MYTH: Goths dress the way they do to get attention
The flamboyance often associated with Goth attire often causes said Gothling to stand apart from the crowd. It's difficult to blend in wearing a bustle skirt and velvet cape (or gentleman's equivalent). The fact that in many cases we darklings insist on garbing ourselves in attire that makes us stick out like a blackened thumb leads many non-Goths to believe that we do so simply to court their attention.
|(Isn't this a fantastic image? I found it on Tumblr but would love to give credit! EDIT: I am informed that model credit goes to Kassandra Leigh (Kayleigh @ DA))|
If the idea of dressing unconventionally does not appeal to you one iota, you might find it hard to understand why someone else would choose to do so. Especially when this mode of dress often provokes reactions such as staring and pointing. If you regularly receive such reactions and continue to dress in your Goth attire, surely that must mean that you are deliberately seeking this attention?
Well, actually, no. Whilst we may occasionally moan about the staring, pointing, questions and comments we often receive, Goths generally tend to be self-aware enough to realise that gadding about dressed as a creature of the night is going to attract this kind of attention. The majority of us don't give a fig one way or the other about people gawping and would just prefer to go about our business, thankyouverymuch.
The thing is, we choose to deck ourselves out like this because we happen to really, really like it. And if you really, really like something and it isn't hurting anyone, chances are you will continue to do it, even if other people react with negativity. I'm sure there are some Gothlings who felt so uncomfortable under the scrutiny of Joe Public that they ceased to dress in Goth clothing; but on the whole Goths learn to ignore these reponses. In fact, after a few years you rarely even notice people pointing and staring at you - which, I think, proves the point here a little. How can one be accused of wanting attention when you are learning to patiently ignore it?
Plus, the 'Goths just want attention' theory also loses ground if you take into consideration the fact that not all Goths dress in outrageous or flamboyant fashions. Many simply wear jeans and T-shirts (although usually black), or dark-coloured corporate attire. Not all Goths are 'obvious' in their manner of dress and some draw no attention at all.
I said that the majority of Goths don't care about this attention one way or the other. There are two other trains of thought. Some do actually enjoy the attention - they feel that they look fabulous and don't mind if people stare, because those people are probably curious, interested or downright admiring. On the other hand some dislike the attention especially if they live in an area where they often receive rude catcalls or comments, and these types tend to keep their monochrome wardrobe casual when out and about.
Of course, some of us also veer between these trains of thought. I have days, for example, when I can't be bothered to field questions or listen to the same lame funeral jokes, and these are the days when I wear jeans, mutter and roll my eyes and get tempted to Tweet about idiots that walk into lampposts at the sight of anything out of the ordinary. Especially when people are being plain rude, such as standing three feet away from me taking cameraphone photos of me whilst I'm trying to eat a sandwich. I also have days when I feel great and saunter down the high street pretending I'm on the catwalk at a Lip Service fashion show.
What I'm trying to say is, Goths on the whole don't go out looking for this attention. They just accept it. They may enjoy it, if they're in the right frame of mind, and the rest of the time they learn to deal with it. The only attention that tends to meet with an overwhelmingly positive response is friendly comments and greetings from other black-clad or alternative types. Goths dress Goth because they LIKE IT, not because of some driving need to be ogled.