The reason I started blogging, except for that I missed to write is that at I currently live in a place where the goth subculture doesn’t exist at all and thought that I could get some inspiration online, through blogs and videos, hopefully participate and find some new friends. But instead I was overwhelmed with all these tutorials, rules and wars on what is or isn’t goth and felt…uneasy. It used to be about being yourself, about music, books, movies and showing your creativity. Now it seems like you should look and think exactly the same.
Maybe the problem isn’t the new kids, maybe it is that we’re not talking about acceptance enough? All people that find goth (or any subculture) these days will have two worlds to relate to, even though they are highly connected to each other. First, it’s the IRL and second, it’s the online life most of us have to a greater or lesser extent where you can choose how your lifestyle and personality should look like.
In real life, everyone has to interact with all sorts of people. They are family, friends, co-workers, people who stand in line for the bus, anyone really, and the society is built upon rules and cultural conformity to make us feel safe and secure. All of us, no matter how extreme and unconventional we feel, coexist with all the norms and structures IRL and in many ways they form what the subculture is too, since it tends to break away from cultural and sometimes social standards.
But the internet is different. You can actually filter the web to fit your exact wishes and here’s where I believe the big change has happened. Online it’s easy to divide, you simply find whatever style or person you can relate to and for a lot of people, especially younger ones, you want to find your click where you can feel secure and at home. Looking similar is part of that safety and liking the same things as well, add some of the online magic that is internet shopping, optimizing search engines and companies have a whole new market to dig into. Combine it with that youtube fame and we have a global explosion of kids breaking the norm but still look exactly the same.
Fitting in, even while standing out, is crucial for a lot of teenagers and the internet allows to create your own set of rules away from IRL structure, probably already formed by someone else online which makes for an accessible but a very repetitious subculture. It also creates a competition where the “truest goths” wear extreme makeup 24/7 365 days a year, always look their most extreme, always doing alternative things. Any normality is filtered away and so is the reality of being human with all sorts of personalities, interests and friends. No wonder it’s all about the outside when it’s all we see on our screens. I don’t think it’s a surprise that the online life of the subculture has evolved into something commercial, somewhat detaching itself from literature, music and the outside world since we don’t really seem to discuss it in an accepting or inviting manor.
I didn’t have all those millions watching me evolve into what I am today and can’t begin to imagine the pressure it brings in a lot of the baby bats but if I had, I sure as hell would’ve wanted to look just as cool as all the other goths online, doing what they’re doing.
This rambling was inspired of a blog post by Little Corp Goth Girl.