(Posh Goth) - RANT TIME.
Humans are a stereotypical bunch. It doesn't matter what types of opinions you hold on any given subject. It doesn't matter what your political leanings are or how you parent your children. The fact of the matter is someone is going to judge you based on these actions and beliefs. Oh, but you're a good person? Yeah, no one cares. Judgement is a fact of life and it is what it is.
I have never considered myself a "goth". I've always just done my own thing and have marched to my own drum beat since I began to think for myself. I don't like labels.
I've been a weirdo since I came of age in the 90's. I love dressing flamboyantly, I love studded boots, I love wearing flashy baubles, and I love the goth aesthetic. All of these "loves" of mine have helped to shape me into the person that I am today. While one person could consider my style goth, another may call it punk.
Musically, I am all over the place, but people have always wanted to put myself (and others) into a bucket:
"She's a sk8r gurrrl."
"She's a poser."
Once you're labeled as something, you automatically get assigned any and all perceived stereotypes that go along with that label, and there is no label that has quite as many stereotypes as the "goth" one. This bucket has so many of the most absurd stigmas attached to it that I felt the need to write a blog post about it:
The Top 10 Most Annoying Stereotypes About Goths
10. Goths only wear black - While black is pretty much a safe bet for goths in addition to being a mainstay color of the scene, not all goths come packaged the same way. I am about to sound like Bubba Blue from Forrest Gump but here goes: "You've got your pastel goths, you've got your sparkle goths, you've got your rainbow goths, you've got your emo goths..."
9. Goths only listen to post-punk bands like Bauhaus and Joy Division - OK. I get that, but what if someone cannot get into that music? Trust me, I've definitely tried. It's just not my cup of tea. I'm more of a "turn that shit up louder and make it all go faster" type of gal. I also don’t like listening to albums where I can hear mistakes and the sloppy attempts at covering them up (looking at you Unknown Pleasures). The really sad thing about this stereotype is that the worst offenders who permeate this stigma are the people who go around calling themselves goth. Gee, I'm sorry, but I thought being goth was about owning your individuality and embracing others' differences? Why should I have to listen to the same thing you listen to? Let me love my guitar solos, drop D tuning, and double-bass drums please.
8. Goths hate everyone - Not true. I like my family and my close circle of friends. I think Conan O'Brien is great. I want to be Kelly Clarkson's best friend. See, I don't hate everyone.
7. Goths are not intelligent - This is probably one of the worst stereotypes that I've come across by far, but thanks to a 2006 study done by Sussex University, that mindset might have shifted a great deal since the Satanic Panic of the 90's. According to Dunja Brill, the study's lead researcher (and a former goth!), "Most goths are well educated. They are often the best pupils. The subculture encourages interest in classical education, especially the arts. I'd say goths are more likely to make careers in web design, computer programming...even journalism." You can read more about her findings here.
6. Goth is just a phase - It wasn't just a phase, dad. I'm still as weird as I was in the 90's, maybe even more so today. My house is filled with the skulls of my enemies (kidding...maybe) and my walls are adorned with macabre art. If anything, I've spent the past 20 years becoming the most goth version of myself I could possibly be.
5. Goths do drugs - Okay, while I might wind down from time to time with a little bit of "jazz cabbage", I would hardly consider myself a drug abuser. Caffeine is a drug. Prozac is a drug...Hell even essential oils are now considered drugs. Just because we don't fit the mold of "cheerleader" or "Harvard Law School graduate" does not mean we are heavy drug users.
4. Goths are loners - I am a self-proclaimed homebody, and I can count the number of my close friends on one hand. But am I a loner? Maybe, but I'm not lonely.
3. Goths are kinky - I've seen enough episodes of Dateline and Forensic Files to affirmatively know that there are other buckets of people who are faaaaar kinkier than goths. This stereotype is just stupid. Take your big tiddie goth gf jokes and shove that up ye bum!
2. Goths are depressed and have other mental problems- This is one stigma that really, really bothers me because it's a stigma within a stigma. I have gone through many trials and tribulations in my lifetime, but I've emerged from these situations fully blessed, not depressed. I am grateful for everything I've gone through because it made me a badass. I wouldn't have the happiness that I have now had it not been for these trying times. BLESSED.
1. Goths worship Satan - I saved the best for last! By far and large the dumbest stereotype of any one group, goths being Satanists definitely takes the cake. The 1692 Salem Witch trials ain't got nothing on the Satanic panic of the 90's. (Kidding, that was a terrible time in our history and should have never happened.) My Irish Catholic mum would literally throw holy water in my face, and she would hang pictures of Saint Francis and Padre Pio all over our house to cure me of my "Satanism". So maybe I liked burning a little sage every now and then. It wasn't in the name Satan. To me, acknowledging Satan is ascribing to Christianity. I don't buy into cult philosophy, I never have and I never will. And anyway, there are plenty of religious goths out there. Some are Catholic, some are agnostic, and a good deal of my followers are Muslim. Gothic subculture knows no religious bounds. Worship any way you please. Mother Earth, anyone?
Share this post