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Gothiness: 7 Sweatiness: 5
June 11, 2009 4:26 AM   Subscribe

Goths In Hot Weather
posted by fearfulsymmetry (119 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've always feared that, like the Polar bears, global warming means that by 2050, goths will be extinct in the wild as their habitat will have disappeared.
posted by rhymer at 4:33 AM on June 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


i laughed a little too hard. definitely best of the web!
posted by liza at 4:35 AM on June 11, 2009


Hot GhettoGothy Mess
posted by kcds at 4:37 AM on June 11, 2009


I've always feared that, like the Polar bears, global warming means that by 2050, goths will be extinct in the wild as their habitat will have disappeared.

You underestimate the tenacity and adaptability of Gothkind. I've lived in a very hot part of Australia for three decades, and there have always been tons of Goths. They seem to thrive on the heat and humidity, just like the local cockroaches (which, like our Goths, are bigger, meaner and have glossier black wings than anything you'll find in more temperate climes.)
posted by eatyourcellphone at 4:56 AM on June 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


They look like they could use a drink.
posted by permafrost at 5:06 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't know what it is, but if anything heat seems to make dark subculture types flourish, at least in the US. There are more goths and black metal people and whatnot in Florida than in Minnesota.
posted by box at 5:06 AM on June 11, 2009


Can anyone explain to me wtf is the point of this "goth" beyond "I want attention"?
posted by grubi at 5:11 AM on June 11, 2009


These must be a hardy antipodean / American hybrids; perhaps they've been crossed with metal fans for added vigor.

The UK goth population has been in steep decline for years now. Contributing factors are: the banning of smoking in pubs, the fact that the Cure and their ilk have failed to maintain their cultural relevance and the continuing gentrification of Camden.

These days when I smell patchouli oil, I come over all nostalgic for the days when you could see goth herds gathering round their snakebite and black watering holes using different shades of black to attract mates.
posted by rhymer at 5:12 AM on June 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


were they giving each other back rubs?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:13 AM on June 11, 2009


Can anyone explain to me wtf is the point of this "goth" [Subculture A] beyond "I want attention"?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:17 AM on June 11, 2009 [13 favorites]


Touché.
posted by grubi at 5:17 AM on June 11, 2009


Can anyone explain to me wtf is the point of this "metafilter" beyond "I want attention"?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:19 AM on June 11, 2009 [11 favorites]


Fill green envelopes and send them to ya
On train ride, read Marx tracts
Play walkmans loud behind ya
Demonstrate on Oxford Street
About what the Hell they couldn't tell ya
Gothish people in hot weather
Have a heart-to-heart with your sister
People in shorts drunk before ya
Beached whale in Wapping
His armpit hairs are sprouting
Serpentine ah.... Serpentine grrr...
Gothish people in hot weather
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 5:20 AM on June 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'll say this for the goths, though: as a punk, in high school, even though we used to gently tease them for being pouty and they used to tease us for being not too bright, we did forge an alliance of sorts because we had common music interests, and goths knew where to find the best music. We, in turn, stuck up for them if some high school athlete wanted to get slappy with them. It was an alliance not unlike that between the US and Canada, only with more safety and clown white, and less slapping.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:24 AM on June 11, 2009 [41 favorites]


You underestimate the tenacity and adaptability of Gothkind. I've lived in a very hot part of Australia for three decades, and there have always been tons of Goths. They seem to thrive on the heat and humidity, just like the local cockroaches (which, like our Goths, are bigger, meaner and have glossier black wings than anything you'll find in more temperate climes.)

I fear that, like the red squirrel being replaced by the evil American grey squirrel, the multitudes of gothkind will be replaced by the horridness of cosplay-loving steampunk goths. From the pictures it seems this process is well advanced.
posted by Artw at 5:28 AM on June 11, 2009 [5 favorites]


Hear, hear. I miss the days when the "goth" look meant dressing in black tatters, excessive eye make-up and fright locks. Simple and effective. Robert Smith must be spinning in his grave.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:31 AM on June 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'll admit to being gothish, but I draw the line at being hot and sweaty. Ew. And nothing makes me sadder than carefully applied eyeliner and white pancake running all together in a smeary mess. Tears of a clown, indeed.

(Yes, my summer wardrobe is mostly black, but at least it's cotton and linen...)
posted by JoanArkham at 5:31 AM on June 11, 2009


Standing on the beach
Parasol in my hand
Staring at the sea
Staring at the sand
Looking down my white nose
At suntanners on the ground
I can see their open mouths
But I hear no sound

I'm alive
I'm dead
I'm the gothic
Wearing a scarab.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:32 AM on June 11, 2009 [29 favorites]


Ah, so it's Thursday that is "make fun of day" at Metafilter..

next Thursday can we do hipsters?

then, the week after maybe we could laugh at the nerds and geeks?

