I. The Gothic personality.
Generally speaking, true Goths
are intelligent, artistic individuals with
an almost fanatic reverence for the arts and all types of beauty. Many Goths
possess certain qualities prior to their
initial identification with
the subculture or even their
it exists; some
of these qualities include
thoughtfulness, creativity, intelligence, shyness, and an introspective nature.
II. The Gothic philosophy.
I will strive to sum this up in as few words as possible. The Gothic subculture is based on the idea
of finding beauty and light in all those things dark
, grotesque, tragic, and sorrowful. The seeming fixation with
Death is an example of this; Goths
embrace things that
and revulsion in mainstream society, because in truth they are no less beautiful than their
If any among
you wishes to further enlighten
him or herself, I suggest the study of old Gothic literature, the very
best of which is exemplified in the works of Dante, Shelley, Byron, Lovecraft, and Poe.
III. Gothic music.
"Gothic" was, to my knowledge, first used
to describe the emerging subculture by the band Joy Division
in the late 70's. Along with
Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Sisters of Mercy, and The Cure, this band helped establish Gothic as a musical genre. The Gothic sound
is characterized by dark
, brooding, strange music that
cacophonous to the uninitiated. Some
other notable Goth
Switchblade Symphony, Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, and Christian Death. By the way, bands that
are widely mislabeled
as being Gothic, yet are NOT, include
(to name a few): Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Type O Negative, Evanescence.
IV. Gothic attire.
Most people know that Goths
favor black if they know anything at all. There are so many
different styles of dress among Goths that
I dare not attempt a complete list; here are some
of the most commonly worn materials and articles of clothing among Goths
: velvet, silk, fishnet stockings, PVC, brocade, lace, LOTS of boots, things with
jewel tones such as purple and wine colored
garments, gloves, very
high heels, band T-shirts, chokers, corsets. Many Goths
, especially the "old-school" Goths
, will tease their
hair mercilessly with
crimpers and hairspray to achieve an "Edward Scissorhands" type of effect. Hair dye is, of course, widely used
. Traditional Gothic makeup
consists of stark-white powder, and black or dark
eyeliner and lipstick. Men and women both have a tendency to pluck their
eyebrows nearly out of existence, and then draw them back in. It goes without saying that
a person who looks like this is not necessarily a Goth
. This aesthetic, however, is an intrinsic part of the subculture and cannot be disregarded for its superficiality; Goths
tend to thrive on artifice anyway.
V. Miscellaneous Information.
are commonly found passing their
free time in small coffee houses, book shops, art galleries, Gothic clubs, and, of course, cemeteries. Many Goths
smoke; clove cigarettes
our crowd. Drugs of choice for those Goths
who wish to indulge in the vice
Speed, LSD, Alcohol, Ecstasy, and the like...I applaud those who abstain from
drug use, for they have greater strength than my own. Goths frequently
enjoy movies and television shows such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Hunger, Nosferatu, and The Addams
do NOT eat bugs and drink blood; we eat Cheerios
just like everyone
I myself have been
a part of the subculture for a mere two years-- I am by no means a veteran
of the Scene, but my passion for it is great and grows continuously. I hope that
this definition has been
useful. To know more, I suggest The Autumn Cemetery Text (available online... google it).