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..

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

30 Day Goth Challenge, Day 2

Share Photos And Experiences From Your Babybat Days

Well, I was only briefly a babybat, and there weren't any photographs taken, so I can't share photos, but can I can share experiences. I wasn't into babybat music, but was into classical music so did not wear band t-shirts, and took my inspiration from Goths at the mall when I had sneaked off from sanctioned shopping trips. I was not into Satanic imagery, but into looking like a spooky sort of Witch. Yep, I was a fluffy-bunny Wiccan at the same time as a babybat Goth. I avoided those two cliches, but I still fell into lots of others. There were two shops selling both hippie/pagan and goth things in the city, and I used to frequent them both. I remember the smell of incense, hanging around with the people in the shops, and coveting the swords I was too young to buy. My partner and I have an extensive armoury between us now. Coveting attained.

I thought wearing all black was all it took to make an outfit Goth, and terribly mismatched clothes not realising that it took more than two items being the same colour to make them co-ordinate. Consequently, I wore floaty skirts with grungy tops and my black shiny wedge boots with everything, and wore cardigans over t-shirts etc. etc. I believed that only prostitutes wore fishnet, so wore opaque black tights for a while, and then when I realised that real prostitutes haven't worn fishnet in decades, finally let myself wear fishnet. I couldn't afford to buy proper clothes, and my customisation skills needed a lot of work, so all I could buy was charity shop clothes, and as I was on a rather strict allowance, this meant my wardrobe took a long time to grow, which was part of why my clothes were so mismatched - I didn't have enough clothes to put together proper all-black outfits and my choices were based on price rather than style.

I didn't know how to do my own makeup and hadn't heard of foundation, so I looked a mess. I'd been brought up by my Dad and his brothers before boarding school, and these were mainstream men that don't have a clue about makeup. I'd had no mother's dressing table to raid, wasn't allowed fashion magazines, and the other girls who did know about makeup, even if it was only mainstream makeup, didn't talk to me.  So I drew swirls on my face in pencil eye-liner. I'm very happy there are no photos of this and that I didn't often have the courage to look like that in public. Looking back, I must have appeared ridiculous. I also couldn't afford to buy proper make-up and wore halloween face-paint up as goth make-up. I really did look like an abomination. I didn't know how to blend properly, that it is important to line lips before colouring them, or how to apply mascara without making a gunky mess. I didn't have independent internet access, and I'm not sure how many goth makeup tutorials you could find on the internet in those days. There probably were a few, but nowhere near as many as there are now. YouTube wasn't even around back then. So yep, I was a makeup disaster.

My jewellery was worn all-at-once. I still wear a ring on each finger, so that hasn't changed, but I used to wear all my pendants at once, and they clashed, hideously. I also wore an actual dog's collar as a choker.   I had pierced ears, and wore big silver hoops constantly, and they'd get caught in my bird-nest of hair. My hair wasn't back-combed, it wasn't even dyed, it was long, brown and got everywhere. I went back to my bohemian braids in the end because my hair was waist-length and very fine and became natty very quickly otherwise, especially when subjected to the English weather.

Being a Goth was even more frowned upon than being a Witch at my school, but that made little difference. As I was already thoroughly bullied and mistreated, it wasn't any worse after my change in wardrobe because it really couldn't get much worse. I just got called "vampire" instead of "crazy cow". Everybody already thought I was a freak, probably because of my strange behaviour due to my insanity at the time, and partly because I have never had anything in common with the mainstream. Fashionable clothes, music and popular culture has always bored me. Also, I was a scholarship girl and skipped a year, those things got me bullied a lot too. Not to mention being scrawny and very tall, and really, really pale by nature.  One more thing for them to pick on me for really didn't change anything.  If anything, I was smug in my anti-fashion and felt a little stronger facing the bullies.

It was probably a wonderful thing for everyone that I stopped being goth, and didn't come back to the subculture until I'd had several years experience of dressing in an alternative manner. The world didn't have to put up with my bad attempts at Goth, and the local members of the Goth subculture didn't have to put up with a mentally unstable babybat, and I don't have any embarrassing photos. Everybody wins.


  1. It reminds me my own BabyBat days, I was an outcast, too, I have never ever owned band T-shirts, and had terrible make-up skills at the first times. And I don't really have any embarrassing pictures of my Babybat days.

    Luckily, those days are over. ^^

    1. Hee, well, I guess a few of those traits are common to quite a few Babybats! I almost want a Siouxsie T-shirt with the eyes... It's not something that would fit with my general style, but it's the kind of t-shirt I'd like to have for times when it's practical to be wearing a t-shirt.


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