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Monday, 17 January 2011

Growing up Goth

I really must stop linking to other people's blog posts, but when I come across something I think my readers would like I really want to share it... at least I've asked permission this time! So without further ado, please go and read this post by the gorgeous Miss Gracie, about how a Goth's style and personal image change as they get older.

Miss Gracie asks, "What are some big changes that you have gone through? How do you think your style will change as you get older?" Knowing my tendency to ramble on, I thought I'd make my reply over here rather than posting some ridiculously long comment - plus, a big thanks to Miss Gracie for giving me an excuse to post my old mallgoth pictures! (Plus, a pre-Goth picture... yikes!)

When I first started dressing in Goth clothing, I was a typical mallgoth, refused to wear anything that wasn't black, and had no clue about applying make-up (so I usually didn't bother). My relatives immediately started to describe my new look as a 'phase', but because of the increasing variety of fashion subsets within Goth, I never got bored or felt the need to express myself in a different way.
 

Doesn't everyone have a no-nose black lipstick pic lurking somewhere in their photo history?
C'mon, I was quite cute with eyebrows...
If anything, the phases I went through were 'within the boundaries' of Goth; the early mallgoth phase, followed shortly by the overeager babybat phase (which led to the conception of my old Piczo site, so that I could lecture (I mean, educate) other babybats who were 'not as Goth' as me. D'oh). This was followed by a short period of dabbling (badly) in Lolita; an 'experimental' phase of matching my Goth gear with bright colours; a cyber phase; my pink-and-black-attack uber-perky phase; and a last rebellious bout of bondage pants and baggy hoodies as I started working at the county council before I gave in to a more 'Goth couture' look for the working week.

Goth has perhaps inspired me to dress in a more feminine manner; in my early teens I was very much a tomboy in ripped jeans, baggy hoodies and funky slogan T-shirts, mainly because the look I associated with 'femininity' was the Paris Hilton blonde bimbo look, as ably demonstrated by a large majority of my peers. I did, of course, experiment with bleached blonde hair, tiny pink crop-tops and mini-skirts so short I wince looking back on them. Nowadays frilly skirts, heels and corsets are de rigeur; I own more than 30 skirts - shocking, for a girl who once owned three skirts and eleven pairs of jeans.
Me and Dan, aged 13 and 14 respectively.
Now you know EVERYTHING, guys...
I've gone through every hair colour in the book; and contradicted myself so many times it borders on the ridiculous. My 13-year-old self proclaimed piercings 'disgusting'. Now I have a fair amount... let's say 'more than ten'. Tattoos? 'Common and unoriginal'. I guess when you're used to seeing chavs with crappy tribal flash or Playboy bunny tattoos, the concept of 'body art' takes time to come around to.

Recently, perhaps because I have entered the crazy world of employment, I have noticed my style changing even more. If anything it is possibly more flamboyant; I can blame this on a combination of drooling over too many festival videos and model shoots on Tumblr; Gothic Charm School (if anyone can read Gothic Charm School without wanting to don a top hat, I salute your willpower); and my natural tendency to push against what is 'expected' of me: i.e. to stop dressing 'weird' so that I can get a good job. I am quite determined to prove that I can make it in life and still dress however I please, thankyouverymuch.

At the moment a lot of my outfits are very 'retro-glamour' inspired, heavy on the leopard print, seamed stockings, red lipstick and cats-eye eyeliner, which is a big change from the bondage pants and emo-tastic Bleeding Star T-shirts of my early Goth days. My obsession with perkygoth pink is beginning to die down, although I still insist on having bats on, well, everything.
My favourite 'mallgoth' picture.
I suspect that my style will continue to become more outrageous as I get older; mainly because I am learning more about fashion and make-up, what works and what doesn't, and where to source clothing more original than the latest line from Dead Threads. It is also becoming more fantastical, as I am taking a lot of inspiration from Victorian and Neo-Victorian styles, as well as all things faerie (my lifelong obsession).

I now worship at the altar of Etsy rather than the Attitude Clothing catalogue, wear make-up every day (although I am careful to keep it tasteful nowadays - I'm sure everyone makes the ridiculous make-up mistakes that I made when I began experimenting, but that doesn't make me feel any less embarrassed, looking back), and no longer think that Linkin Park and Evanescence are the epitome of Goth music (I'm sure you're relieved).
Oh, dear...
Listening to: Living Dead and Undecided - Pretentious, Moi?

11 comments:

Mark said...

Hi there. Mark aka Aspergika here once again. Could you give me a web address of Etsy, which you say is better than Attitude Clothing? Nice Blog, as I always keep coming back to it again and again. Keep up the great dark work. One dark day we'll all shroud the earth in a blanket of Black Velvet.

Mark aka Aspergika

ultimategothguide said...

Hello, Mark. =) Etsy is at www.etsy.com, it's like Ebay but for vintage and handmade things.
Thank you very much!

Julietslace said...

Omg now I have to copy you and post some dodgy photos as well!

Laurel said...

I'm not going to write a book this time, or ask a stupid question--I'm NOT! On the topic of Gothic Charm School, top hat--no, but it does make me want a pocket watch. And now, I'm off to read Miss Gracie's post, and write up my own take on the whole thing! I'm not original, either...

MissGracie said...

Awww, I don't have any no-nose pictures anymore. I had so many, where did they go??

Stephanie said...

I love this! I know what you mean about the phases. I went from being a total mallgoth to a week of nothing but bright neons. THAT was fun. I think people were more shocked at my brighter stuff than my goth gear. I think now I'm at a pretty balanced kind of punk hippie thing. I don't know if I'd call myself goth anymore, but I definately still love the culture.

BackCombedCrazyLady said...

I love this- I now want to look through my old photos.

Anyways I went from Metaler,to babybat, that horrible stage of wearing halloween capes and fangs *cringes*, an over the top romantic , lolita, punk, and now i'm a pixie boot, leather jacket, big haired trad like goth and have been for about a year (which is longer than the other phases)

BackCombedCrazyLady said...

Oh it's Alice by the way... I thought I should sign up.

ultimategothguide said...

@ Juliet's Lace - yes, dodgy photos! I contemplated posting some Bad Goth Poetry as well, but you'll be relieved to hear I've decided against it...

@ Miss Gracie - if you find them, you HAVE to post them! =D

@ BackCombedCrazyLady - ooh, I never had the capes-and-fangs stage. Well, except when I was about seven, but I don't think that counts... XD

Nox Artemis said...

Haha. Yeah, I totally get you with the whole goth and femininity. When I was younger, I loathed wearing skirts and dressing up like a girl. Now, I wear skirts and lacy tops more than ever. Though, cargo pants and blue jeans still make up a big portion of my wardrobe, since I'm in environmental studies and I have to do a lot of field work - literally (see? Goths go into all sorts of careers! :D).

Dalestair Ophelia Zodiac said...

The awkward moment when my bestie and I still wear fangs.

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