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  Goth Girls: The Fashion and the Fury November 23, 2012, 09:07pm
The attractiveness of the dark side to celebrities, fahionistas and wannabes

Girls and women that find comfort and acceptance in the over 200 different types of Gothic genres generally aren’t chasing the “look” or attitude. True Goth’s will tell you it’s more than wearing the complex clothing choices, make-up and going to concerts. It is a feeling that can be part of Geek-Goth or a harsher more in-your- face version such as Rivethead.
Our society has and likely always will be quick to judge anyone who isn’t part of the mainstream majority. They often malign Goth girls for being confused, finding their personality or just too young or inappropriate to understand their choices. Society has never been comfortable with welcoming or recognizing minorities, not to mention those of us who openly spurn “normal” music, clothing and attitudes. Yet, being a Goth doesn’t mean that you can’t be an accountant, doctor or lawyer. It’s just made that much more difficult because of the mis-perceptions and negative stereotypes that are given to anything that is black.

So with all of these hurdles that Goth girls have to deal with, why is it that so many Normals try to and often do, adopt many of the clothing, music, media and other choices favored by Goth girls? Well, it isn’t as easy as wearing a black corset and kohl eyes, that’s for sure! The many aspects that each Goth girl uses to express herself isn’t that simple. It’s a mix of attitudes, expression, comfort with the appeal of darkness and an affinity for the aesthetic. It’s a complex recipe that girls and women are far more able to pull off in a sophisticated and romantic way than guys. Their emotions are expressed more easily and they can mix a number of feelings, where as a guy, well, he isn’t as able to express as many because of his testosterone levels and often comes off as simply angry, a rebel, confused or worse.
Many experts on the Goth girl movement will tell you that it began in earnest with the rise of the punk movement in the late 1970’s and that is indeed where it got it’s more visual and in-your-face expression and media coverage. Rockers like Joan Jet and the Blackhearts, Siouxsie and the banshees and others carried the torch. However, Goth girls have been around in one way or another since the time of Joan-of-Arc. From the bowels of unending death that the Black Plague and other disasters Europeans and the Medieval world had to deal with on a regular basis, the aesthetic began to take shape with more expression during the Industrial Revolution. A blend of Victorian dress, movement away from religion (think the controversy over Darwinism) and the use of black clothes to express grief for lost relatives spurred on the seeds for the Goth girl culture.
These seeds began to grow, especially when women started seeking the right to vote in the late 1880’s. Throwing off the shackles of a male dominated church and society are two reasons why you’ll find so many symbols of the Church (crosses and especially upside-down crosses as a fashion statement today) being used within Goth culture as a statement defying power, rather than adhering to it. While we won’t consider Madonna (the singer not the religious icon) as a Goth, she certainly dabbled in the genre in the 1980’s and as an example, was more a friend to Goth girls than a pretender with her open sexuality, dress choices and individual, girl-can-do attitude directed at society and the Catholic Church.

While Madonna has never pretended to be a Goth musician, she is one of many celebrities who adopt the aesthetic and attitude of Goth girls, but it isn’t easy for those within the genre to do, just ask the bands that are so appealing to Goth girls. It isn’t about certain riffs, a deep melancholy sound or lyrics that are anti-establishment. The music that is such an important part of enjoying the Goth culture is all of those things and more. It is almost impossible to entertain and earn the trust of Goth girls as a musician, go mainstream and then expect that following to be there. Just as if a country band goes pop and tries to go back to country, the core of their fans will look at them suspiciously and be hesitant to jump back on the “band-wagon”.
Yet this isn’t true in the opposite, where scores of musicians and entertainers regularly go Goth without embracing the lifestyle. That just tells us that there is far more power in the movement than Goth girls give themselves credit for. What that power is, comes from beauty, the unavailable or unattainable. Just think about the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It is a mix of fear, titillation, exoticism, intelligence and so many other aspects, that men and certainly the media, just can’t get enough of Goth girls. They express themselves freely. Whether it is with their choice of hair color, sexuality, tattoo-art, piercings or literature. Goth girls provide a smorgasbord of appeal that is rarely seen in the Normal world.

