Why Goth Is More Than Just a Phase [Featured Site Content]
Dec 07, 2017, 07:36am
VampireFreaks
A lot of people think that goth is just a phase that kids go through during their angsty teenage years. But if you actually take a look at the goth scene, you'll see that it ranges in age from young Babybats to aging Eldergoths. Many people have been part of the goth scene for decades, and don't have any intention of changing in the foreseeable future. Why is it that being a goth seems to last longer than participation in most other subcultures? There's a lot of reasons for that, but here are a few of the big ones, in my mind:

It's not just a music or fashion scene, it's a mindset. Trends in music and fashion come and go, but things that affect your overall outlook on life are more permanent. Goth is about seeing beauty in darkness and embracing the unusual, weird, and taboo. This is something that stays with you, even when adult life forces you to engage more with mainstream culture and hide some of your spooky side.

It grows and changes. Goth has evolved and adapted a lot better than many other subcultures have. While the original goth bands are still beloved classics, the music scene has been far from stagnant over the last several decades, with new genres emerging like goth pop, gothic metal, and industrial. In terms of fashion, when the grunge look fell out of favor, goth adopted other looks like elegant Victorian goth and practical corporate goth. Now there are dozens of different sub-types of gothic fashion and music to choose from.

It has deep roots and a rich tradition. Goth as we know it emerged from the music scene of the late 1970s and 1980s, but its roots go even deeper. Goth draws on a literary genre that dates back to the mid-1700s, which produced iconic figures like Dracula and Frankenstein, along with a general aesthetic of extravagance and gloom. It continues to draw inspiration from literature and film in a variety of genres from horror to dark romance. With such a broad foundation, there's so much to explore when looking to get deeper into the subculture.

It creates a lasting community. There's something about goth that brings people together. Whether it's dancing together in the club, meeting up for photoshoots and cemetery picnics, or just hanging out on online forums like this one, there are so many opportunities to meet new people and form lasting friendships within the gothic community. We bond through our shared tastes, shared mindset, and shared sense of distance from mainstream culture. I know that some of the friends that I've made through the goth scene will be with me for life.

Do you agree with these? What are your reasons why goth is more than just a phase for you? Share your thoughts in the comments!



Written By: TheGothicLibrarian
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Dec 07, 2017, 08:13am
Rcxy
A very thoughtful article. I have wondered about the same things.
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Dec 07, 2017, 08:36am
forestspirit99
Good article! I agree, Goth is much more than just a phase.
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Dec 07, 2017, 09:11am
PentagramDreams
I’m about to turn 30, and have been part of the subculture since I was 12/13. I still get the “so when are going to grow out of this goth thing” from family, it just makes me try harder to keep my style while traversing the adult world.
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Dec 07, 2017, 10:53am
Aggeliki_77
couldn't agree more!!!
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Dec 07, 2017, 11:25am
MisturDust319
To be straightforward about the issue: my maturity and the quality of my character aren't tied to my choice of clothing.

I really don't spend much time trying to rationalize my choice of clothes, because the people who care the most, I find I don't care for. Most fashion choices are sort of arbitrary and difficult to tack down, anyway. For example, mainstream fashion seems to be a lot of non athletic people buying expensive work out clothes to wear when lounging about... It's not even that these brands are all bad. Some are actually quite good. But if you just sit around in them, they might be a bit overpriced for your purpose. Just as much as someone say, stop being a kid and wearing black, I could say, stop being a kid, and make sound financial decisions.
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Dec 07, 2017, 02:00pm
battleangel
I didn't start becoming involved in the subculture until my early 20's even though I was already into a lot of the music. No internet so no exposure to others. It was when I started university that I was finally exposed to others interested in the same music and I started going to clubs.
I formed firm friendships with open minded people who were more accepting than most. I still wear clothes that catch my eye and I am not interested in dressing like most of my age peers because personally most of them seem to have given up on their appearance.
The music stays with me and I was exposed to a lot of the related genres going to different clubs over the years. Now I have everything at my finger tips online which is a far cry from listening to alternative radio programs which were always on late at night, tape in deck and finger at the ready to record a favourite song. I threw out my mixed tapes many years ago and I now regret that.
I am going to a club this Saturday and at 46 I am not the oldest by a long shot. There are plenty of people in their 50's and 60's as well as those in their late teens and up.
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Dec 07, 2017, 05:04pm
gotisk
I'd disagree with the first two to an extent. While music trends do change, people who love music, and specifically certain kinds of music, aren't going to just be listening to whatever happens to be the new trend. That's one big difference between members of music based subcultures and the average person. When we fall in love with a genre of music, it sticks and we want more. The post seems to dismissing how important that is. Further, while the music certainly will attract certain types more than others, I'm tired of seeing the stereotypical finding beauty in darkness as being what goth is about. Might be true for some, but this definitely isn't as common as some people make it out to be.

