Monday, January 16, 2012

30-Day Goth Challenge, Day 1

So, I just looked at the calendar and realized that, in one month, I leave for New Zealand. It's crazy to think about, and it is going to be even crazier getting ready for, but I am determined to do it-and to be a better blogger along the way! In order to motivate myself to blog more regularly (and I'm not even going to offer excuses for my pitiful posting so far this year; I've just been lazy, and that's all there is to it!) I am going to try the 30 Day Goth Challenge from the lovely Juliet's Lace. Today, Day 1 of the challenge, poses what would seem to be a simple question: How did you come across the subculture?

Well, for me, that simple question...isn't so simple. Ok, it actually isn't so VERY complicated either, but I like to make myself sound more mysterious than I actually am. :) In retrospect, a lot of the traits that would grow up to be Goth in me manifested themselves very young. I watched The Addams Family movies quite a bit as a kid, and enjoyed old Munsters re-runs. I was obsessed with vampires and ghost stories, and I always loved Victorian children's literature. I also frequently displayed a strongly independent, if not entirely tasteful, fashion sense. I was obsessed with prairie dresses and penny loafers in second and third grade. I may be the only fourth grader in history to wear a black velvet catsuit with a long red scarf looped around the waist to school, followed the next year by an entirely leopard-print outfit (leopard-print pajama pants, matching old maternity top of my mom's-no, I'm not kidding about that-and hairbow in a completely different kind of leopard print). Thankfully, no pictures of these sartorial abominations exist to haunt me, but trust me, they were bad.

So what does all that have to do with Goth? Well, I'm getting there. In 7th and 8th grade, I went through what I like to refer to as my "conventional" phase; the bullying about my out-there outfits had finally gotten to be too much, and I wanted to fit in, so the farthest I would go was a wild top with a pair of jeans. I was 13, and when you're 13, you make such things way more important than they are. Instead of wearing the skirts and dresses I so desperately wanted to wear, I would read the Dress A Day  blog and fantasize about the day when I could wear a scrabble-print dress or alphabet-print skirt. One day, Erin posted about a Goth lady, Jillian Venters of the Gothic Charm School, who was seeking pink and black striped fabrics. Intrigued (one of my friends had recently started going the whole Hot Topic route), I clicked on the link-and found myself in an amazing, absolutely fascinating world. Here, finally, were people who looked at life in the same odd, quirky way I did! Here were people who loved beautiful clothes, and Tim Burton movies, and vampire books! I was hooked, but only in the mental sense. I had seen how my friend, and several other kids at school who identified themselves as variations of Goth and punk, were treated, and I just wasn't ready for that.

So for the next two years, through my freshman and sophomore years of high school, I bided my time. I rebelled against the jeans-and-t-shirt dresscode of my peers in small ways; I wore tailored black and grey pants with a cheerful Eyore t, or donned a black lace tank with jeans that laced up the sides. On days when the tennis team played, I joyfully wore my skirts and dresses, secure in the knowledge that no one could make snide comments about me being *shock, horror* "overdressed", when everyone knew we were required to dress nicely for matches! Finally, after I left school to go online for my last two years, I was able to get the requisite mental distance to realize that I shouldn't care what people at that school thought, and I should wear what makes me happy, snide and sniggering idiots be damned. I threw out all but one pair of jeans (a girl has to do things like hike and paint some times!), bought a bunch of stripey tights and lacy skirts, and I've never looked back. It's been a long, and sometimes bumpy road-but I can safely say that I am today an unashamed, unreserved, and exceptionally happy Goth. So, thank you to the random Google search that led me to Erin's amazing blog, which led me to Jillian's amazing blog, which led me into Goth and all the amazing people, places, and things I have discovered in this subculture. I love you guys! 

No comments:

Post a Comment