These ingredients include issues that most women deal with, such as intimate relationships, dating, sex, the romance, passion and love that may or may not go along with letting their black hearts warm to a person. Add to this their attitudes about society, religion, femininity, individuality and other aspects of Goth culture and you can see why the already complicated, just got that much more explosive.
Is it any wonder that the comic world has adopted Goth girls as one of their favorite subjects? If you attended the New York Comic-con or San Diego Comic-con, images of Gothic girls were everywhere. From geek to emotionally troubled heroines, kick-ass, bad Mutha… to black fairies, vampires and death dealers, they were all over the place. Drawn and written mostly by men, yet the readers are over 50% women. This is powerful stuff for the mainstream as well as Goth culture and yet, so many Goth girls don’t understand just how important they are to our society and to themselves in particular.
To let that spirit free, a number of movements have sprung-up over the last decade. Apart from the voyeurs and male pigs that get-off on scantily clad images of women, real expressionism of the strength, mystery and appeal of Goth girls has been supported by organizations such as Suicide Girls, with their mix of open sexuality, tattoo culture and piercings, along with sites such as Goth Girls, Model Mayhem, Vampirefreaks as well as the many Slut-walks that abhor objectifying women simply because of the way they dress.
Goth girls have slowly become a juggernaut that has seeped into the psyche of modern culture. Whether Goth girls want to accept it or not, they are an important part of our greater society. Celebrity Normals may adopt certain aspects of the Goth girl persona, but if they don’t practice the entire package, that is so difficult to boil down, then they will be just another group paying homage to the Goth girl movement, their power, intrigue and appeal. So whether Goth girls want to accept others stealing their aesthetic and attitude or not, they should be flattered that so many people in the public eye bow to Goth girls in one way or another.

posted by romanticdarkness



Dyoxis



December 01, 2012, 05:32:pm
Sweet article! I rarely get to hear that being a Goth also has to do with how one's personality is so, this is very refreshing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Love is the closest thing we have to magic.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


MorteKitten



December 01, 2012, 06:09:pm
Awesome!

Kittenheart



ChemicalxUnbalance



December 01, 2012, 06:16:pm
Awesome article! and some stunning gothic model :-D

[What a pretty Chemical Imbalance]


angel_of_vengenz



December 01, 2012, 06:22:pm
This was a fascinating read.


Scarlette



December 01, 2012, 09:30:pm
This is wonderful! ~~heart

It has some good points, too. I can relate to the fact that many people see gothic individuals as still finding themselves or just going through a phase. I remember being told I was going through a temporary phase-9 yesrs ago! lol


Sam-E



December 01, 2012, 11:10:pm
:like


shitkicker



December 01, 2012, 11:35:pm
I dunno about goth chicks anymore,the shaved eyebrows thing makes them look like drag queens and they look terrible in club enviroments if sweat makes they're drawn on eyebrows run. Traditional rivethead chicks often look like militant dykes attending feminist studies lectures,with the bad undercuts,it doesn't look feminine. Cybergoth girls look youthfull and aproachable,bright and futuristic,they are afitting modern embodyment of Industrial music in the current age,encompassing the club centric nature of modern industrial,with its raver influence.Social and outgoing,futuristic,cybergoths are the superior breed of femme goth.

Panocha Posse 4 life. Panocha Bandito. Love the camboyana puta. CHUPALO PUTA!!!!


sorcerykid



December 02, 2012, 12:21:am
"It’s a complex recipe that girls and women are far more able to pull off in a sophisticated and romantic way than guys. Their emotions are expressed more easily and they can mix a number of feelings, where as a guy, well, he isn’t as able to express as many because of his testosterone levels and often comes off as simply angry, a rebel, confused or worse."

