This morning I logged in to Blogger to find a heartfelt query from a fellow Gothling: "My sister is two years older than me and she claims to have "started going goth" before me, which, I'll be honest, is almost true. She did start wearing darker colours before me and claimed to be goth even though she would just be wearing a black t-shirt and jeans (that was the case back-then). Of course, she evolved over the years and became more of a goth after a while. Later on, I was inspired by this and decided to go goth. But, she kept accusing me of "copying" her. However, that was not my intention. Even to this day (about two years after I started going goth) she still accuses me of copying her whenever she gets the opportunity, and let's just say she isn't too polite about it. I would almost dare say that she's been bullying me.
Below I listed a few things that she does:
Telling me that I'm not a goth.
Telling me what I should and shouldn't wear.
Constantly telling me how ugly I am and how I don't dress like a goth at all.
(I might've left out a few things -.-)
I've been trying to ignore it for a long time now, but I just can't take it anymore, and was hoping you could help me out and maybe give me some tips." (I have shortened this comment just a little; to read the rest of Dear Anonymous's plaintive complaint, check out the comments on this post.)
Anonymous, I'm sorry to hear that your sister has taken such exception to your decision to follow her into the Goth subculture. Having someone be inspired by you is very flattering and I'm sure that she is pleased that you looked up to her in such a way. However if she is a teenager - I'm assuming you both are? - she is probably also trying to 'find' her identity (as we all do) and feels frustrated that you have also chosen to identify with something she felt was 'hers'. A lot of young Goths feel possessive about their new image because it is special to them and so she may be hostile towards you because 'she was there first'.
Whilst putting yourself in her shoes might help you understand why she is reacting in such a way, she is not the One True Goth and you have just as much right to be involved with the subculture as she does. It may be best for you to try your hardest to ignore her taunts - as you both get older, she is likely to eventually realise that inspiring her younger sister to take part in Goth culture is actually a good thing, and will leave you alone. Goth is big enough for everyone, after all!
In the meantime, treat her unkind comments and remarks about your Gothness in the same way you would if they were made by someone you didn't know - either ignore them or react politely (a la Gothic Charm School). If she says "You're not a real Goth," respond with something like, "I'm happy the way I am." Eventually she will realise that she can't deter you from being a Goth and if you refuse to be drawn into an argument she should stop making spiteful remarks and leave you to your own devices.
When she tells you what you should and shouldn't wear, is she being unkind or simply trying to offer advice that she feels might be helpful? If the former, respond as above - e.g., "Thanks for the suggestion but I like what I'm wearing," and wait for her to get bored of being bossy. If the latter, consider the advice as if it was being offered by another Goth (e.g. not your sister) and decide whether or not you agree. Then you can respond - again, calmly and politely - with either, "Thanks for the suggestion... etc," or "That was helpful, thanks."
Comments such as 'you're ugly', etc, though, are typical sibling nastiness, from what I understand, and if she persists on making these kind of comments perhaps you could speak to your parents about it.
Readers with siblings, is there any further advice you can offer to Anonymous?