92
Goth is first and foremost a person who listens to certain types of music and dresses the part. The music includes deathrock, batcave, certain postpunk, certain non-electronic darkwave and other music that is goth. The person dresses the part by wearing makeup either all black clothes or deathrock-style, which can include colorful mohawks, painted leather jackets, colorful ripped t-shirts and fishnets. Real goths always wear makeup to the club, and often daily, no matter what their gender is, otherwise they look like posers.
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Goth is not merely a person who embraces "the darkness" or "everything dark". Their makeup, style, dance moves and music choices make or not make them goth--don't confuse "goth" with "gothic". "Gothic" can be applied to many different people who aren't goth and denotes a person or trend that borrows from Goth, that is "into things dark" but is not goth. Example would be a person who occasionally listens to goth music (but to a lot of other kinds too), who likes BDSM and goes to all kinds of "dark" clubs, not caring too much what to dance for, basically, looking "goth" only when they go out. Gothic is a dark streak that is not to be confused with real Goth. People who prefer "gothic" music that is not Goth, can be called different ways: darkwavers, rivetheads (who love industrial scene/music), moshers, metalheads, etc. Fetish scene is not to be confused with Goth scene: they have very little in common. Goth has a lot of fetish elements in clothing style and many from fetish crowd attend goth clubs on occasion, but that's where the resemblance ends. "Vampires" aren't Goth either; Goths like to play with vampire theme quite rarely, but those who think they're vampires, who wear white contacts, fangs, or paint blood on their faces aren't Goth at all.
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Goth has a very strong androgyny element: It is common for Goth males to wear traditionally female elements of clothes/makeup to the clubs. Deathrocker Goth females also prefer androgynous styles, and dress hardly any different from deathrocker males. Truly Goth dancing is characterized by original, assymetric and often a-rythmical moves, cat-like stepping, wavy arm movements. Goths never bare too much of their body; if they do, they belong to a different scene, but depending on gender (example would be: girl wearing a bra instead of a top to the club or showing garter and stockings isn't Goth, a guy wearing mini-skirt to the club and showing stockings and garter looks Goth).
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Goth is about extreme individualism, yet, it's about belonging to a group and fitting in, at the same time, paradoxically. Goth is about looking at things, at human nature--and oneself with extreme honesty and accepting what mainstream culture doesn't accept--death, melancholy, decay. Like Mike Mercer had put it Goth is about ultimate dignity. Goth hates the mainstream culture, real Goth doesn't watch television. Goths like to shop in thrift stores or specialized Gothic stores, they also have tendency to make their own clothes and jewelry and be creative about their outfits and makeup.
Favorite Goth boots are very pointy ones with buckles, though army-style boots (with include Docs) are also acceptable, as well as platform boots. Layered torn fishnet and sheer tights worn over the arms and legs and Victorian clothes are old time favorites. Modern goths wear more PVC/vinyl clothes than before, which includes tight pants, dresses, corsets and long skirts made of PVC. Black nailpolish is very popular and is worn by males and females, both.
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People who claim that Goth is only about "mindset" and "lifestyle" versus the look aren't goth: real Goth takes great care of their looks and alway strives to look beautiful and goth. Dark beauty is something that is at the core of the Goth--beauty of art, or appearance and of melancholic mind. Each real Goth is an art piece, essentially, as a person is being creative about their look.
Of course, those goths who're stuck in only one way and criticize new style developments lose creativity.
Gothic person: "There's a new goth club that plays emb, goth, synthpop, darkwave and industrial!"
Goth: "This is not a goth club"
by nosferatu_xx January 01, 2008
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93
Yet another pointless label.

"Goths" are people that may wear black that May listen to death metal that may wear trench coats. However thats not what all goths wear. There are HUNDREDS of different catorgorys of goth.

Some may be depressed and selfharmers. Others are happy lovley people. Theres happy and depressive people in every sub culture so i dont understand why goths have such a bad reputation for being depressed.