I strongly disagree. I think this establishes far more about society's intolerance of men who defy gender roles than some innate inability of men to express themselves in comparison to women.

Society condemns men who show emotion because it is characterized as a sign of weakness. In contrast, society champions women who challenge the gender norms because it is a sign of strength. Men particularly in America remain sexually suppressed. This is evident in the increasing prevalence of erectile dysfunction, the lack of public awareness for male victims of rape and domestic violence, and is likely tied also to the negative stereotypes surrounding male bisexuality.

As well, there is the remarkable "double standard of obscenity" that applies to men but not to women. On sites like VampireFreaks, females can get away with exposing their body parts in dramatically more revealing and provocative clothing -- whereas scantily clad men face immediate administrative action, including suspension or termination.

The fact that "girls and women are far more able to pull off" these aesthetic standards is indicative of a social imbalance. I believe it is a misguided assumption to suggest that girls and women inherently have a superior "quality" (genetic or otherwise) that enables them to embrace and express their feelings in a sophisticated manner.

___
Support Androgyny! Join my Facebook page: http://www.freedressing.org/


ProcessedDenial



December 02, 2012, 12:54:am
I agree with sorceykid. This article is pathetically gender bias. What fucking bullshit to say a "goth girl" movement. It sounds like a "normie" talking about something they hardly understand. "Goth girls" are more prominently seen because our society is a sexist piece of shit and women are sex objects so of course they are pictured "attractively" everywhere. Goth has nothing to do with gender. This is just more proof how this "subculture" has degraded immensely.


InfectionXIII



December 02, 2012, 01:06:am
I could not possibly agree with sorcerykid anymore than I currently do.

Edited by: InfectionXIII at December 02, 2012, 01:18am

"Traditionally, roulette takes one bullet, one gun, and two idiots. That's us. The two idiots take turns pointing the pistol at their own heads and pulling the trigger. The lucky idiot lives. You feel lucky, Bullseye? It's your turn."
-Daredevil


xxof-NOTHING



December 02, 2012, 02:19:am
I love you, sorceykid and ProcessedDenial

image

afax5



December 02, 2012, 02:24:am
vf
:like


dcfan



December 02, 2012, 02:49:am
Awesome article. Hopefully all in the VF community read it.

Hells Bells, where am I? circles


punklolita



December 02, 2012, 03:03:am
Much love to gothic girls.

Embrace the Darkness, Kill your fears...


DR490N



December 02, 2012, 05:24:am
I'm seeing less goth and more metal/industrial here. It amuses and infuriates me to no end for people to apply labels without knowing what they're talking about.



We're all fucked anyways.

greyglasswings



December 02, 2012, 06:45:am
Bad grammar and I feel like the author is the one strongly prejudiced against goth girls or likes to think everyone else is. It's natural in a way, but makes the author seem somewhat hypocritical.

"Our society has and likely always will be quick to judge anyone who isn’t part of the mainstream majority." That's part of what makes a society.

"They often malign Goth girls for being confused, finding their personality or just too young or inappropriate to understand their choices." Goth girls - just like ALL girls - ARE mostly confused, finding their "personality", young and inappropriate and unaware of the consequences of their choices. Becoming a goth doesn't suddenly make one a sensible adult. Besides, for many people it IS just a phase, does that make them any less of a goth? What if that phase lasts twelve years? Ten? Six? Two?

"[...] men and certainly the media, just can’t get enough of Goth girls." Or any other girls.

"They express themselves freely. Whether it is with their choice of hair color, sexuality, tattoo-art, piercings or literature." Many of them don't express themselves "freely", because they're human just like everyone else. I think choosing to NOT dye their hair is just as much of an expression of themselves for people.

"Add to this their attitudes about society, religion, femininity, individuality and other aspects of Goth culture and you can see why the already complicated, just got that much more explosive." Not all goth girls have the same attitude toward these things.

I'm also confused with what the author considers "normal", "the normal world" (?!), seeing as he uses that word very often, and why he doesn't consider goth girls "normal". And what are "TRUE goths" and who decides whether or not a girl is a goth?

