Friday, June 27, 2014

Not goth enough? Please don't revoke my Goth card!

First and foremost, I want to thank some of my readers, a friend, fellow mothers and some other younger fellow bloggers I read for inspiring me on this post. A common theme I have been reading these days and have heard from fellow gothlings over the years is that some of us fear we are not goth enough to meet some unknown, unexplained standard.

 I love how Jillian Venters makes sarcastic references in her book "The Gothic Charm School" about the "secret Goth Cabal" who looks out for people who are doing something "ungothy". If you have not read her book, you should! If you feel you are doing/wearing/thinking something that isn't considered goth, don't worry, the Secret Goth Cabal is not going to call you out on it!

Personally, even as a young baby bat, I never questioned whether or not I was goth enough. I learned to not worry about whether or not I was accepted by the other goths. Like anywhere else I went, there were people who liked me and people who didn't.

One thing that bothered me back then though and still bothers me today is that a lot of elitists turn their gothy little noses down on me because I am what they call a "perky goth". I can be loud, I probably laugh louder than most people in the room and I have a sunny disposition on life. In fact, while I do have a select few "morbid" art work hung on my walls, I mainly have cute darkly themed items about (ie Nightmare Before Christmas, glow in the dark bats, etc) I am hyper and I smile. A LOT. In fact, my perkiness is what makes me successful in my job as a receptionist. I am approachable. I make people comfortable. I smile! I laugh! I am not all doom and gloom. I do not take myself seriously at all. Life is too short! Granted, I may not be all full of life first thing in the morning but I am usually good to go after a coffee or two!

My advice, ignore the other people. In fact, feel sorry for them because they too probably feel they aren't goth enough themselves so they need to point things out on other people to draw the attention away from them.

If you feel like you are goth, you listen to the music, you love to dress spooky, enjoy the literature, etc, then you are! Please do not listen to that voice inside your head that gets you to question who you are. I once listened to that little voice that told me I had to "grow up", I ditched the clothing, went completely normal, even denied that I was affiliated with the goth subculture and it made me miserable. In fact, the happiest times was when I wore the dark clothing.

This kind of stigma is not only seen in the goth subculture but in real life as well. This is where I once personally questioned myself. Being a new mother, I was always judged (and still am) because of the choices I made. I bottle-fed because breastfeeding did not work out for me. I was judged for that and made to feel as I was a horrible mother because of it. My son is tired, didn't nap that day and decides to have a melt down in the shopping centre, people give me dirty looks. In fact, just today, I was telling the daycare lady that I am happy my son is being so well-behaved. I think he had the terrible-twos at three! She was surprised he was so well behaved when he was two(he had a different daycare lady at that age) and is happy he is growing out of the terrible threes! Another parent was there and who clearly heard the conversation started giving me dirty looks. The sneering started when we told my son to not close the door and he didn't listen. My son told us that he was told to always keep the door to the classroom closed, despite the other father there waiting for his son to come. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black, the sneering started at my son's "disobedience" for closing the door but his little angel refused to go see his father and left him waiting there in the hallway.  Knowing this,  I looked at that parent, smiled and wished him good day. Let them think what they want! I bet it made their day better and made them feel less insecure!

That being said, I am going to list all the non-gothy things I like and enjoy. I will be expecting the Goth Cabala to come and  revoke my goth card any moment!

(1) I own a white car. Yes, white car, not black. It is not a hearse, I drive a Pontiac. Oh noes!
(2) I love and collect Hello Kitty.
(3) My son wears whatever he wants. Granted most of his clothing are dark colors, we do not put any restrictions on him. If he wants a Disney outfit or some other cartoon character, we happily allow it. He is not an extension of ourselves or our gothiness. As much as it is cute to have our very own little Pugsley Addams, he is his own person. We respect that.
(4) I like Marilyn Manson (MALL GOTH!)
(5) Where I live, the walls are white and I do not sleep in a coffin
(5) The ring tone on my phone is not Bela Lugosi's dead. It is the sound the T.A.R.D.I.S  makes :)
(6) I wore white when I got married instead of black or crimson. I encouraged my bridesmaids to wear color. Not every Bridesmaid was goth and they did not match. We had multiple colored Bridesmaid dresses. Oh noes!
(7) I sometimes sleep in pink pyjamas (the top has Animal from the Muppets on it)
(8) I work in the Fashion industry but it has NOTHING to do with corsets or anything pertaining to the goth movement, in fact it is sportswear!
(9) When my son was younger, we played Rafi and Sharon Lois and Bram instead of Gregorian chants or Siouxsie. I am still proud to  know all the lyrics to "Baby Beluga" and "Skinamarinky Dink"
(10) I don't own a black cat

What are your ungothy confessions? I dare you!