Really, we should start a list and get these scheduled in advance...

but xtians, republicans, trekkies, crazy cat ladies, and people in robin hood suits are fair game ANY day of the week!
posted by HuronBob at 5:35 AM on June 11, 2009


I fear that, like the red squirrel being replaced by the evil American grey squirrel, the multitudes of gothkind will be replaced by the horridness of cosplay-loving steampunk goths.

No, they will be replaced by bloodthirsty, murderous goth squirrels, swarming in packs through the night. Fear them, for they are legion.
posted by permafrost at 5:37 AM on June 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


next Thursday can we do hipsters?

Next Thursday is Steampunk people in hot weather. Maybe the week after?
posted by knave at 5:42 AM on June 11, 2009


Seconding MStPT's description of the alliance between punks and goths when I was a kid -- add thrashmetalheads, crossoverhippies, and band geeks to that mix. I think I was just lucky that I hung out in a friendly town; even the jocks weren't assholes for the most part.

I laughed when I read this:

Origin:
bef. 900; ME Gothe (after G. Chaucer): "There was a Wif of Bathe, she was-a gat toothed and prood, black did she wear, and depressive; yet Goth she was-a not, morever a Didi, owning nought but one Cure album, and that alone being a Greateste-Hits."

posted by not_on_display at 5:47 AM on June 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I thought Thursday was more emo than goth.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 5:56 AM on June 11, 2009


Next Thursday is Steampunk people in hot weather.

Humid weather would be more ironic.
posted by rokusan at 5:57 AM on June 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Those photos really cracked me up. Goths were funny in 1985, and they are even funnier now -- which the goths I've known have accepted and embraced. The public chuckling seems to be a fairly integral part of the experience, just like having jocks throw beer bottles at you when you have a big spikey mohawk. If you didn't get the reaction, you'd be disappointed.
posted by Forktine at 6:07 AM on June 11, 2009


Here's a Goth First Date story from my high school days, circa 1986....

There was this Goth Girl named Amy who I became friends with. I can't remember how we met, but she was calendar-worthy and very exotic to me. So, we make plans to hang out one night, so she picks me up in her Gothmobile one night and we return to the Gothcave - which turned out to be a rather non-descript apartment.

So I'm sitting there waiting to see what happens with Amy, and in walks her Gothbuddy Mike, who had some other Goth name then. Mike is your standard femmy, androgynous Asrael Abyss-type.

Now, Mike wasn't always a gothy queen kid. He was once just plain Mike, and he played on my soccer team when we were in Jr. High School Back then, Mike was mousy, freckled, typical.

Cut to Amy's apartment three years later and Mike is sitting in full drag on Amy's couch, delicately smoking a clove and opining about the world. He looks over at me and says, "Girl - we should SO DO YOU UP! You're so cute - you'll get some dick tonight for sure!"

And all I kept thinking was, "Mike the Freckled Kid from when I was on the Cougars wants to dress me up like a girl and put his dick inside me right now."

So I made up some excuse about having to go somewhere then, and Amy drove me back home and that is all that ever happened with me and Amy. :(
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:07 AM on June 11, 2009 [11 favorites]


For the record people... I have no problems with hot, topless, pool side, German, goth girls.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:09 AM on June 11, 2009


I suspect that Goth, like ancient China used to do with it's invaders, will just absorb Steampunk into the greater Gothy whole.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:20 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, they will be replaced by bloodthirsty, murderous goth squirrels, swarming in packs through the night. Fear them, for they are legion.

That's not a goth squirrel. THIS is a goth squirrel.





And the creamy creamy cheesey cheese!
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:35 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, so it's Thursday that is "make fun of day" at Metafilter..

Aw, don't go all emo on us.
posted by Nelson at 6:37 AM on June 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm not so sure that Foamy is actually a goth squirrel.. true, he lives with what appears to be a goth hooker, he exhibits little gothness himself.
posted by HuronBob at 6:42 AM on June 11, 2009


LOL you saw how he got hit in the balls!? Man, that must have hurt! Wait...what? Oh, wrong thread.

Oh man are those people funny looking! LOL!
posted by milarepa at 6:44 AM on June 11, 2009


And interesting thought experiment is to replace these hot, uncomfortable-looking outfits with burqas and ask if we'd be so quick to make fun.
posted by adipocere at 6:55 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm with HuronBob. These websites are tiresome and formulaic. Let's just go back to Mullets and let them stand for everything laughably uncool to anonymous critics on the Intertubes. That will save us time.

