Once upon a time, on Tumblr, there was a lovely pie chart that broke down the aspects that made up a Goth. To me, this was probably the most useful thing to ever be created for Goths. If an individual could measure their levels of interests in different categories and add up to a Goth, that measure of interest could be different for other people. It had to be at least some of the time. It would reinforce the idea that is no single correct way to be Goth. Isn’t that amazing? Don’t know why that’s amazing, stick around till the end.
In the composition of a Goth, I’m going to use someone who identifies as 50% Goth. Can you identify more or less and still use the label in your own life? Of course. Remember Goth is a label you choose for yourself (and one of the few you have complete freedom to do so). You can like all the stuff and not use the label. This chart is a measure of your interests under the umbrella of Goth, not a qualifier to prove to others you’re Goth enough. Why 50%? Imagine you are a cup and we’re mixing a drink especially for that vessel. So when we mix all the ingredients together there is going to be some overlap. Right now, with this chart we’re measuring the ingredients. I want to show you that you don’t have to be 100% Goth for this to work. You can have other major influences in your life that have nothing to do with it and it’s still valid.
So we have our goth.
Now we’re going to zoom in on that 50% and break it down further. The break down is within Goth culture and while I’m using a whole circle it’s still 50% Goth in the individual.
Literature, Fashion, Music, Film/Television, and Events are things that define the Goth culture. Community is interaction with other Goths. That could be the club scene, social media, bi weekly book club, wherever Goths congregate really. Religion has no clear Goth distinctions but experiences with other aspects can influence your personal expression. Philosophy/mentality can also be influenced by your involvement with other aspects. Lifestyle is anything that may go into your Goth experience but isn’t quite its own entire category, like decor, crafts, defense or comebacks against annoying inquiries,being a Goth parent and specific interests like taxidermy. In Lifestyle there is wiggle room because not all Goths live the same life.
The focus here is that there is no one correct graph. While exploring all aspects of the Goth life is encouraged, it’s sometimes not possible at certain points in your life. (Having no goth clubs within reasonable driving distance for example). The degree of interest can change at any time and that applies to the 50% we started with, so revel in it.
So why go through this breakdown, this visualization? I think it’s important for people to take an active part in how and why hey identify with the things they do. Knowing these reasons gives your passion strength and direction, instead of wandering aimlessly, passively experiencing life, saying “I dunno” (it’s a pet peeve of mine). With goth specifically there’s still a lot of pressure to build this perfect goth version of yourself. It’s unnecessary. The parts of your experience you decide to keep and build off are yours to decide. I hope with this chart demonstration you can look at yourself (goth or otherwise) and take pride in whatever it adds up to.
Don’t be hungry for life. Be ravenous.