Thou Shalt Not, If Only I Were A Goth


  1. Yes! Thank you for this post. This week I needed it and I laughed at your confessions because I have a few of my own :D

    I, too, could be called a perky goth. I laugh *too* loud for some but like you in my profession and in life I think it helps others connect with me. My students adore my look mostly because it is different.

    I have pierced ears-- that's it. I used to have eight holes but now I have two-one in each ear. I don't have any tattoos. When I was young I couldn't afford them and the fact is I am squeamish. The idea of getting a tattoo and lovely as they are on others makes me want to pass out.

    I, too, drive a white Pontiac Vibe. It was on sale and gets good gas mileage which is important to me as a commuter; and, while I would love to drive a hearse, they are gas hogs.

    I am in love with Christmas movies! White Christmas; It's A Wonderful Life; Holiday Inn... Anything on the Hallmark Channel in December! If it is sappy, I will watch it if there is a Christmas theme.

    1. I am glad you enjoy them. You were one of the many people who helped inspire this post. I always look forward to read your posts! Thank you for sharing your confessions. They made me smile

  2. This, and your post on your normal years really struck home. I'm torn between being a "respectable" mother and business professional on one side, and not being goth enough on the other. The worst part is I could probably get away with a gothy wardrobe at work, but I am the one holding me back.

    1. I know how you feel, I felt that way for so long! In the end, I am who I am, I can get away with a gothy wardrobe at work (within reason, no torn stockings/fishnets, skulls, etc) and I do dress the part now! I am glad you can relate and thank you for reading! Hopefully you can find a comfortable middle ground soon.

  3. Love this! I feel the same way. My 13 yr old is the only one of my kids who wears dark clothes (he says it's not goth or emo... okay). That's only because he chooses so. My other kids are brightly clothed, hilarious little goofballs.
    I am, or used to be, very happy and smiley. I never thought I was "goth enough" lol It used to bother me but not anymore.

  4. LOL thank you and good for you! I never thought I was goth enough either but lots of people do. The only thing that gets to me at times is the whole sneering because I am a perky goth. What can I sawy? I am at my happiest this way :)

  5. I'm lucky that way that I have not encountered goth people who think they have the right to criticize and determine other peoples identities, not IRL nor online. In social studies they have noticed that a small minority (could be also a subculture) is usually very protective of what is the minority and how the members should behave. It's partly unconscious self preservation in the group mentality. I find it bizarre that in goth sub culture some people have that need, since goth is not a tightly knitted subculture, we are scattered around the world and there are so much variation in the sub genres like cyber goth, Victorian goth and 80's goth.

    This lovely post of yours made me remember one goth cabala problem I've read somewhere; "Are white tights goth?" For real? It's a piece of fabric! :D It depends what you do with it and by that I don't mean the only goth way to use white tights is to hang yourself with them.

    I identify myself as a goth but it does not mean that I must dislike everything else that is "not goth" in some random persons standards. I think it is sad if that is so for some people. They are going to miss out on so many interesting and new things that might turn out to be creepy, kooky and spooky, which many "true goth" things are. :)

    My biggest not goth thing is that I love dancing and I am quite fine with pop and R&B music. Goth clubs tend to be events in other night clubs once a month and many my IRL friends are not goth so when we go spend the night out dancing and having fun, the club we go to is most likely going to play the popular artists and dance music. Me and my friends make weird dance moves and laugh a lot. ^^

  6. Thanks Jade, that was not only very insightful but also really entertaining. I literally laughed out loud at your white tights comment, especially the part about hanging yourself with them. That made my day. I admit, the only time I danced to Hip Hop was at my company's Christmas party and that was after a few drinks :) I love doing weird moves on the dance floor too! Thanks for sharing!

  7. As usual I am late to the party but I love this post! Can I join in?!

    1) We own a blue Subaru. So non goth!
    2) I also like Marilyn Manson - he's one of the most entertaining acts I've seen live (Holywood tour) and a very smart man
    3) My PJs have little black scottie dogs and red bows on them
    4) My house is also all white walled, except for my study which a beautiful heritage blue. I do however have a black cushion my mum gave me with 'GOTH' appliqued on in purple!
    5) I am also very perky
    6) I have a bad Enrique Inglesias weakness. I've tried to let it go, but fail every time I hear the cheeseball croon
    7) Ditto Shakira. There's a she-wolf in my closet!
    8) My prized cardigan collection. I have over 20. Librarian my nature methinks....!

  8. My friend and I were told we couldn't possibly be goth because we weren't wearing black lipstick! Ha. Now it is a running joke amongst us that we shouldn't forget to wear the black lipstick. ;)

    And here are some very ungothy things I like:

    I love Heavy metal (oh the horror!)
    I own a classic Camaro that is bright blue
    I mountain bike. (My helmet has zombies on it)

  9. Thanks for this post too! Really loved reading it. As a relatively young babybat, it's great to see posts like this! :>



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