Then again, I suppose these sites do much the same work as 18th-century "comedies of manners." Of course they don't do that work with the same wit and charm...
posted by MarshallPoe at 6:56 AM on June 11, 2009


MStPT: Robert Smith must be spinning in his grave.

Wait, what? *checks wikipedia* Okay, whew.

I guess you just meant, you know, it's daytime.
posted by marginaliana at 7:02 AM on June 11, 2009 [26 favorites]


And interesting thought experiment is to replace these hot, uncomfortable-looking outfits with burqas and ask if we'd be so quick to make fun.

There's a little pre-thinking regarding voluntary vs. involuntary that you forgot to do.
posted by Cyrano at 7:13 AM on June 11, 2009 [6 favorites]


And interesting thought experiment is to replace these hot, uncomfortable-looking outfits with burqas and ask if we'd be so quick to make fun.

what
posted by desuetude at 7:19 AM on June 11, 2009 [5 favorites]


And interesting thought experiment is to replace these hot, uncomfortable-looking outfits with burqas burger costumes and ask if we'd be so quick to make fun.

Yup.
posted by Forktine at 7:25 AM on June 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


this is why i only wear my goth clothes in Second Life.
posted by RedEmma at 7:32 AM on June 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


box: "Yeah, I don't know what it is, but if anything heat seems to make dark subculture types flourish, at least in the US. There are more goths and black metal people and whatnot in Florida than in Minnesota."

&lt Keillor &gt We don't have goths in Lake Woebegone. People here are accustomed to living with death. It wouldn't be all that unusual. &lt /Keillor &gt
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:34 AM on June 11, 2009


Ahh, my HTML skills fail ... those were supposed to be faux tags ... I'll walk away in shame now
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:35 AM on June 11, 2009


If these goths keep sweating up their clothing, they could maybe use some help from MeFi's own.
posted by exogenous at 7:38 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Could be improved by the use of a hotornot.com type interface.
posted by munyeca at 7:49 AM on June 11, 2009


There are more goths and black metal people and whatnot in Florida than in Minnesota.

SEE ALSO: New Orleans.

Ah, so it's Thursday that is "make fun of day" at Metafilter..

I feel more comfortable making fun of goths because they seem to do an able job of it themselves. At the risk of going the "some of my best friends are..." route, the large number of goths I knew/worked with when I lived in the French Quarter were a consistent source of goth jokes. The more theatrical they dressed, the more likely they were to see it as... silly and theatrical.
posted by brundlefly at 7:59 AM on June 11, 2009


Goths in hot weather
Cheesy spooks without friends
Eyeliner smearing
Praying heatwave soon ends

Pancake white, vinyl, parasol
And a haughty demeanor
Won't make you look too cool
When the temp's at ninety-four...

(to the tune of "Nights in White Satin," if it wasn't apparent...)
posted by Graygorey at 8:06 AM on June 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Gary Player: Goth Golfer
posted by netbros at 8:17 AM on June 11, 2009


One of the weirdest things about moving to Salem, MA has been the interaction between gothic, witchy types and blue collar, townie types.

That is, their interactions are completely normal. It is not uncommon to walk into a bar and see a dude wearing all black, with a top hat and a parasol chatting away with another guy wearing a white hat and a slightly stained plumbers supply t-shirt.

I had always thought these stereotypes were natural enemies, but again and again, I see'm defying 80s-movie-based tradition and getting along like people.

I am looking forward to the Cradle of Filth/Dave Mathews Band mashups.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:19 AM on June 11, 2009 [7 favorites]


LOL you saw how he got hit in the balls!? Man, that must have hurt! Wait...what? Oh, wrong thread. Oh man are those people funny looking! LOL!

These websites are tiresome and formulaic. Let's just go back to Mullets and let them stand for everything laughably uncool to anonymous critics on the Intertubes. That will save us time.

I think you're making wrong assumptions about what people are responding to in these photographs. I don't think these goths are funny-looking or uncool. Some of them look great, in fact - I always enjoy the chance to look at good gothic fashions. Miss Raven's 'Empress Parasol', for example, is fabulous. In fact, what I find amusing in these photos has very little to do with gothness - it's the avid fashion-lover's refusal to make concessions to practicalities of climate or situation that makes me laugh, and which I can't help sort of admiring. It's like going hiking in spike heels or wearing a ballgown and tiara to do the grocery shopping - it's a silly, impractical thing to do, so I'm amused, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the fabulousness of it. Also, it seems to me that in most cases, the subjects of these photos KNOW that they are doing something that is incongruous and amusing, and are 'playing to camera' - which would explain why several of the pictures seem to have been submitted by the people who appear in them. They're camping it up deliberately.

