307 followers?! Wow! Hello and welcome, everyone, I hope you enjoy reading my sugar-fuelled ramblings - don't be afraid to comment, make suggestions, send flowers etc., I'm pretty friendly!
- Wearing something other than black won't kill you. Or get you banned from the Goth club. One of my first acts upon deciding to 'go Goth' was to exorcise every single non-black item of clothing from my wardrobe. It took a while to weed everything out whilst still retaining a functional wardrobe, but boy was I determined. This... is not necessary. Whilst, yes, there may be some items in your wardrobe that simply will not work with a Goth aesthetic, no matter how much you customise them, there are plenty that will, and they need not be black. If you have a browse through just this site for starters, you will come across dozens of pictures of spectacular Gothy outfits involving plenty of colour, whether as an accent or the main theme.
- Other Goths are not scary creatures that need to be impressed. They are just people, like you. To be honest, I have not long since got past the stage of being intimidated by my fellow Goths; even when I joined Blogger, I was very shy of extremely well-dressed, talented people like The Green Fairy, OpiateVampire and Miss Gracie. In my younger years I was very nervous, especially when attending clubs and concerts, that someone would point and shout out, "Hey, you're not a real Goth, you're a normal person in disguise!" and would spend ages stressing about what to wear, how to dance, etc, in order to make a favourable impression on my fellow clubgoers. Only recently did I twig on that, despite the supposed bitchiness and snarking within the Goth scene, a Goth club is, basically, a room full of people enjoying themselves, dressing to please themselves and not giving a monkey's armpit about the sartorial opinions of anyone else in the room. So it doesn't actually matter what you choose to wear, as long as YOU are happy and comfortable in it. Yes, there is bitching, because Goths tend to gossip in the manner of little old ladies, and yes, you will find assholes everywhere, but the people worth bothering with are the ones who don't care what anybody else thinks of what they're wearing or whether or not the other clubgoers think they're a 'real Goth'. I THINK that made sense.
- If your friends don't want to be your friends once you've started dressing differently, they were never really your friends. One of my best guy friends was a real fashion victim, and couldn't bear to be seen with me after I started dressing Goth. Nowadays, if I say hello to him on the bus, I get completely blanked. So I've stopped bothering; I have a lovely group of friends who I know would still be my friends if tomorrow I decided I was going to shave my head and start dressing like the Bay City Rollers (although they would probably worry). Having your friends turn on you over a matter so small as clothing is very upsetting and frustrating at the time, but it's a quick and easy way to find out who's still worth your time and friendship. It's their loss, not yours.
- You can still have non-Gothy interests. We are people, not members of a hivemind. Plus, if you can accept a bit of stereotyping, us darkly-inclined types are supposed to be intelligent and creative also. Why would a creative person allow themselves to be shoehorned into a jelly mould (is that a mixed metaphor)? The whole point of self-expression is exactly that - expressing yourself. If you love playing football, watching Glee, listening to Ashlee Simpson (guilty) or other activities or interests that would make other Goths gag, who cares? You shouldn't. And probably no one else will either (except the occasional Gother-than-thou elitist, but no one likes them anyway) so roll with it. There's no need to sacrifice other interests or aspects of your personality to be a Goth. We all have our guilty pleasures and interests outside of the Goth scene, honest.
- Laziness can ruin an outfit. Even now, online, I see a lot of beautiful outfits spoiled by boring or badly-applied make-up, accessories that don't work, or simply lack of attention to detail. Some fabrics don't look nice next to each other because of subtle differences in shade and texture - this one caught me out a lot. We all go through a learning curve when we begin to experiment with Goth fashion; don't get stuck in a sartorial rut through laziness.
- DIY doesn't have to be difficult. I avoided DIY for years because I didn't want to do a bodge job, and because (get this!) I thought brand name stuff bought from alt shops was 'more Goth'. Moving on swiftly. Often, T-shirts can be an unflattering length or shape - but this is so easy to alter, don't put up with it! (T-shirt makeovers tutorial coming soon...) Safety-pins, badges, lace trim etc can really change the appearance of a garment and make a real difference to your outfit.
- Brand names do not make you 'more Goth'. Actually, one of the 'signs' that someone has been in the scene for a reasonable amount of time is being able to create stylishly dark outfits through thrifting, DIY and even mainstream stores. Mix-and-matching brand name items doesn't hurt, but you don't have to buy your entire wardrobe from Hell Bunny (or similar).
- You ARE a 'real Goth'. I don't know if others had a long-lasting phase, as I did, of feeling insecure in their Goth identity and worrying that they might not be a 'real Goth'. But basically, in case you're uncertain, a real Goth - a) enjoys some 'real' Goth music (amongst other genres, yes you can still like rock, metal, trance, techno, pop, or whatever else floats your boat, even hip-hop. Click on my 'music' tag in the sidebar to find out some more about what constitutes Goth music if you are unsure) b) is likely to have an interest in dark, Goth or alternative fashion. Of course, Goth encompasses more than simply music and fashion, so again I encourage new Gothlings to have a browse through the archives to learn some more about the ins and outs of this fascinating subculture... but if the music and (to a slightly lesser extent) the fashion are of interest to you, and you want to be part of the scene, then YES, you are a 'real Goth'.
- Being Goth doesn't mean that everyone is against you. Yes, people may stare and even point, but quite often what they have to say to or about you will be nice or even encouraging.
- There is so much in the world of dark, alternative fashion and culture to explore and experiment with; unless you really want to, there is no need to limit yourself to one look, subset, or music genre. Keep an open mind to new things.
P.S. Some people have been sending me messages through Google Friend Connect - unfortunately I can't receive these as they go to an incorrect e-mail address and I haven't yet figured out how to change it. Please feel free to leave a comment, or leave me your e-mail address and I will get in touch. Thanks. ^^