Perception of Goth

For a discussion post in one of the goth groups, asking about the culture and how it is represented in media. These are my basic feelings towards these questions, eventually I’ll get into more detail about them. What are your answers?

How could we change society’s opinion/stereotype of our subculture? 

I feel we could change society’s opinion of the culture by talking more about it such as on blogs and YouTube. One of the things that has always affected this culture in someway is the lack of information or the lack of knowing where to find it. The next generation of goths are coming up into a social media world and leaving some kind of information legacy for them to build off of is important. The other thing I feel goths could do, though some might argue it’s too optimistic, is rallying together for causes. Goth has become a substantial community with some real power behind it, if we work together. I’ve heard people discussing doing fundraisers for charities that do research for AIDS, cancer, and awareness of other communities, sexual assault and hate crimes. If it is becoming a mass trend we should run with it for so many beneficial reasons, provided we put the right people in charge of them to maximize its potential for success. 

Does it bother you when the media/society discuss it, when they don’t fully understand it or highlight a story that puts us in a bad light? 

The media always gets it wrong because the cliche is much simpler than the actual thing. The “pale” stereotype is still very prevalent when any form of media talks about goth as well as avoiding the community and/or lifestyle part of it. It breaks it down to bite size sensational bits and exaggerates whatever the writer thinks it is or should be. When it comes to fashion I don’t mind that much. There are many interpretations of goth fashion and expression. It’s also advertising and marketing and it works much better when you have something to connect with. But when the media tries to talk about the type of people who are in the culture, who are trying to make a difference in some way, it paints them up very differently and negatively. Readers who don’t identify in the culture have nothing as big as say The New York Times in the goth community to rival that, so the most basic and insensitive idea of goth sticks. But I do think people are seeing a little bit of change in perception. 

Have you had to defend yourselves or the subculture?

Occasionally. Mostly myself and how I “do goth”. Those arguments usually focus on trivial aesthetics, so it doesn’t bother me much. I’m very comfortable with myself in being “goth enough”. But that is not to say there aren’t people fighting for acceptance for their lives and expression. 

Until next time,

Z.e.D.

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