And interesting thought experiment is to replace these hot, uncomfortable-looking outfits with burqas and ask if we'd be so quick to make fun.

What a completely bewildering thing to say. These outfits and their fabulous impracticality remind me more of Naomi Campbell falling off her absurdly high platforms than anything to do with life under the Taliban. Social/religious diktats require that certain Islamic women wear burqas, despite the inconveniences they presumably cause. The goths in these photos could easily get about in something more seasonally appropriate and comfortable, and social norms would encourage them to do so. They refuse to, out of sheer love of antique finery and a desire to thumb their noses at the straight world, which I applaud, and which amuses me.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 8:19 AM on June 11, 2009 [24 favorites]


I do seem to remember winkle-pickers not being ideal summer wear. Still, I wore them.
posted by ob at 8:19 AM on June 11, 2009


Oh, and for the record I found the site hilarious.
posted by ob at 8:20 AM on June 11, 2009


munyeca, Goth Or Not already exists. And "Goth And/Or Sweaty Or Not" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

And one thing to note when judging the sweaty factor: black clothing absorbs sunlight and the heat radiating from your body, but if it is loose-fitting, and there is wind, the wind convects the heat away faster than it is absorbed (source).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:26 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I remember seeing a girl in a fabulous PVC ensemble at a summer daytime concert festival in southeastern Virginia and thinking, WOW you must stink under all that.

(When a youngish demi-goth myself, I was derided by a humorless gothmistress for omitting the standard-issue fishnets at a summertime event. I fully expect to see her on this site.)
posted by desuetude at 8:27 AM on June 11, 2009


Another thing to note: some people submitted pictures of themselves to this site, whereas most mullet sites include pictures taken unbeknown to the owners of the mullets.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:28 AM on June 11, 2009


You call those goth squirrels? These are goth squirrels...
posted by twine42 at 8:30 AM on June 11, 2009


Yes, the big secret of being a goth (or not being a goth, as no goth will admit to being a goth) (not that I'd know, I'm not a goth) is that if you're taking yourself seriously, you're doing it wrong. The whole thing is something between a giant in-joke, and a hilarious game you play with other people in on the schtick. The attractions to various bizarritudes are real, the philosophical amusements very much actual beliefs, but the over-the-top costuming and such? Almost entirely for the point of saying "Top THAT, bitches!" Generally we (err they) spend most of the time wearing jeans and a tee shirt, and that's just fine. When one goes all out with the outfitting, sweatiness is pretty much a given. That's why the spot right under the AC vent is also the spot where everyone is standing at the club.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:51 AM on June 11, 2009 [12 favorites]


I know I busted this out just yesterday; I think I am going to make a keyboard macro for it: Plaatsvervangende schaamte.

/former Jesuit high school black-clothes-wearing art fag*

* Many years before "chain pants" were ever excreted upon the earth. Also: Current 93!

posted by everichon at 8:51 AM on June 11, 2009


I'm mostly disappointed that the video for the Jesus and Mary Chain's "You Trip Me Up" has not been mentioned. I know, the JAMC aren't particularly goth, but c'mon - four men dressed completely in black walking morosely along the seaside?
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 9:11 AM on June 11, 2009


the big secret of being a goth

I thought the big secret was to put on your socks then your fishnets.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:15 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


evertichon: how do you pronounce that?
posted by nushustu at 9:27 AM on June 11, 2009


The whole thing is something between a giant in-joke, and a hilarious game you play with other people in on the schtick.

I always wondered. thanks!
posted by grubi at 9:45 AM on June 11, 2009


from phrontist(?): pronouncing Plaatsvervangende schaamte
posted by pantsrobot at 9:47 AM on June 11, 2009


I have a friend who runs with the dressed in black crowd. She throws a Fourth of July party every year, hot dogs (meat or veggie, take your pick), beer, the summer sun, the whole God Bless America thing. It's really great. Seeing the night creatures brave the sun for this, and to have a genuinely good time doing it, makes me really happy.

I can do without the chain smoking though.
posted by Xoebe at 9:53 AM on June 11, 2009


Robert Smith must be spinning in his grave.

Wait, what? *checks wikipedia* Okay, whew.


