THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES

Sunday, 14 November 2010

A handy guide for babygoths

A babygoth (or babybat, minigoth, kindergoth) is simply someone who is new to Goth. (Note: being a babygoth is different to being a mallgoth, just as being a newb is different than being a n00b.) Some babygoths may have had an older, more established Goth 'mentor' guiding them over the surprising number of pitfalls in Goth social etiquette. Some may have found their own feet in this massive subculture. And the rest of you? Well, there's always the internet...

Source: Photobucket
The most obvious tip I can give you is this: listen to the music. Check out the big list of Goth bands (it's in the sidebar column on the right). A few good 'starter' bands would be The Sisters of Mercy, Ausgang, Bauhaus, Sex Gang Children and Fields of the Nephilim. If you find something you like, use Last.fm, YouTube or Amazon to discover similar bands. Also, keep checking back to this blog, as I'll start dropping in random links to free, legal downloads that will help expand your Goth music collection. (In fact, here's one now: Lose Yourself At The Nymphaeum, from Viva La Muerte by Inkubus Sukkubus. Inkubus Sukkubus, often abbreviated to InkySuk by fans, are a fantastic Pagan Gothic rock band whom I was lucky enough to see live last year...)

It's also very important to listen to what you like. Listening to bands just because they are popular is slightly silly, as is snubbing a band for 'not being Goth enough'. Stay open-minded and check out new things. If you can't afford to buy new CDs, there are many online radio stations that play Goth music. Try Cathedral 13, Radio Ghoul School and Digital Gunfire for starters.

Be respectful towards other Goths. There's no need to bow and scrape, but don't hurl abuse at someone for pointing out that My Chemical Romance is not a Goth band. Also, admittedly, there is a fair amount of snarking in the Goth scene (many Goths have a sharp wit and equally sharp tongue), but being rude is not a way to make people think you are 'elite'. This includes conversations online.

Also, if you spot someone else dressed in Goth-style clothing on the street, do acknowledge them. If you or they are in a hurry, a nod and a smile is fine; otherwise you could compliment them on their clothing or ask about local events. Talking to people in the scene is a great way to learn more about the culture (and the many nuances of Goth social ettiquette), plus it's always nice to acknowledge/be acknowledged by a fellow 'freak'. And if the person turns out to be a mallgoth or fellow babybat, you can always name-drop a Goth band and nudge them onto the right track.

Be confident. Being new to the subculture could make you a target - I have never seen this happen at a club or event, but some online forums can get downright catty, when people with a serious case of Gothier Than Thou Syndrome decide to be unpleasant to newer Gothlings. Ignore these people, hold your head high and move on. This type of person is probably insecure about their own 'Goth cred' and is trying to make themselves look good. Thankfully, these people are usually only found online because they are 'too cool' to go out to events. The scene is dead, after all... *sigh*

If there's something you don't know about a band or a bit of music history, there's no need to pretend that you do. Someone will probably be happy to gain some extra Goth points by enlightening you.

On that note, learn as much as you can about Goth culture. The net is always a good place to learn - try Goth.net for starters. Yes, it's a forum, but the people there are friendlier than most and you can read through previous topics to bash up on your knowledge. Another great site is Gothic Charm School (and there's a book!), one of my personal favourites.

There are also many books about Goth culture - if you're on a budget, some of these may be available at your local library. My recommendations are: Gothic Charm School: The Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them by Jillian Venters; What Is Goth? by Voltaire (also a wonderful Goth musician) and The Goth Bible by Nancy Kilpatrick.

You may also like to dress the part. The fashion aspect of Goth is relative to each person's taste; if you like to dress in baggy bondage pants and Crow make-up then go ahead and wear it with pride. Just be warned that people may think you are a mallgoth - but if you're happy, who cares? Heaven knows, I haven't given up my bondage pants!

Imitating the style and make-up of Goth music artists that you admire is a good starting point. Just remember that whether it be a rat's-nest of hair like Mad Bob Smith (The Cure) or a tightly cinched corset like JoHanna from The Cruxshadows, be classy and pay attention to detail. Lazily applied make-up and a badly-fitting corset are Goth fashion sins, my dear. Also, be careful not to overdo the make-up (at least to begin with - practise makes perfect, as they say). There are many ways of having dark, elegantly spooky make-up without looking OTT.

You don't have to buy your clothes from specialist Goth shops either. Try eBay, charity or thrift shops, vintage shops and mainstream stores to create your own unique style.

You can also buy dark-themed magazines such as Gothic Beauty, Spider's Web Zine and Unscene Magazine - the pictures provide great inspiration and there are wonderful articles and tutorials to keep you entertained whilst expanding your knowledge.

It isn't necessary to tell anyone that will listen that you're Goth, or proclaim how Goth you are. Nor do you need to go to the other extreme and constantly deny your Gothiness. If someone asks, answer honestly. Otherwise, it's a little annoying. Acting depressed, sad or angry all the time? Also unnecessary!

The most important thing is to have fun! Impressing other Goths is nowhere near as important as being yourself.

