*Very long and detailed post, covered all facts of the modern goth sub-culture*
After the demise of the pioneering goths such as Bauhaus
listeners, the social niche called "goth" has MANY different definitions and misconceptions used throughout different age groups, social standing, location, etc. The common misconceptions in the United States (could be similar in other countries, but seeing as I haven't lived anywhere else I can't comment for sure) about "goths" is that they dress in all black, sulk constantly, and only think about death, suicide, religion, and the cliché... vampires
, these people are NOT goth. They are adolescent punks that think that if they act all depressed they'll get the attention they thrive on. True goths that are the way they are because it is their true personality and think about topics like death and the struggle that a vampire
living among humans would experience if they existed in modern times because they instill deep thought. Discussing topics like this are more than a way to pass the time, they're a way for many modern goths to think deeply and candidly about where they stand in the world, and if they are being true to what they believe in without changing their unique personality for the sake of others. Most gothic people are quite intelligent, if not in a "school" sense then in a "philosophical" sense and though they may have a relatively dark sense of humor or media, it does mean that all goths obsess about the end of someone's time on this earth. When an individual spends a high percentage of their life thinking without distraction, death, religion, and afterlife is a major topic. *THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT GOTHS ARE SUICIDAL OR DEPRESSED* Many people think that someone who listens to satanic metal and wears pentagrams
all over as accessories are gothic, while a goth may listen to black metal and other genres like it, listening to it does not make you goth; another misconception that leads many people to group together dozens of sub-cultures into "goth". Goths are most commonly very in touch with their emotions and aren't afraid to express them in whatever way they see fit. This differs from modern emo
or hardcore metal
culture because that is comprised of kids that think all they feel is pain and depression followed by a "true love" based upon hormone driven infatuation, a goth will acknowledge all emotion be it happiness, grief, or the very rare but very beautiful love with open arms. Just living their lives free of fear that they may be shunned among their peers for being an intellectual individual is what a true goth will seek in their life. There are constant stories of "goth" high-schoolers taking their own lives because of a dismal outlook that, "no one understands how they feel," because they're too caught up in the moment that they don't acknowledge that the grief will pass and many, many people before them went through the exact same issues. This isn't to disrespect people that have done this, if i knew every-single one of their names I would pay tribute to them regularly because many of them did in fact just need someone to really listen to them instead of just saying, "It's just teenage angst
, you'll calm down soon enough," but know I'm divulging way off topic, this is simply to say that said people are most likely not a true goth and self-labelled themselves as such because that's what they thought goth was. Goths also do not have to wear all black clothes or clothing you don't see commonly to be part of the goth culture like corsets
for women or tight fitting clothes for effeminate men; though many do, it is not what makes them goth. Many goths listen to all sorts of music (maybe even a couple pop songs with lyrics that are relevant to their lives at the end of a good day) and there are plenty of goths that will wear bright colors and dress in a way that is (relatively) unique to their personality. Many people don't recognize these people as "goth" because of stereotypes that they have grown up with. A true goth will have an open mind to new ideas, music, literature and is all for discussing them regularly with a select group of friends and acquaintances that they associate with not for any sense of belonging or popularity, but because they too have open minds to new ideas and don't judge people on their outer appearance. A popular defining trait of a true goth is that they do not suddenly assosciate with the "mall goths
" that patrol the neighborhood shopping center dressed completely over the top as to grab attention; these are nothing but immature followers that think that the attention they get when people stare will dressing over the top will make them happy. A true goth will not fret over any popularity or social status and will never change themselves for the sake of being well-liked among their peers; again, this is not to say that goths are total loners, a true goth will enjoy close friends just as much as anyone, they just may have stricter stipulations when choosing to spend time with them. Final misconception I have time to soliloquize, goths are not freaks in any way shape or form, most goths are normal people that just take interest in non-mainstream media and culture, goths are not all establishment-hating anarchists. A true goth will most often refrain from judging someone based on appearance and the clique they assosciate, they have all experienced what its like to be judged by appearance and are not quick to shun someone just because they fall into a different social niche. Final moral to whoever read this entire post, if you aren't already a true goth or have a goth friend, try meeting one by ignoring their appearance and forming opinions about them based solely on your compatibility as friends or just casual acquaintances. I hope this cleared up any misconceptions about the modern goth sub-culture. I'm not saying goths are perfect, or strange, "wacky", angry, or freaks. I am writing this because of all the misunderstanding being thrown around and people getting these stereotyped, dismal impressions of modern gothic culture.
-Fifteen year old girl with scars on her wrists that only wears black every day=Poser
-Young man with an "interesting" but not necessarily over the top outfit and haircut of primarily black, white, and some vibrant colors such as blue and purple, and will most like be relatively clean cut (Men may look rather effeminate, which many can take as a positive)=From first glance, most likely a true to his heart modern goth!