He's still fat though.
posted by Artw at 9:59 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Isn't there a 'goth day' at Dinseyland? That belongs on that site....if it does exist. Maybe I'm thinking of pirate-day.
posted by wowbobwow at 10:14 AM on June 11, 2009


While we're here... make sure you know your goths... http://www.blackwaterfall.com/viewall.php.
posted by evilangela at 10:19 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


So happy to see Steampunk Goth last on that list.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:22 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's a yearly "Freak Day" at the Richmond-area King's Dominion, as well as one at the National Zoo in DC - both in the grisliest time of summer heat, just to make it more grievous. And the combination of kitch and Snakebites that the MD Renn Fest hosts makes for an irresistible lure for the summertime goff. Getting blitzed in the shade by the White Hart is an institution!
posted by FatherDagon at 10:25 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was a goth in high school. I'm only a little ashamed to admit it. My favorite band was Nine Inch Nails and I had not only every Halo, but about 20+ bootlegs. There is a picture out there of me in full black, sporting make-up and all. Thankfully, I believe it might be in my closet and far, far from the day it might ever be digitized and shared with you haters.

*grins*
posted by Bageena at 10:26 AM on June 11, 2009


I'm not goth, goth is what other people do. I'm [ridiculous made-up unique subsubsubgenre].

That aside, I've never dressed up THAT much in my day, but by nature I'm a stocky, hirsute, Italian guy. I'm ALWAYS uncomfortably warm, no matter the situation. It's one of those things i've come to accept, so wearing boots and all black in the summer is not much more comfortable than light colors or sandals.

Also, what FatherDagon said.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:33 AM on June 11, 2009


Goths in hot weather
posted by koeselitz at 10:35 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Isn't there a 'goth day' at Dinseyland?

Bat's Day
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:39 AM on June 11, 2009


From the 'Day' link -

"Ma'am," he said in a Southern drawl, "Can I ask you something?"
"Sure."
He paused, then said, "What the hell is going on?"
I explained to him why "those people" were there. Then, sensing an opening, I asked, "Well, you gotta ask yourself - would you rather these folks or a park full of Muslims?"
He stopped and looked at me. "Well, you got a point there, ma'am."
I smiled. "These people may be Goths, but they're American Goths."
He straightened up and smiled. "By God they are, aren't they?" He looked over at a group and smiled benevolently. "American Goths . . ." he said.


Tolerance Light: Now even bigots can try it!
posted by FatherDagon at 10:48 AM on June 11, 2009 [7 favorites]


I am so going to start a website for photos of software developers in t-shirts because I will damn well never run out of material.
posted by GuyZero at 11:33 AM on June 11, 2009


I was in England in the summer of 1990 and, at that time, there was actually a phenomenon of goths wearing lighter colours (white or brown), and shorts, etc. were actually not uncommon. I can't recall what this goth sub-sect was referred to as, and I don't have the time to look it up now, but I believe The Mission, et al. was involved. They also had longer hair than the mid-80s goths, on average.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:51 AM on June 11, 2009


I'm not goth.

I just look GREAT wearing eyeliner.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:11 PM on June 11, 2009


Oh, I've thought about the voluntarily versus involuntarily, are you kidding me? I know it's fashionable to pretend that someone might have a thick layer of plaque constricting their internal carotid arteries, but give me a little credit here.

Some parts y'all failed to consider: namely that in some cultures and countries, women take those various outfits up voluntarily. It's not all under threats of honor killings, despite the hype. Did we not recently have a post about fashionable clothes for Muslim women? Just because it's part of their religious beliefs does not make it automatically involuntary, nor does the religion in question. Maybe a little pre-thinking is helpful there, too.

Anyway, back to my original point — make fun of the clothing choices of a non-American culture on MeFi, see what happens. Have a poke at someone local, it's okay. Kind of a weird double standard.
posted by adipocere at 12:42 PM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


These amateurs need to listen to Sarah Vowell's account of getting ready to go out on the town with a group of goths. They spend some time getting her all dressed up in pale makeup and gloomy black and then ask her to pick a goth name, something dark and horrible.

Sarah picked "Becky." The goths loved it. They said she had jumped to the highest level of goth - the "pink of goth," someone so goth they can be dark and gloomy by wearing pink.
posted by straight at 12:49 PM on June 11, 2009


I went out to a "goth bar" once with friends and I didn't have much that was very goth to wear. I was being cajoled into dressing "more gothic" to which I replied "maybe I should put on a steeple and some flying buttresses? Like Chartres?".

Yay verily that joke was beat to death that night. And the joke was on me as I did grow what appears to be a non-flying buttress during my late 30's.
posted by GuyZero at 12:54 PM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Next Thursday is Steampunk people in hot weather.

That's easy. Just Google "Burning Man."
posted by mykescipark at 12:54 PM on June 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Argh! Now I have "Knights in White Satin" going through my head.

