Growing-up for goths
"Punks grow out of it and ravers stop raving. Why do goths just carry on? Sociologists can explain"
Dr Paul Hodkinson, deputy head of Surrey University's sociology department and an expert in youth music subcultures, has been re-interviewing a group of goths he first studied in the late 1990s to find out. "They were teenagers and in their early 20s then, and I thought it would be interesting to go back because a number of people do stay involved in the goth scene," he explains.
Though many people who belong to youth subcultures such as punk and rave tend to drift away in their 20s, Hodkinson says it's more likely that older goths will want to remain involved in the scene, even though it may become harder to combine with the responsibilities that come with age.
To outsiders, it's the visual markers of being a goth – long, dyed-black hair, black clothes, pale faces contrasted with dark, dramatic eye make-up –that stand out.
Years ago, I was a goth, my favorite bands of all time was Sisters of Mercy, and Mission UK and even industrial bands like Skinny Puppy. I wore nothing but black for at least a three year period of time and probably a life long interest in Victoriana got started around this time. Some of my outfits were interesting such as the one with black boots and a long black dress with row of buttons down the front with a cinched waist. While I never did the white face thing, and my sad budget precluded really taking the Propaganda magazine thing too far, I was into it enough to be called GOTH by others.
Today there would be far more clothing choices but back then, I wanted to gag at the clothing offered in your typical Lane Bryant and wanted some "cool" clothes. Silver jewelry formed the icing on the cake. In many ways, I was the sterotypical art student. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time, and shake that young girl, and say: "Hey don't give in to the manufactured rebellion and quit listening to that clinical depression causing music!" Go grow a garden or something! One sad thing about our society, is the many traps they have waiting for every variety of person to lead you to negative places.
Today given my religious viewpoints, I have given up goth-dom. I am no longer a goth. At my age it would be beyond silly though I guess there are still some 40 something goths out there. The idea makes me kind of laugh, I imagine a bunch of even more wrinkled up Robert Smith's sitting around. He looked like he aged out of it even by the 1990s.
Though my husband likes to joke, "Yes you still are, thats why you dress like its 1890". Ok you won't find me wearing a brightly colored sweater with a Christmas tree on the front of it, or pink sweats anytime soon but I found this Guardian article odd, because here in America, I do not see a bunch of old goths walking around.
I believe a fascination with dark things isn't so positive anymore. I wonder how many young fat girls become goths as a way to seek an identity or to be different or to even depart or speak against a world that condemns them? I definitely was one of them. In other words, if you are not acceptable in the mainstream world, why wouldn't you feel enticed to join a sub-culture where being an outcast is not such a bad thing?
I've seen this picture, webwide. I bleeped out the curse word on her shirt. I can understand this girl to a point because I was her, though I was too shy to cuss people out I didn't know and my dress style was very different, free of tattoos and more Victorian. What's with the odd anchor? The angry stance while one can understand given what young fat people go through probably doesn't help her make friends and influence people.
One wonders about all these subcultures. I noticed webwide there were jokes about fat goths, the lithe supposedly being only ones allowed to apply. I remember that, being fat and a goth especially in the 80's was kind of strange even when I was into it. Guess some of the goths don't want the fat people around even still. The ideal was lithe-thin, heroin addict looking dark circled eyes types, not big, fat and burly. Andrew Eldritch didn't date fat girls.