So I was not having the best day. And then I came online. Not only do I know the sweetest and most amazing Gothy types in the world ever but I won a free download of the Decade EP by All My Faith Lost!! <3333
Today I'd like to direct a disgruntled rant in the direction of the Daily Fail, AGAIN, and in particular the article they ran entitled 'Where did my little girl go?' with the absurd sub-heading: "Horse-riding. Private school. Diana Appleyard's daughter wanted for nothing. So why at 18 has Charlotte become a Goth with ten ear piercings?" It's almost cute how they try to make ten ear piercings sound oh-so-shocking.
And I'm not sure why so many middle-class parents seem to assume that equestrianism will somehow deter their child from Gothdom. I state for the record that I was a horse-obsessed child. I own over 400 My Little Ponies, will buy anything with a unicorn on it, and rode horses from the age of seven, which was when my repeated pleading convinced my parents that riding lessons might be more important than paying the rent every now and again. Riding horses and being a Goth are not actually incompatible, y'know...
In the article, both Diana and Charlotte give their sides of the story. Charlotte puts forth her 'defence' for being a heavy metal fan with pink hair (not technically a Goth but more of a metalhead in my opinion, but I'm not splitting hairs right this minute), saying, "My image epitomises both fun and also a sense of passion - it's an antidote to a drab world."
|Charlotte Appleyard: "I am who I am."|
Source: The Daily Mail
Frankly, this attitude makes my blood boil. This woman seems incapable of accepting her daughter's right to be her own person, including her own style and image. My own mother, upon reading the article, proclaimed, "Selfish woman - she can't understand it's not all about her." Perhaps it's unfair for me to say, as I'm not a parent myself, but I am at a loss with parents who aim such vitriolic comments at their children simply because those children have elected not to become miniature clones of Mummy and Daddy. (I swear before you all, I promise never to berate my future children should they choose to wear tracksuits from Adidas.)
Seemingly overlooking the fact that Charlotte is apparently capable of making independent decisions about her appearance on the basis of nothing more than PLEASING HERSELF, Diana wails, "Is this image some kind of rebellion against her middle-class childhood? Is she figuratively putting two fingers up at our values and lifestyle? Charlotte looks the antithesis of her upbringing. I can't help seeing her image as some kind of rejection."
Personally, I would be shocked and upset if one of my parents were to say such a thing about me; if they felt that my way of expressing myself and enjoying fashion was nothing more than a spiteful act towards them. And that 'antithesis of her upbringing' remark I find offensive: is Diana implying that Goths, metalheads and punks can't possibly come from comfortable, happy homes with loving families and a good education, because I think MY family, just for starters, would like to tell her differently.
In response, Charlotte says, "I am not doing this to upset my parents. They've done everything for me and I respect their opinions very much. My image is simply for me and no one else and I ought to be given the freedom to do what I like to it."
Diana also mentions casually that her daughter's dress sense has become "a family joke". Well, I'm sure my family weren't expecting me to end up with orange hair and a nose ring, but at least they manage not to describe me as a 'joke' in a national newspaper.
To finish, she says, "I just wish she looked more on the outside as she is on the inside. I worry... that her aggressive image might damage her in some way."
Sometimes there just aren't words...
Now, I don't know the Appleyards personally at all, I know nothing about their family dynamic, but I feel that Diana's ill-judged misconceptions and ignorant remarks are the perfect example of what a lot of young Goths have to put up with from their own families when they're doing nothing more than experimenting with a new aesthetic. I find it frustrating that Diana seems to insist on seeing Charlotte's image as 'rejection' and 'rebellion' - Charlotte says, "Nothing could be further from the truth! Why do parents think everything is about them?"
You can read the entire article here. (Most of the comments are great!)
I'll finish with a quote from Charlotte: "I am who I am, and love my image. I don't think any person has the right to tell anyone how they should look. We only get one life and should be allowed to live it as we see fit."