I know many goths that DONT cut themselves that DONT worship satan that ARNT depressed. I get that alot of them are depressed ect but so are alot of townies/neds/scrotes/chavs.

Just because someone wears black it doesnt mean they are goths.

Stop giving them hassle because they want to be different. If you dont like the style dont wear it...simple...isnt it
Problems goths face
* Nicknames such as "that gay devil worshipping freak that dyed his hair purple"
* Wearing a black turtleneck when it's 90 degrees outside
* Being asked to defend your entire existence in 30 seconds or less.
* Having little kids tug on their parent's arm and say, "Look, Mommy, isn't she pretty? I want to look like her!" while the parents grab the child and run for it
* Attempting to explain Goth to anyone
* Religion: while everybody still thinks you are a Devil-worshipper despite all your explanations..
* Trying to explain to people that the scars up and down your arms are actually from your cat.
by Hettie August 13, 2006
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94
Fan of 80's post-punk music known as gothic rock.
Goth: Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, some of The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy, Switchblade Symphony, London After Midnight, The 69 Eyes, Type O Negative, Christian Death

Not Goth: Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, HIM, Slipknot, Korn, Linkin Park, Green Day, Fall Out Boy
by Infurion March 19, 2006
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95
A style of clothing and music. That's it.
I honestly wish that I could write an 'elaborate rant' on the "true meaning" of the gothic subculture, but I can't because there IS no true meaning.
by Pragmatic Realist September 28, 2007
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96
I have already written a defintion of this term but I would like to add something. Someone had mentioned the book "What Is Goth?" By Voltaire. Yes, I highly recommend this book and that is where one of the definitions I had mentioned came from was this book. I said goth is whatever you wish it to be, or something along those lines. What I meant was it's "whatever you want it to be." as Voltaire states at the end of his book. Couldn't have defined the word better.
A goth is generally a person who listens to gothic music. But there is A LOT to goth and it's not just limited to that.
by Lauren Batty May 24, 2006
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97
--The words Goth and Gothic have had many, largely unrelated meanings: the name of the Germanic Visigoth tribes that overthrew the Roman Empire. From this source arose the concept of a Goth as an uncivilized person, a barbarian. 4
--a style of architecture in Western Europe which was popular from the 12th to the 16th century.
--a style of horror/mystery literature that is dark, eerie and gloomy.

--Goth, as a modern movement, started as one component of the punk rock scene. As the latter faded, Goth survived by creating its own subculture.
--The first use of the term Goth in its present meaning was on a British Broadcasting Commission (BBC) TV program. Anthony H. Wilson, manager of Joy Division described the band as Gothic compared with the pop mainstream. The name stuck.
--Their use of black clothing was originally "something of a backlash to the colorful disco music of the seventies." 5 It also stuck.
--The movement first became established in the Batcave, a nightclub in London, England, in the early 1980's. 3
--Spreading to the U.S., it first became popular in California.
--Goth is featured in The Crow horror movies (1994, 1996). Other Gothic movies are the original Nosferatu, the color remake Nosferatu the Vampyre, and the Cabinet of Doctor Caligari.
--Popular music bands are the Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Sisters of Mercy, Dead Can Dance, and many others.

***Stereotypes:
People have accused or described Goths as being:

Depressed,
Unusually bigoted,
Violent,
Suicidal,
Involved in illegal drugs,
Vampires or believe themselves to be vampires,
Sado-masochists,
Satanists,
Musicians, painters, and other artists,
Computer programmers (although there seem to be a lot of them)
Wearers of black (some wear white and gunmetal),
Dyers of their hair,
Users of white makeup. 4
I like the clothing of the visigoths, and the osogoths, in the 13th century, but not when they changed in the 15th.
by trustXfriends August 18, 2005
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98
I now find is less of a fasion but a word used by chavs to describe any one who wears any kind of alternate clothing !
look at him what a goth
by Joe865 July 16, 2006
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