Campy Goth, It’s a Thing

Like oh my god. 

I saw Attyck’s posts both on The Belfry and on Reddit and recently I got the opportunity to talk about goth culture and talk about it…as myself. (you’ll see it soon enough) But I was sitting worrying that my form of goth wasn’t *spooktaqular* enough for anyone and I have come to a conclusion…I’m not a campy goth. 

But campy goth sells?

It does on either side of the equation. On one side there is the the appeal to mainstream audiences with big costumes, bigger makeup and hair. It’s over the top, dramatic, some might even go as far to say freakshow worthy. Even I’m hesitant at times to talk about the more relaxed sides of it because it doesn’t contribute to escapism and a sense of performance (I mean I do want new people to come to the blog). On the other side, to new goths trying to “fit in” with actual goths, there’s flamboyant mannerisms, dropping your voice a couple octaves and trying to be as alluring as possible. Oh and let us not forget the ridiculous level of pretension and judgement that gets thrown around as if to establish credibility and authority. 

Ya’ll wear me out.

Aren’t you a bit of performer yourself?

Not really. I have a big personality, a lot of energy in social environments, but here’s the paradox. I love dressing up. I hate being stared at. Unless it’s for work and being eye catching in some way is a part of my job. I don’t have a “goth persona”it’s who I am. 

I look at new people coming in, from various age groups, different backgrounds and sometimes they make me cringe. Adopting a British accent in hopes of appearing more posh or white in some cases, talking about superficial shit even they don’t care about, lightening their skin (FOR WHAAAAAAAT) and the most annoying of them all: playing along with goth drama. 

Boo, people are allowed to have problems with other people, the Dj fighting with the promoter is not your shit to take on and worry about unless it’s related to harassment of patrons and you have to be on your guard (we all talk, we see you, get out asshole). There is this constant pull some fucking where in any goth crowd to subscribe completely to the who’s who of goth. Stop it. Like in Los Angeles, with its massive goth scene, a lot of the people who should be fangirled over, aren’t for a myriad of reasons and the ones who do, half the time it’s for looks. They don’t even read! *weeps openly*

So what is goth culture? 

*yawn* It’s just individuals who use the label for the convenience of finding like minded people or to get their work out there to like minded people. It elevates to the status of culture and community because we let it balloon to this level for the emotional reward (I am finally not alone in the world, so I will celebrate this thing proportionally to that level of joy) or for fun. Goth royalty, and this is my definition, is reserved for the people who do contribute, not just show up in a tiara and six inch heels like that means anything. 

But campy goths are still are part of the culture and they tread in all branches. I’m not mad about the theatrics of it, I’m just annoyed when people come in expecting everyone to be like that. (Make a request. Pay me in wine.) It’s not the expectation either, it’s the damage it does in pushing goths to be that in order to be successful, to be visible. Oh we all cave sooner or later, a little razzle there, a little dazzle here and that becomes you. But then some of us wake up and realize it’s going to be a nightmare if we die and our most notable goth achievement was selling out. 

So it’s a phase? 

I see it as a different kind of coat (a metaphor I’ve used previously). Do we not all end up to goth because it satisfies something in us? Maybe that’s what people need to be in the moment. Sometimes you need to be an obnoxious, melodramatic motherfucker to find out you don’t want to be an obnoxious, melodramatic motherfucker. I can imagine how it feels, for yourself, for the reactions, for chance to get an entire show all about you… We shall see if and when the opportunity presents itself.

It’s really more a style for the person and not a definitive branch of the culture. But because drama sells (ratings, baby!) and oh God, ain’t no drama like goth kid drama, it has been allowed to become one of the extreme forms of goth expression. The minimalist and “I’m only here to be ironic” Nu Goth being its inversion. 

How do you know if you’re a campy goth? 

Um…do you frequently exaggerate your stories and reputation in order to appear higher up on some imaginary socialite totem pole in hopes that some new goth will elevate your status by word of mouth? Do you talk shit about other people often with no remorse or understanding of what you’re actually doing because it makes you feel involved and powerful? And when invited out to brunch to catch up with the crew do you bring sixteen bags of spiderwebs, a satin table cloth, and make them go through a whole routine of bringing you out in a casket, just so you can draw so much attention to yourself that business cards are a necessity? 

Too much?

Or too real? 

For the 666: Can people take goth too far or is it all just in good fun? Should those given opportunities for their elaborate expression be held to different standards than those who just…are goth and chill? Name one subtle goth who has influenced you and why. 

For more unfiltered truth and biting wit (because if no one thinks highly of me I’ma do it my damn self *hair flip* also joking) take a moment to follow this blog by “Joining the Strange Collective” at the top of this page. For other perspectives follow me on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Tumblr

Until next time, 

Don’t be hungry for life. Be ravenous. 

Zakkarrii Edison Daniels

One thought on “Campy Goth, It’s a Thing

  1. DJ Jelly

    Hehe you spelled my name wrong. Not sure if campy over-dramatization or actual typo 😉

    “Oh we all cave sooner or later, a little razzle there, a little dazzle here and that becomes you. But then some of us wake up and realize it’s going to be a nightmare if we die and our most notable goth achievement was selling out. ”

    BOOM! Mike drop moment right there!

    “Um…do you frequently exaggerate your stories and reputation in order to appear higher up on some imaginary socialite totem pole in hopes that some new goth will elevate your status by word of mouth? Do you talk shit about other people often with no remorse or understanding of what you’re actually doing because it makes you feel involved and powerful?”

    Stuff like that is what many mislabel as “elitism”. Its more social climbers trying to impress the “elitists” to be accepted as an equal. And wow, are there so many of those! Something we all do (at least a little even if not realising it) until we realise we only make ourselves look like jerks and we don’t need anyone’s approval.

    This is exactly the sort of stuff I was hoping to get people talking about more. Very well written!

    – Aytakk

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