With the second one, this might help in keeping a "goth" subculture alive in general, but this isn't why people stay goth. In fact it's quite common for older goths to either disapprove or begrudgingly accept new variations, partially because they just seem like new trends where most of the new blood are going through a phase, appropriating the label, and then tossing it all aside when they find a new trend they enjoy.

As for, "new genres emerging" I would like to point out that industrial isn't new and developed before gothic rock. I have no idea what goth pop is and I hope to never hear it. I also don't consider gothic metal to be a genre. Bands listed as such are instead usually doom metal, black metal, heavy metal, symphonic metal, and probably a couple other ones I'm forgetting. I know I probably shouldn't nitpick this much but I'm a weirdo.
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Dec 07, 2017, 07:07pm
Brightness_Darkness
While I agree with the points brought up in the article for the most part, for some people this is indeed just a phase. These points also apply to every other subculture, music-based or otherwise, so I don't think Goth is as distinct from the others that in that regard.
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Dec 08, 2017, 02:53am
Arkynid
There is a refreshing diversity of individuals participating in the Goth subculture. For some people it is a phase. It has always been a rewarding philosophy and lifestyle for me. I love the music and the above article really made me think. Yes I have friends who would ask me when I would grow out of it but they tthemselves are terribly unhappy trying to fit into the mold that societal norms have created for them. I have grown and changed but so has the subculture. Goth is dynamic and highly individualized. :-)
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Dec 08, 2017, 09:11am
FireBlast
I 100% agree! I went to a Goth event over the weekend, and I met two ladies there who made me feel more secure and carefree than any school disco ever did. At school discos, I could name at least 20 musicians who were gonna be played and would be so disinterested and just going "When will something good come on?" Don't get me wrong, whenever some old pop classics like Ne-Yo "Beautiful Monster" came on, you probably saw me somewhere dancing slightly. But at that Goth event, I was more interested in the people I saw, more interested in the music, and just felt like I was at my own home. I got to hear Siouxsie that night ( hearts ) and I got some notes of other good bands I should check out. I definitely plan on going back, as that is the happiest and carefree and ready to boogie I've ever been at a disco. So that last paragraph I have to say is absolutely correct!
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Dec 08, 2017, 11:19am
AsmodianNight
I entered into goth at the age of 14. I turn 40 in February.
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Dec 08, 2017, 06:37pm
DamianMcknight
I though this was vampirefreaks not gothfreaks... why are people so touchy about this. Goodness, unless you're an elitist it shouldn't even matter guys x.x
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Dec 08, 2017, 06:44pm
AsmodianNight
It doesn't matter. Or it shouldn't anyway
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Dec 08, 2017, 07:16pm
dead_bettie
I don't agree with where you say being goth lasts longer than other subcultures. I'm not arguing that goth doesn't last long. I have more of an issue with the fallacy of where it states that it lasts longer then other subcultures. I don't think that's entirely accurate. Did you research this?
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Dec 08, 2017, 07:29pm
joeiddy
I think I would like to know more about a Gothic
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Dec 08, 2017, 07:29pm
joeiddy
I think I would like to know more about a Gothic
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Dec 08, 2017, 07:37pm
battleangel
joeiddy there is plenty of information out there. Look up goth subculture.
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Dec 08, 2017, 08:16pm
dead_bettie
paulmerobaudes I had to double take on your photo you look like my Steve Skeletal
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Dec 08, 2017, 09:10pm
dead_bettie
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Dec 09, 2017, 01:02am
sacrificetheory
What a great and lovely article. I agree 100%
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