That's so not goth. h:s:f
posted by JoanArkham at 1:06 PM on June 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Try to imagine it sung through a megaphone, without the strings and with the addition of a clangy drum machine on high reverb.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:22 PM on June 11, 2009


Got it stuck in my head, too. *grumble*
posted by brundlefly at 1:27 PM on June 11, 2009


Can anyone explain to me wtf is the point of this "goth" beyond "I want attention"?

Previously.

Most of my wardrobe is black, I'm pale-skinned and avoid the sun, and I listen to obscure and melancholy music. I dress more conservatively than I once did and I (mostly) pass for normal these days, but I spent more than 20 years in the goth scene (I'm now 41) and I don't regret it for a minute. The music is the main attraction for me, but I also appreciate the artistic aesthetic and the acceptance and encouragement of eccentricity, queerness and general nerdiness.

The goth scene was where I found acceptance as an introverted, intellectual, bookish, pensive, gentle nerd girl who preferred to stay indoors and play cards or read books while the other kids were out playing sports. Goth culture gave me hope that I could live my life on my own terms. With my goth friends, I could be passionate and emotionally intense without scaring people off. I didn't have to paste on a smile or act perky if I didn't feel like it.

I learned from my fellow goths that true beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and that I didn't have to conform to the conventional beauty standards to find love or friendship. It gave me an outlet for my feminist outrage; in my circle of friends at least, strong and smart women were respected and appreciated, and people regularly got called out or shunned for misogynist behavior. And no one sat on the sidelines waiting to be asked to dance, because dancing alone was always perfectly acceptable in goth clubs.

The goth subculture gave me a place to deeply explore my interest in non-mainstream spirituality without fear of ridicule. It provided a safe harbor from bullying. It gave me a built-in social network and reliable outward signifiers to help me identify others who might share my attitudes, or at least my tastes in music. And I've always loved the self-referential humor and remarkable creativity of the goth scene.

The goth subculture has given me strength and self-acceptance, and has been an enormously positive influence on my life.

Plus, it's just plain cool.
posted by velvet winter at 1:49 PM on June 11, 2009 [19 favorites]


He looks over at me and says, "Girl - we should SO DO YOU UP! You're so cute - you'll get some dick tonight for sure!"

You totally blew it. The proper response would have been:

"Come on, Goth, give me a break!"

to which he would have responded:

"One break, comin' up!!"

And that would have signaled Bauhaus to rock back into "Stigmata Martyr."
posted by The World Famous at 1:55 PM on June 11, 2009


Some parts y'all failed to consider: namely that in some cultures and countries, women take those various outfits up voluntarily. It's not all under threats of honor killings, despite the hype. Did we not recently have a post about fashionable clothes for Muslim women? Just because it's part of their religious beliefs does not make it automatically involuntary, nor does the religion in question. Maybe a little pre-thinking is helpful there, too.

Anyway, back to my original point — make fun of the clothing choices of a non-American culture on MeFi, see what happens. Have a poke at someone local, it's okay. Kind of a weird double standard.

To your point about voluntarily covering, I don't understand why you earnestly equivocate "those various outfits" worn to conform to the modesty guidelines of the world's second largest religion and a counterculture movement that is inherently, intentionally theatrical.

This isn't an example of a double standard.
posted by desuetude at 2:03 PM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


adipocere - Wow, you are so very deep. Deep like a well of loneliness, or the blackness of a midnight sky.
posted by Artw at 2:08 PM on June 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I always kind of wanted to be goth; I've got the pale skin and look good in black. My problem is that I'm incredibly lazy, remarkably clumsy (if I tried to put on eye make-up I'm pretty sure I'd lose an eye), and leather is expensive. My compromise is that all my t-shirts are black.
posted by Caduceus at 2:09 PM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


You could have been a beatnik, that's cooler anyway.
posted by Artw at 2:18 PM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


♥ goths ♥
posted by Free word order! at 2:45 PM on June 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


adipocere: Anyway, back to my original point — make fun of the clothing choices of a non-American culture on MeFi, see what happens. Have a poke at someone local, it's okay. Kind of a weird double standard.

Personally, I think the political reality of about 500 years of cultural imperialism justifies a double standard on that score.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:07 PM on June 11, 2009


if I tried to put on eye make-up I'm pretty sure I'd lose an eye

Oh, that one's easy to solve - just get a friend or two to do it for you! It can be lots of fun for all involved. My friends and I love to help people get all gothed up for club nights and parties.

And that reminds me of something else I've always loved about the goth subculture: the rejection of stereotypical gendered fashion as a basis for attraction. Geeky men in eyeliner, black nail polish, and long velvet skirts, for example, generally don't have any trouble finding dates and mates. Nor do women in combat boots and camo pants with tattoos and spiky purple hair.

