The following are some observations about our much-adored subculture that popped into my head this week. Many of these are fuelled by exasperation and I apologise for the slightly scattergun approach of this post.
- Being happy doesn't make you 'less Goth'. I was told today that I'm not a 'real Goth' because I'm too happy. Goth is not a mood or an emotion, it's a subculture.
- Being depressed doesn't mean you're a poseur. Some people in the scene actually have depression. They're not doing it for attention or because they think it makes them more Goth. Yes, there are people who pretend to have depression because they THINK it's a requirement of being Goth, by all means roll your eyes at these people (but not to their faces please, we all fell for one stereotype or another didn't we?), but don't assume that people who genuinely have a mental illness are putting it on to enhance their Goth cred.
- Goths of the opposite gender aren't doing what they do to impress you. If a girl wears a chain in her nose or has a septum piercing, it's because she, personally, likes how it looks and it makes her happy. So comments like, "You would have been so much more attractive if you didn't dye your hair blue/shave your head/wear so much make-up/wear black all the time," are irrelevant because she's pleasing herself not anybody else.
- The above does not mean that Goths cannot be attractive or enjoy making themselves look nice for their significant others. It just means that what THEY think looks nice and what YOU think looks nice might not always match up, and they don't care.
- "You would have been so much more attractive..." comments are even more annoying when they come from other Goths, whom you'd expect would understand that you are not looking for the approval or attention of Joe Public. Sadly it happens.
- Some Goth girls (and guys) like to go out to the club wearing very little. This is because they like it and not because they want to have sex with you.
- Some Goth girls (and guys) like to go out to the club dressed very modestly and cover themselves from neck to toe. This is because they like it and not because they are frigid, shy or unconfident.
- You can be Goth if you don't like any of the original four Goth bands; Halloween; the works of Tim Burton; horror movies; the dark; bats; spiders; skulls; sci-fi; fantasy; cemeteries; maudlin poetry; wearing make-up, or nightclubbing.
- Not all Goths are beautiful. Even models look pretty normal under the make-up. There are no physical requirements for entry to this subculture.