for me to elaborate this into a vast wall of text. Yes, there are a disproportionate amount of certain types of bad behaviour in certain groups which is why some of these stereotypes exist in the first place, but even if there are more thugs that wear tracksuit bottoms and hooded jumpers than wear designer jeans, that doesn't mean that wearing a tracksuit makes someone a thug. That same logic goes for the other things. I may not LIKE any of those other styles, and think that a lot of them look terribly hideous, but I deal with that by NOT WEARING THEM and wearing things I don't think look hideous. I do not hate other styles, although I do think they are sometimes rather amusing (like when people wear logo or slogan t-shirts and have no idea what they represent, or when they walk around with their trousers halfway down their rears) but I also realise I'm probably amusing trying to run for the bus in platform boots. Other people are entitled to the same freedom of expression as we are. 

For a less text-intensive experience, watch ::this:: video by BatcaveDilemma 


  1. Replies
    1. It's been said before, but I still see it happening, on internet forums, on blogs, etc. It's the same judgemental attitudes as the alternative crowd face, being directed in reverse, and it's just as daft, so I felt like reiterating.

  2. "Other people are entitled to the same freedom of expression as we are."

    This so much, it really annoys me when some people will bleat on about S.O.P.H.I.E. One day and then make sweeping generalisations about "Chav scum" (ie: anybody in Burberry) then next :/
    Way to miss the whole point of that charity.

    1. I know that on their FB group, those running the page have had to intervene sometimes and point this out, and it is sad. I feel that the insult "chav" should be used to describe a certain sort of anti-social behaviour, not dress sense.

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  4. Wonderful post. I agree completely. We all dress because that is how we choose to express ourselves. Just as goths don't like to be picked on for how we choose to express ourselves, we should not pick on or judge others.

    I used to be trad goth, and now I am a corporate goth because I'm in a professional field, but a few people said the other day I was not goth because I didn't dress goth enough. I have continuously listened to goth rock & darkwave and read the literature and been into dark memorabilia for over 15 years. However, like other corporate goths, I now show my appreciation for dark beauty in subtler ways, like a bat or skull necklace, lots of black lace, small spikes, etc.

    I am secure in myself, so the criticism doesn't shake me that much. I know there are wonderful goths out here still. However, I am shocked to see some be evaded about what the goth movement is about: depth, creativity and individuality. I am glad to see you and others address this issue.

    1. My colourful hair might mark me apart from my coworkers, but my dress-sense at work doesn't. People who get all snooty about those who for one reason or another don't wear the spookiest of fashions everyday really annoy me. It's a recurring theme in many of my posts that I'm the same person with the same interests regardless of what I am wearing at any one time.


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