And - not directed at this article in particular - would someone please join me in pointing out the absurdity of "slut-walks" actually being called slut-walks? Could there be anything more counterproductive?

Answers! I want answers! D:

- - -

That echo chorus lied to me with its
"Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on..."


Keetla



December 02, 2012, 07:39:am
everybody wants answers about life, health, kids and social stuff. nothing new!


Nightmare_of_Yuki



December 02, 2012, 09:20:am
This is a great article! :-D I never thought of goth girls having such an impact on everything! o:


CarolineCarnivorous



December 02, 2012, 10:55:am
I agree with some of the people above here..


pinup_x_isis



December 02, 2012, 11:34:am
I liked the opinions of greyglasswings, DR490N, ProcessedDenial, sorcerykid, and shitkicker . Gave me hope that someone else saw something "not right" with this.

" Our society has and likely always will be quick to judge anyone who isn’t part of the mainstream majority. They often malign Goth girls for being confused, finding their personality or just too young or inappropriate to understand their choices. Society has never been comfortable with welcoming or recognizing minorities, not to mention those of us who openly spurn “normal” music, clothing and attitudes. Yet, being a Goth doesn’t mean that you can’t be an accountant, doctor or lawyer. It’s just made that much more difficult because of the mis-perceptions and negative stereotypes that are given to anything that is black.

So with all of these hurdles that Goth girls have to deal with, why is it that so many Normals try to and often do, adopt many of the clothing, music, media and other choices favored by Goth girls? Well, it isn’t as easy as wearing a black corset and kohl eyes, that’s for sure! "


Doesn't many other "darkly clad" folk go through this as well? Hell, even people in the Hip Hop subculture I'm sure has their own version of negative stereotypes. But, we're talking about "goth girls" so we'll stay with that. If many people are already adopting "goth things" then how do you know if they really are goth? ;-) In fact, goth {as in the subculture} has adopted many other ideas and fashions, to call it singularly goth is kinda funny to me.

"Many experts on the Goth girl movement will tell you that it began in earnest with the rise of the punk movement in the late 1970’s and that is indeed where it got it’s more visual and in-your-face expression and media coverage. Rockers like Joan Jet and the Blackhearts, Siouxsie and the banshees and others carried the torch."

Experts? How so? Or, perhaps music history enthusiasts? Even then, only one of those singers actually had involvement with goth music, otherwise this is more fluff for a feminist debate.

"However, Goth girls have been around in one way or another since the time of Joan-of-Arc. From the bowels of unending death that the Black Plague and other disasters Europeans and the Medieval world had to deal with on a regular basis, the aesthetic began to take shape with more expression during the Industrial Revolution. A blend of Victorian dress, movement away from religion (think the controversy over Darwinism) and the use of black clothes to express grief for lost relatives spurred on the seeds for the Goth girl culture."

Again, I don't think these are goth. Joan of Arc can be seen as a "strong woman" inspiration, but not goth. The idea of chaotic and apocalyptic history and morning fashions inspires a lot of "darkly clad folk", not just goths. I don't think these were intentional seeds, just proves that majority goths are history geeks that love the macabre. Which is nothing wrong with it.


"... While we won’t consider Madonna (the singer not the religious icon) as a Goth, she certainly dabbled in the genre in the 1980’s and as an example, was more a friend to Goth girls than a pretender with her open sexuality, dress choices and individual, girl-can-do attitude directed at society and the Catholic Church.
[joey is an awesome vampirefreaks model]
While Madonna has never pretended to be a Goth musician, she is one of many celebrities who adopt the aesthetic and attitude of Goth girls".


I love older Madonna stuff, but I kinda think goths in the 80s were flame-y pissed that so many girls were trying to rip off their clothes. hehehe. Anyway, I think her and Cyndi Lauper were trying to be aesthetically punk more than anything. However, Madonna is pretty intelligent, just too mainstream to compare it to goth.