I heart goths.
posted by velvet winter at 3:40 PM on June 11, 2009


"velvet winter" is possibly one of the gothier usernames I've seen.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:07 PM on June 11, 2009


"velvet winter" is possibly one of the gothier usernames I've seen.

Hmm. I hadn't considered that until you mentioned it. Makes sense now, though.

*slinks off to brood and listen to Joy Division*
posted by velvet winter at 4:33 PM on June 11, 2009


This would be my favorite goths in hot weather choreographed beach dance.
posted by bobobox at 5:36 PM on June 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I remember years ago visiting New Orleans around the 4th of July (unquestionably the arm-pit of earth at that time of year). After changing clothes about three times in one day I thought for sure I was seeing hallucinations when I saw these goth kids walking the French Quarter in full makeup and suits. God bless 'em, they really stand for their subculture.
Honestly I do have to say I fear ending up on this site some day. Having pasty skin and wearing black means one is goth?

I've always feared that, like the Polar bears, global warming means that by 2050, goths will be extinct in the wild as their habitat will have disappeared.

Nah, they'll be laughing at the common folk of America suffering from melanoma.
posted by hillabeans at 6:57 PM on June 11, 2009


my favorite goths in hot weather choreographed beach dance

That's one obscure genre of dance there. And strangely compelling.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:13 PM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


strangely compelling

Ever seen gothic bellydance? I can't get enough of it.
posted by velvet winter at 8:07 PM on June 11, 2009 [5 favorites]


That was a pleasure to watch. Thank you.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:25 PM on June 11, 2009


I thought the big secret was to put on your socks then your fishnets.
and the other secret is to put on your black lacy underpants over the fishnets. That way the stockings don't slouch, and it looks way hot if your short skirt rides up (or if you're feeling naughty and flash someone)
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:36 PM on June 11, 2009


Loved the gothic bellydance! thanks!


damn now I want to go out dancing.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:43 PM on June 11, 2009


I thought the big secret was to put on your socks then your fishnets.
and the other secret is to put on your black lacy underpants over the fishnets. That way the stockings don't slouch, and it looks way hot if your short skirt rides up (or if you're feeling naughty and flash someone)


Also, panties over garter belt, so that you don't have to undo your stockings to pee.
posted by desuetude at 8:48 PM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


That was a pleasure to watch. Thank you.

Amazing, isn't it? Glad you liked it. Feel free to MeFi mail me if you want more links. I spend a huge amount of time searching YouTube for great bellydancers, especially the gothy ones. Hmm...now that I'm thinking about it, maybe this would make for a good FPP...

now I want to go out dancing.

Me too! A couple of months ago I went to a goth club for the first time in more than five years. I thought I'd feel old, decrepit and out-of-it, but it wasn't like that at all. I was definitely one of the older folks there, but I had a great time and danced my ass off. I do have to say, though, that I think I've outgrown black lipstick.
posted by velvet winter at 9:37 PM on June 11, 2009


Everyone outgrows black lipstick.

I think I shall go out tonight and enjoy the fact that it is the middle of winter here in Oz (why yes, my wings are blacker and glossier than most, thanks eatyourcellphone) and I can wear a PVC everything and not melt.
posted by Jilder at 9:53 PM on June 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I spend a huge amount of time searching YouTube for great bellydancers, especially the gothy ones. Hmm...now that I'm thinking about it, maybe this would make for a good FPP...

Within two clicks of that beach dancing video above, I was watching a video of heavy metal belly dancing, which I had never even imagined existed. So yes, a non-traditional belly dancing FPP would be fascinating.
posted by Forktine at 10:35 PM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


yes, a non-traditional belly dancing FPP would be fascinating.

Thanks for the encouragement. I'll put one together. Hope I can make it good...it'll be my first FPP!

*gets to work*
posted by velvet winter at 10:46 PM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


yes, gothic bellydancing FPPs, please!

(did you link Ariella above? she's my favourite, so far (no youtube at work))
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:07 PM on June 11, 2009


did you link Ariella above?

No, the link I posted above is to a dancer named Edenia, performing at Gothla 2009. But I'll definitely include the amazing Ariellah in my FPP! She's one of my favorites, too.
posted by velvet winter at 11:35 PM on June 11, 2009


Some parts y'all failed to consider: namely that in some cultures and countries, women take those various outfits up voluntarily.

If it's voluntary - great. Today at the doctors office I encountered a couple - woman in full burqa with her very very very pale husband (though he was properly bearded...) here in suburban Calgary.