Listening to: Children of the Night - Bak VIII

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Im a babybat but i dont know what kind of goth. I am i know pathetic right? but please help. Oh and my best friend Tyler want`s t knw what kind of goth yu are? and I Love Your site it has been a great help for me because im the only goth in my whole town and people don`t have anything nice to say about it but oh well. ~Callasandra~

Anonymous said...

Great article! Here's some other advice to baby bats.

- While research online about Goth is good place to start it isn't the "be-all-end-all". As you get older and get to attend more events you'll experience the subculture in a way that isn't avaliable online. Don't be afraid to get out and meet people! Experiencing the Goth subculture is a lot more rewarding than researching it online or in books.


- Beware! Not every Goth online that is older than you knows what they're talking about. People lie and sometimes will present their opinions to you as hardcore facts. Always double check information you find with several reliable resources. But, a lot of the erroneous internet views on Goth will be shattered as you gain more experience.

- Don't expect all Goths to be accepting and kind. Sad to say, there are Goths that make it their business to be unkind. But you'll find that in any place where people hang out together on a constant basis. Have a thick skin. Don't let jerks ruin your fun.

Melanie~"Fangirl"~Light said...

honestly, this was the most helpful guide for "babygoths" I have found. (I've been researching online for a week, but still.) at the end of the day, I'm not sure if I want to be a goth, but I really enjoy the aspect of creating your own image via clothes, accessories, art, etc.

thanks so much for this! :)

david smith said...

Is there a discography BOOK for goth+dark wave.Computer i use in library blocks goth.net and other stuff.Not spending £5 for fares and 20 mins on internet for a sentence of information-rather buy bottle of cider!No description,review/critique of 'The great indie discography' so can't know if contains 'great big list of goth bands'.

david smith said...

Also,there isn't a tag for discography books to type in the site's search box.When i type 'name of book'filetype:pdf i don't get useful pages to look at on the net.Can you put a list of discography books at the top of the 'great big list of goth bands'page so it's easy to find for idiots like me.

ultimategothguide said...

David Smith - try The Great Rock Discography or, more Goth-specific, Music To Die For by Mick Mercer (both available on Amazon).

david smith said...

commentor on goth.net said something like it see's shapes and colours in music.Tell it the word in psychology books is'synaesthesia'.Books about it..the frog who croaked blue by jamie ward.the hidden senses by cretien van campen.Library computer bans the site,no internet shop in my town,queue waiting for computer when i saw the site.

david smith said...

type in the title of the book to see extracts or book reviews,example thefrogwhocroakedbluefiletype:pdf allabouteve-endoftheday(cerise,like setting sun)blutengel-soulofice(maroon with bit of pink mixed in)donhenley-theboysofsummer(deep orange).round,wavy names=george,neil.sharp,spikey names=fred,vivian.

david smith said...

fingals cave (song)is about a real place in Scotland where waves crash on cave and cliffs.Songwriters call this the'melodic curve'.little,sharp,fast,spikey waves.broader,obtuse waves.big crashing waves.yngwiemalmsteen-trilogysuiteopus5original.three intro riffs are spikey up/down run riffs.

david smith said...

Phsychologists in the west showed photographs of people to synaesthetes in the west then showed same photo's to synaesthetes in the orient;western and orientals both saw the same colours around the same people in the photo's(spooky huh)Usually different perception/colours/shapes for individual synaesthetes.

david smith said...

that repeat is the fault of the silly computer.

Anonymous said...

I love how you mention Voltaire's book, he was the first goth singer I listened to, anyone who hasn't heard one of his songs/read one of his books you should he covers everything from sitting in a graveyard reading Poe to traveling to Mexico and getting ambushed by skeletons

LauraS85 said...

I never had a mentor :( how lame is that? I was 17 back then (babybat time) and now I'm 28. Saddily, I have no people around that share my interests and it kinda sucks.Also, I never read any guides on how to become goth either. I think I did a hell of a great job on my own :D

kyleigh said...

So ive been a baby bat for almost a year now i usually wear black jeans my doc and a black t-shirt but i also love to were bow ties and velvet is my favorite kind of fabric. i have several body mods but i live in a small town were there are not many goth or what goths we do have here are mallgoths. everyone in my town is closed minded and sometimes i wonder if i'm accutally doing it right. i am very open minded about everything i don't disrespect anyone for how they dress i do love dark things but to me its more then just loving dark things. I just wanted to know if by what i said am i doing anything right?

~Forgotten-Unwanted~ said...

You said some Goths had mentors. What is the different benefits of having a mentor or from learning online? I'm a babybat and there aren't many Goths I've seen in my area.

AnonymousEevee said...

Um, hi, I'm only a really beginning babybat, and just going into high school this year, and I'm kinda nervous because I live in a small town and haven't seen any other 'goths' around. Since I'm a terrible socializer, I don't really know how to get to know people and make friends that I haven't known for a while. Any tips on how to really get into a 'goth' group if I meet some at the local high school?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...