"... just ask the bands that are so appealing to Goth girls. It isn’t about certain riffs, a deep melancholy sound or lyrics that are anti-establishment."

What bands? What genres? Anti-establishment sounds like punk or revamped punk influenced genres.

"That just tells us that there is far more power in the movement than Goth girls give themselves credit for. What that power is, comes from beauty, the unavailable or unattainable. Just think about the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It is a mix of fear, titillation, exoticism, intelligence and so many other aspects, that men and certainly the media, just can’t get enough of Goth girls. They express themselves freely. Whether it is with their choice of hair color, sexuality, tattoo-art, piercings or literature. Goth girls provide a smorgasbord of appeal that is rarely seen in the Normal world."

I do admit, I liked Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but the barest gist I got out of it that it was feminist-y, sex scandals, crime, and her appearance scaled down and up for different scenes for the movie. I wouldn't say only men found it entertaing, I'm sure there were ladies who found many scenes interesting as well.


"These ingredients include issues that most women deal with, such as intimate relationships, dating, sex, the romance, passion and love that may or may not go along with letting their black hearts warm to a person. Add to this their attitudes about society, religion, femininity, individuality and other aspects of Goth culture and you can see why the already complicated, just got that much more explosive. "

"Goth girls have slowly become a juggernaut that has seeped into the psyche of modern culture. Whether Goth girls want to accept it or not, they are an important part of our greater society. Celebrity Normals may adopt certain aspects of the Goth girl persona, but if they don’t practice the entire package, that is so difficult to boil down, then they will be just another group paying homage to the Goth girl movement, their power, intrigue and appeal. So whether Goth girls want to accept others stealing their aesthetic and attitude or not, they should be flattered that so many people in the public eye bow to Goth girls in one way or another. "

I think there's just too much focus on proving how goth someone is. Or even, just sugar coating that all goths are some happy Disney cuddle group bonded by "woman power". Which it isn't. If we're talking about the scene, then it needs participation. Going to shows/clubs, buying off independent people, buying directly from the band, etc. Not how pretty one looks with a black flow-y gown with no knowledge of how the goth subculture came to be.

I think this article had some potential here and there, but not enough was explained or left to be assumed. Evidently the author is intelligent, just I didn't think a lot of the comparisons related to Goth, only the misconceptions a "baby bat" may make.

Edited by: pinup_x_isis at December 02, 2012, 11:41am


Reverend_Grey



December 02, 2012, 11:41:am
As a man and as a writing tutor I find this article offensive. It is rife with gender bias, sweeping generalities, and outright ignorance -- all of which are executed by an embarrassing display of poor grammar.

I realize there might be some flaming in my near future, but it's appalling that I'm either one of the few honest people or few intelligent people who have taken the time to respond.


InfectionXIII



December 02, 2012, 12:01:pm
Adding on to what some of the other critics have already said that I quite readily agree with, this whole article just reads like a total female worship piece while trying to spew out a bunch of contradictory quasi-feminist bullshit excuse for why women are somehow inherently superior in a certain subculture and how that supposedly affects pop culture and Hollywood.

Goth isn't some giant scale in which women have all the power; in the modern usage of the word it is primarily the collective fan base of a particular kind of music. There is no leverage to be had here, and this "article" just serves to add fuel to the general fire of gender inequality issues. You're needlessly divorcing women from the goth subculture and assigning them their own simply because, according to your view, they're more prominent.

Here's the deal, celebrity "normals"(I could not possibly abhor that word more) dress in whatever fashion style they choose for one of two reasons:
1. THEY FUCKING WANT TO(le gasp!). Did that thought never once cross your mind? Maybe they saw a piece one would consider gothic at a store and just liked it, so they decided to buy it and subsequently wear it? They could certainly afford the more expensive brands many poorer goths can't, and their careers likely would not be too drastically affected by what they wear.
2. A fashion company sees the influence that a certain celebrity has on pop and fashion culture and gives them clothes so they can promote them. This is most often seen in big celebrity events such as award shows and movie premieres with high end fashion companies designing dresses or suits for celebrities to wear so that the people at home watching can see how attractive one might possibly look wearing their clothes and consider buying similar pieces. It's marketing.

