I'm gonna start with traveling back in time, to something pretty unrelated: Goths.I mean the germanic tribe from around 2000 years ago. You might have heard the terms ostrogoths and visigoths? They sacked Rome and shit and helped kickstart the medieval period.
They spoke the Gothic language (which had its own alphabet), and everything they did and things inspired by them are classified as ''goth'' or ''gothic''. Now why do I bring this up?
Just like with the architecture, the romantics of the 1800s also led to an explosion of the gothic. In the Victorian age it wasn't VERY popular, but a lot of good literature came out around then. Click here to read my favorite gothic novels.
By now, the gothic was characterized by supernatural elements, a setting in gothic buildings, and macabre themes. They would often feature main characters like a young maiden and a brooding tyrant. I don't want to go too much into this, this post is just meant to be a very basic overview.
Everyone is familiar with gothic horror movies and spooky TV shows. Most of us grew up with them.
Hammer Horror, Universal's Classic Monsters and Edgar Allan Poe movies, for example, and shows like Dark Shadows, The Addams Family and The Munsters.
The gothic has also influenced different metal genres, and of course: gothic rock.
Goth rock was / is darker and more romantic. Post-punk and goth rock can often be the same bands, so Joy Division, The Cure and Siouxsie can be called goth rock as well, but some examples of goth rock bands are Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy, The Birthday Party, Dead Can Dance, Southern Death Cult and The Mission. Sorry, I went a little overboard. I ALSO want to mention The Damned! They're a punk band, but they do have some really gothy albums. Check them out!
It's very hard to describe things simply and keep it short in this post, I realize now. If you really are interested in this, you probably know a little already, and I strongly encourage you to read about it and actually delve into it yourself.
I would also like to mention other related genres like deathrock, industrial, ''waves'', ethereal, EBM... Some might not agree with a couple of those, but most are played at goth clubs and festivals.
One thing I have to mention, as it is a common question: NO, YOU DON'T HAVE TO PICK A ''GOTH STYLE'' AND STICK TO IT. Wear whatever you want. Dress like a cybergoth one day and a victorian the other. Mix and match, it doesn't matter! Just be yourself. But I strongly advise you to listen to the different music genres and see what you like. Cause if ONE thing has got to be weird within all of this, it's dressing in a style associated with a music genre you don't even like (like wearing a band shirt of a band you have never listened to). So that's just my advice.
I think I also have to add that you don't have to ''look goth'' to be one. We all have lives, and it's not always we are able to look super amazing. That's why I post every outfit I wear on this blog, to show younger people that ''a real goth'' doesn't look like whatever they've seen online all the time.
So I definitely agree it's a way of life - but it of course doesn't mean it's the ONLY part of your life.
Goth can also be described as a culture. Some say SUBculture, but a lot of people agree that we have grown so much that we are an entire culture in ourselves. You can google that if you want to learn more. In addition to interests and aesthetic taste we also have other things in common, like being very open when it comes to topics like gender, sexuality and religion. We don't shun anyone because of things like that, probably because we already know what it's like to be judged by others.We see life in a certain way, and we find beauty where most people don't. We are big nerds, socialize a lot, aren't into ''bad things'' (drugs, violence, etc), and often are highly educated.
There is a pretty big misconception that goths are violent. This is especially a thing in the US, where the media has basically blamed school shootings on goths and misinform about goth in the media in other ways. Another big misconception is that goths are depressed, self-harm and / or are suicidal. Just like in the normal population, depression is a pretty common illness within goths, but it doesn't mean that it's BECAUSE of being goth (though being bullied for being different can be a contributing factor). There has been a few studies about this, but as far as I've seen they haven't been very thorough. Goths are some of the happiest people I've met! We know how to have fun. And all of our interests make us happy, that's why people have interests in the first place.
I think that's all I have to say for now. I tried to write this in an easily understandable and casual tone, so that it isn't such a bore to read through. I hope I accomplished that! I felt like I needed to take you down this journey, and hope that I helped someone understand how all of this came to be and what it is. If you are someone who thinks this whole thing might be for you, definitely check out what I've mentioned and see if it is! And no, you don't have to use labels if you don't want to. I just use it for simplicity's sake to quickly let people know what I'm into. As the internet has grown I've found that the label is getting used more and more, and I'm still trying to get used to that. I've accidentally become this person people look up to, admire and ask questions to. How weird.
I just looked at the title and my head went ''baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more'', hahah.
Anyway, I'm gonna stop rambling and leave you now! For a while, actually. Tomorrow I am leaving for Wave Gotik Treffen, and I'm staying in Leipzig for a week. So I won't be posting here or on social media for a week - So don't worry, I'm not dead! I'll be back, with TONS to share.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read my Ultimate Wave Gotik Treffen Guide here.
Take care everyone, bye!