So my curiosity goth the best of me (that’s the cost of having a healthier Thunderella : puns from Hell) and I couldn’t help but fall in the rabbit hole which is/has been engulfing the darker side of the web regarding Killstar and other assorted thoughts around “The Goth Label”.
I say has been engulfing because I am probably late to the party, and it is highly probable that everybody involved in these heated discussions is currently enjoying a Goth Kumbaya singalong. Soz.
Nevermind, I am still going to pop my opinion on both topics!
The premise of the kerfuffle (I believe) is around a #Gothisnotkillstar hashtag which has been circulating on social media.
I believe I am not misinterpreting the thought process of the people behind this tag, when I say that the original message behind this tag was to show youngsters and newbies to the scene that they don’t have to buy Killstar to be Goth (If I am wrong please do correct me).
The underlying thought was that Killstar and other brands do not solely represent the Goth culture, due to the fact Goth has its roots in DIY. And I am 100% behind that. Killstar and other brands serve the subculture but are not it. So in that respect, I understand the hashtag.
There are a couple of things I don’t really dig with this.
I don’t believe in compartments and rigidity when it comes to subcultures. That is what makes them ‘culture’, and they will always evolve with time.
I know that the thought behind this hashtag is around inclusion and welcoming newbies to the scene by ensuring they know they don’t need to splash the cash to enjoy the goth culture. I just feel though that having a tag like this floating on social media creates unnecessary division instead. It feels judgemental. It creates tension and snobbism. Really dudes, couldn’t we have #GothIsGreat or #GothisFreedom instead ?
Guys, it is 2019 – and the world has changed since the original goths came out. I mentioned it before : when I was younger we did not have goth brands. But kids today live in a different world. And Killstar could be be an intro to Goth, which may inspire these youngsters to make their own versions of things they see.
Lord knows there are many things I don’t see eye to eye with Killstar (see my witch shop critique on the blog), but I also do love some of their clothes and accessories. I have been able to buy dresses and bags I can wear to work, and that’s difficult for me as I work in a very corporate field as an independent contractor. For this, I am thankful to brands like Killstar because they mean I CAN BE MY GOTHY SELF AT WORK! And not get sacked. Yasssss!
The point is : I had enough trouble as a darker skinned woman for not being paracetamol-shaded enough to be a “true goth”, I really don’t need anymore levels of True Gothness.
This is not a pokemon game, this is people’s take on externalising themselves. I mix and match and I won’t be judged for adding some Killstar stuff in my wardrobe. And this is coming from an über thrifting chick who has written about goth commercialism. It’s about finding something that resonates with YOU.
And to carry on on this note – let us have a peep at that ‘Goth Tag‘ and the whole ‘you are not a true goth if you don’t listen to Bauhaus, Type O Negative and sway back and forth to Clan of Xymox‘.
Gurrrrrl, let me explain something to squash this bullshit. Last week at work, I was struggling to concentrate on a presentation I had to do. So I cranked some Carcass on. Magic. I was in my zone – I love metal, and especially this type of raw yet melodic metal.
… But damn, folks – let me tell you that on this very same evening, I was squealing to RuPaul’s drag race and popping on some 70s funk whilst I was cleaning my flat.
Truth: Donna Summers called me a bad girl whilst I was dusting my glitter skull.
What can I say?
My neck will rotate to Slayer, my ass will shake to James Brown and my middle finger will salute the Goth Police with a Primark ring.
To Hell With Genre Snobs!!!!
I cannot stand genre snobs.
Eww you listen to Metallica? Ugh they’re not real metal, real metal is “I Spit Black Snot and Twirl on My Nanas Grave while Summoning Beelzebub” . Who gives a shit about subjective classifications ? Listening to obscure bands, and patronising people who do not, does not make you special, it makes you an awkward individual with limited range.
Eww you buy clothes from Primark? Ugh you’re cheap and support slavery. Girl- your expensive shit comes from the exact same factory: I know, I have been working as a retail business analyst for the last 12 years, and know for a fact that at least Primark doesn’t overprice you.
Eww you’re not a real goth, you wear pink lipstick? You know what else is pink? The area where the sun doesn’t shine. Therefore you are not a real goth either with your pink arse and ridiculous logic.
As you can tell, this has irritated me in the past, now I laugh it off. Because who has the time to dissect what somebody else is doing like that?? Who’s gonna dissect my Instagoth T and start shredding it? Cant wait!
Goth to me is where I feel a sense of BELONGING and where I see BEAUTY.
I find beauty and peace in cemetaries. I find beauty and art in the darker side of things – be it in fiction, movies, music, paintings. I feel good in black and it is my favourite color. I find beauty and peace in Victorian settings. I love Victorian tales and architecture … I will read horror and vampire books all day long. But I will also bloody slay on a disco dance off – AND I DON’T CARE WHAT THAT MAKES ME!
A Disco Goth? Fine. Mama loves some glitter #Truth.
The point is – reducing people to a few attributes to tick some boxes is such a ridiculous exercise – and calling out others for non matching these boxes is a dick move. Be Free!
Long Live Metal, Glitter, Goth, Pink, Disco, Skulls, Unicorns and Everything Beautiful in between!
What are your thoughts? Do YOU think Goth should fit a specific aesthetic or rules?Very interested in hearing your thoughts! Let’s discuss below!