"Traditionally, roulette takes one bullet, one gun, and two idiots. That's us. The two idiots take turns pointing the pistol at their own heads and pulling the trigger. The lucky idiot lives. You feel lucky, Bullseye? It's your turn."
-Daredevil


InfectionXIII



December 02, 2012, 12:02:pm
EDIT: Apologies for the accidental double post.

Edited by: InfectionXIII at December 02, 2012, 12:06pm

"Traditionally, roulette takes one bullet, one gun, and two idiots. That's us. The two idiots take turns pointing the pistol at their own heads and pulling the trigger. The lucky idiot lives. You feel lucky, Bullseye? It's your turn."
-Daredevil


pinup_x_isis



December 02, 2012, 12:28:pm
"...while trying to spew out a bunch of contradictory quasi-feminist bullshit excuse for why women are somehow inherently superior in a certain subculture and how that supposedly affects pop culture and Hollywood."

I love you Infection.. Well, don't want you to catch the back fire-y hell from this alone. As a female, I say a lot of it is feminist-y bullshit. ;p


pinup_x_isis



December 02, 2012, 12:34:pm
I did not intend to double post.

Edited by: pinup_x_isis at December 02, 2012, 12:36pm


InfectionXIII



December 02, 2012, 12:46:pm
Just to clarify, I'm in no way against feminism in the sense that I believe wholeheartedly in gender equality. But gender equality entails just that, equality for all genders. I don't know when feminism started to mean female supremacy and misandry, but it really needs to stop. This article seems to just go along with that "women are better and you should feel ashamed for thinking otherwise" mentality I despise.

Edited by: InfectionXIII at December 02, 2012, 12:49pm

"Traditionally, roulette takes one bullet, one gun, and two idiots. That's us. The two idiots take turns pointing the pistol at their own heads and pulling the trigger. The lucky idiot lives. You feel lucky, Bullseye? It's your turn."
-Daredevil


SwitchBlade_Barbie



December 02, 2012, 01:34:pm
I just dress this way because I feel like it. And I definitely don't classify myself as a "goth" girl. I wear many hats and I can be anyone on any given day.
But I respect the people who actively make this a life style as well as a personality choice. I almost think it's become a "trend" to like "gothic" things; ie zombies, blood and gore, black clothes, the "I don't give a shit what you say, I do what I want" attitude.
Anyone can like or do that shit. We shouldn't have to label ourselves.

Plus what about goth guys?! They're out there too!!

cute daydream cupcake cute
glomp


JoyOfSilence



December 02, 2012, 01:44:pm
greyglasswings said it all.

I don't think it matters anymore that "true Goths" are not part of modern culture. Society has adapted the name for a specific style & its subculture; it may be inaccurate but in that case just about everyone is inaccurate.

That being said, although I agree with some things critics in this thread have already stated I appreciate the message this article is attempting to get across.

p.s. (Less of the gender bias, please.)

Vote for me on top cults

orly

InTheMidstOfNight


December 02, 2012, 01:47:pm
ProcessedDenial, well said!


closedwing



December 02, 2012, 02:46:pm
Regardless of stereotyping and a wide range of opinions.Be your self.If you dont like dont ware it,dont listen to it,dont sing it,dont tattoo it or what ever.Do what ever you like and fuck all other opinions but what makes you happy.Personally if you wanna call it style then do so if it makes you happy.So some jock or army guy may not accept you but myself and people like me will see your individuality.It shows intellectuality and that's attractive.So ill say it i love some Gothic chicks rather yet chicks who embrace the darkness because its theirs.Its about the buity in it.Its a art form.I wouldn't have my women be any other way.

CLOSEDWINGdrama

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