5 Things Wrong With the 5 Things Wrong About the Goth Subculture Right Now article
Yes, I'm doing this, because this article recently got published on rebelsmarket.com, declaring that there is 5 things wrong with the modern day subculture. This is my post practically dismissing this, as half of the points are invalid. I'll explain why.
Why these points are wrong.
Looking at the first point, Marasigan lists "exclusionism" as the first point. A word that's literally coming up with a red line under it.
She states that:
"There is no single standard of Goth, as the many iterations of fashion have proved. A simple black dress can be goth if paired with the right edgy jewelry – if the person wearing it believes it is."
Firstly, well, no, there is not several types of goth. There's pretty much only three, the fashions being traditional goth (Batcave), romantic goth (a popular goth style in the 90s, worn by darkwave bands) and deathrock, the U.S outgrowth of goth. Everything else, like Pastel Goth, Cybergoth, mopey goth, vampire goth, tribal goth etc are their own subcultures, fashions, or just don't exist. And that's not my opinion, if you trace all of these back to the origins of their roots then you'll see that Pastel Goth grew out of Tumblr in 2010, and that Cybergoth came from Rivethead (Industrial) and rave culture, with the name being taken from a 90s game board. It's got nothing to do with goth, besides the name and the fact that they wear black. Some of them, like Edwardian goth, you can find nothing on. So how does it exist?
Secondly, a simple black dress is a simple black dress. Goth is a style, a style with certain garments that make up that style. "A simple black dress paired with the right edgy jewellery" literally means nothing. It means that you're wearing a black dress with edgy jewellery. Goth fashion came from the original goth musicians, it's categorised by makeup which includes Siouxsie Sioux's Egyptian eyeliner; Robert Smith's hooker red lipstick, Jonny Slu** flared eyebrows and solid blocks of eyeshadow in blue, silver and grey. Hair includes dyed black, teased/back combed and deathhawks. Clothes include fishnets, pencil skirts, winklepickers, DIY patch jackets etc. Jewellery included silver necklaces and chunky rings, often styled with bats, crosses or coffins.
The only thing I agree with here is "The beauty of alternative clothing and culture should not lie in a strict code of dress but in the individual's freedom to express themselves however they choose."
Because they're right, but goth isn't just 'alternative'. Alternative means out of societies norms, goth is a term which describes a specific group of people. Goth doesn't automatically mean alternative, and not all goths dress goth.
Her second point is "lifestyle", which is funny, because goth is not a lifestyle and it's not defined as one. It's specifically defined as a subculture, based around those who wear goth clothes, makeup and favour goth music. That's it. It's got nothing to do with Gothic architecture, art and Gothic Literature, it's your music and your fashion.
By all means, this doesn't mean you can't like these things, it just means that reading Poe by candlelight when it's storming outside doesn't make you goth. There's a separate term for that, it's called a Dark Romantic. Most goths aren't fans of Gothic Literature anyway, and even if they have, they have read the classics like Frankenstein, Dracula, Wuthering Heights, etc.
People weren't called 'goths' until the music came around, and it's time to implant my favourite quote.
"The Goth tag was a bit of a joke," insists Ian Astbury. "One of the groups coming up at the same time as [Southern Death Cult] was S** Gang Children, and Andi -- he used to dress like a Banshees fan, and I used to call him the Gothic Goblin because he was a little guy, and he's dark. He used to like Edith Piaf and this macabre music, and he lived in a building in Brixton called Visigoth Towers. So he was the little Gothic Goblin, and his followers were Goths. That's where Goth came from." - Dave Thompson and Jo-Ann Greene, Alternative Press, Undead, Undead, Undead, 1994
She mentions that you can become goth in all sorts of ways, like holding a séance in a cemetery under the full moon, reading and writing poetry, and decorating your entire home in night-blooming and dark-coloured flowers. No, you don't need to do this. This is being Gothic or a Dark Romantic. Some goths like Gothic things, but not all of them do.
Her third point is "Bad Public Image" and I don't really see the actual point of this one. It's probably the only valid point, if you can call it that, on the list. Goth has several stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding the scene, we know that. This article isn't helping them, though.
Have I mentioned that this article is full of spelling and grammar mistakes? Did she not use any form of spell check? There's a missing 'h' at the end of 'which' in the bad public image section. I mean, really? I feel like if I tried to comment any of this, I'd be arguing with Stupid. You can't argue with Stupid.
The fourth point is 'happiness'. This is basically a summery of the last point, because that literally fits under 'bad public image'. It's just another stereotype and misconception people have got towards us. Most goths are happy, you're right Marasigan, but articles like this don't make us feel it. I can tell you're not a goth yourself.
The fifth and final point is "nothing new", where she states that "There's a huge variety of Goth styles, from classic Victorian to 80s-inspired Punk Goth to lolita dresses and Cyber Goth. But look closely, and you'll see that the fashion has hardly evolved since the 90s." which is just wrong as well. I explained the three styles that grew out of the subculture, and Gothic Lolita and Cybergoth are not it.
Gothic Lolita is a style of Lolita, rather than goth. If it was goth, it would be called 'Goth Lolita' because Gothic in music refers to atmosphere and lyrics taken from Gothic Literature while in fashion it refers to the style.
As stated before, Cybergoth came from the Industrial subculture and from the Rave scene, not goth. They listen to dark electro, EBM, futurepop and other electronic genres. Electronic is not goth. Goth is not electronic. Goth is its own music genre, with its own characteristics. Cybergoth is not goth.
And the last list is just ridiculous. Some of these types listed are ridiculous. "Demon/Dark Angel Goth"? "Undead/Zombie Goth"?? "PIRATE GOTH"???
The conclusion states that "Goth culture needs to deepen its roots while expanding stylistically and becoming more accessible to the public". No. Just no. Goth does not need to be watered down to become mallcore, Hot Topic, mush. This article is for people who are jumping on the goth trend, where they wear dark makeup and tattoo chokers. It's to make them feel better about using a label that doesn't describe them. This "author" has literally, single-handedly tried to expand the definition in itself because they want everyone to be goth! Yay! No rules, no boundaries, no meaning! Loss of all definition and meaning! Yay!
I say no. I say goth still means someone who listens to certain genres of music, supports their scene and goes to goth concerts. It's someone who is creative, uses their DIY skills to create clothes that are inspired by their idols. It's not a girl who wears a tattoo choker one day and decides they're 'goth' because they own a jacket from H&M that has bling skulls on it.