After recently stumbling across the blog of self proclaimed “most popular goth on Youtube” I realize how much I have grown away from the whole “I am goth” phase.
This is not to say that I no longer fit into some mould that could be considered “goth”, but it is to say that term “goth” is a highly dynamic, pre-determined concept. It’s a concept that lacks definition and boundary, yet to some of those within the subculture they would swear there are rules that must be adhered to before you can truly be one of them. Like any group, subculture, or type of person, the words used to define them only goes so far as the concept already created by the person hearing the word.
Goth, punk, jock, blond, businessman, all of which have assumed images attached to them and if that image you have in your head does not match what someone else tells you about that particular group then you can only assume it to be wrong or far too broad a definition for the term to even apply.
When I think of what a goth person is, I would generally think dark clothes, vaguely anti-social, moderate to above average intelligence and an interest in music that isn’t typically mainstream. Though, another person may think of people in trench coats that shoot up schools or burn down church’s or that goths are Satanist or of any particular religion at all. Some may even think that one who has dyed their hair black is reason enough to call them goth.
People who call themselves goth probably assume they know the boundaries of the term and its main definable features, and they would also assume that they fit within those boundaries. Yet, those same people have been known to call others “posers” for calling themselves goth, only because they don’t fit into the same boundaries the elitist goths have created for themselves. In essence one should only refer to themselves as goth to give a general idea to a person who has at least some basic understanding of the image or mindset, then elaborate on how they feel they fit into that subculture.
To just say you are goth, as a matter of fact, with real no intention behind it other than to say you belong to a very specific group then you are misusing the term and the language in a way that can easily confuse and construe peoples perception of the word goth.
I find it’s much easier to simply refer to others as alternative, those who have piercings, tattoos, wear odd clothes, dye their hair, listen to different music. Alternative people have as much in common with each other as two “goth”s likely would. Each subculture seems to share many common interests and to strictly limit yourself to one set image by applying a term to yourself for no reason other than to limit your creativity then you have already lost your creativity completely.
My main point I am trying to make, don’t call yourself anything, be who you want to be, your look is nothing but your look, it’s not goth, punk, emo or anything else, it is just your look. Others may look the same, but that is also because its a look that appeals to them. Just be you, be alternative, remove all definition. Goth means nothing anymore, and maybe it never really did.