(And ya'know what - she had the most beautiful eye's - so pretty in fact that I began wondering what else was under there. Now that I've seen a burqa "first-hand", personally, I think the burqa inpsired more lecherous thoughts than the girl next to me in a tank-top and short-shorts...)
posted by jkaczor at 12:16 AM on June 12, 2009


We used to laugh at the tales of US goths wandering around LA with parasols to preserve their pasty complexions. I knew of no goths who whited up in the 80's, Siouxsie was pretty played out by the mid-eighties.
We were pale because there was no sun for much of the year. When the sun came out, we sunbathed! It just didn't last very long.
Wayne Hussey was indeed responsible for the more henna-hippy style of goth that branched out when the Sisters split.
posted by asok at 2:06 AM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


(And ya'know what - she had the most beautiful eye's - so pretty in fact that I began wondering what else was under there. Now that I've seen a burqa "first-hand", personally, I think the burqa inpsired more lecherous thoughts than the girl next to me in a tank-top and short-shorts...)

absolutely - i have a bit of a burqa fetish, myself.

your story reminds me of a time i was on a train in eastern turkey, and sitting opposite me was a girl travelling with her grandmother (presumably). the girl had the most beautiful, huge, almond-shaped green doe-eyes, and stared at me incessantly over a number of hours. or better put, held gaze, rather than stared. at best guess, she might have been around 16-19 years of age, and came across as around a billion times more sexually charged than any common drunken slapper getting around in a low cut top & short skirt.

but if you want full-on, sexually charged hejab flirtation fun, go to Iran. seriously.

then assume they're all gothic bellydancing experts.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:59 AM on June 12, 2009


maybe this would make for a good FPP...

velvet winter, you have my encouragement too, that's an FPP I'd like to see.
posted by bobobox at 4:52 AM on June 12, 2009


Forktine: Isn't pretty much all modern "bellydance" the offspring of eastern dances that were popularized at the Chicago world's fair and Victorian burlesque?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:05 AM on June 12, 2009


You are asking me? I like looking at it, but otherwise I know less than nothing about the history and current forms of belly dancing. My impression is that belly dancing is really adaptable and hospitable to people projecting their contemporary needs and concerns, be they empowerment or titillation or whatever. Like a lot of good things in life, belly dancing walks a really fine line around sexuality, which is what makes it good.
posted by Forktine at 6:33 AM on June 12, 2009


belly dancing walks a really fine line around sexuality *woah, i can think of some really awesome applications for that kind of control of the core* which is what makes it good funny that it's such a middle-eastern tradition.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:47 AM on June 12, 2009


(which is what makes it good)
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:48 AM on June 12, 2009


It's like going hiking in spike heels or wearing a ballgown and tiara to do the grocery shopping - it's a silly, impractical thing to do, so I'm amused, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the fabulousness of it.

Though I am not now, nor have I ever been a Goth, I have hiked up the side of a mountain in high heels ( I neither stumbled nor fell). I have also been to the supermarket on several occasions in evening gowns. I have waded through a waterfall in a silk blouse and pearls. Sometimes life just takes you places you're just not dressed for and you don't always have time or ability to change. I think I learned that pretty early on, but whether it was from my overdressed, inclined-to-jump-in-fountains mother or the vast number of movies I loved in my childhood featuring women ill-dressed for the adventure that befell them I could not say. Better to endure a moment of someone else's derision because your outfit doesn't fit their idea of utility or appropriateness than regret missing something that might have been fun because you weren't wearing the right pair of shoes.
posted by thivaia at 7:10 AM on June 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Isn't pretty much all modern "bellydance" the offspring of eastern dances that were popularized at the Chicago world's fair and Victorian burlesque?

As I understand it, there's no consensus about the true origins of belly dance even among scholars, but it's true that the first known use of the phrase "belly dance" in the USA was as an epithet to disparage a the performance you refer to, by Farida Mazar Spyropoulos (a.k.a. Little Egypt) at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.

I'm working on an FPP in which I'll provide more links on belly dance (thanks for all the encouragement!), so I'll set this topic aside for now so as not to further derail this thread.
posted by velvet winter at 9:11 AM on June 12, 2009


Every year when I was younger and somebody would want to go to Six Flags I'd immediately think, fuck, I'm going to die of heatstroke. All my clothes are black.

And then I'd tell myself, I'm not goth, I am just paranoid about wearing bright colors and terrible at coordinating. And seriously? I am. I'm a little goth too but but but

All black = my mental equivalent of Einstein's closet full of the same suits.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:56 PM on June 12, 2009


Goth Einstein.
posted by Artw at 3:00 PM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


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