Why do Goths Stay Goth?

Pic: Rama (CC)

Pic: Rama (CC)

Spooky kids sometimes grow up to be spooky adults, according to the Guardian. I can’t claim to have done the same, although my zillions of black t-shirts may suggest otherwise. PS: Bela Lugosi is still dead.

Via The Guardian:

What happens when a teenage goth grows up? Gets a job, takes on a mortgage, has a couple of kids…? Can you combine elaborate Frankenstein make-up and a lace-up bustier with getting a toddler ready for nursery and yourself to work on time?

Dr Paul Hodkinson, deputy head of Surrey University’s sociology department and an expert in youth music subcultures, has been re-interviewing a group of goths he first studied in the late 1990s to find out. “They were teenagers and in their early 20s then, and I thought it would be interesting to go back because a number of people do stay involved in the goth scene,” he explains.

Though many people who belong to youth subcultures such as punk and rave tend to drift away in their 20s, Hodkinson says it’s more likely that older goths will want to remain involved in the scene, even though it may become harder to combine with the responsibilities that come with age.

Check your make-up and keep reading.

  • InfvoCuernos

    I don’t know about Goth, but I think that rockabilly is the retirement plan for skinheads for some reason.

    • The Well Dressed Man

      There’s a reverse equilibrium to this equation too: Lose too much hair for a pompadour and you might just shave it all off.

    • Tuna Ghost

      Rockabilly is a possible retirement plan for hipsters, too. Loving The Cramps and Dead Elvis as much as I do, I guess I’ve always had one foot in that grave (no pun intended)(okay fine yes the pun was intended, gimme a break it was too perfect to resist)

  • VaudeVillain

    The ones with over-the-top body mods don’t have much choice… the only thing less dignified than matching your split tongue, sharpened canines and screw in forehead horns with black eyeliner and a leather jacket with Bella Morte patches is trying to match them with mom jeans and a business casual pastel sweater.

  • The Well Dressed Man

    Goth has always had daddy issues. My teenage Morticias tended to run off with over-30 guys. And girls. And couples.
    Do I still go to goth clubs now that I’m well over 30? I can confirm that some things never change.

    • oneironauticus

      Eh…awkward commentary, but the one time I tried to date a “goth” guy my own age, he basically was upset that I wasn’t a porn star and left me because I wasn’t freaky enough for his tastes. This was quite a shock for me and I am honestly still perplexed over the entire situation.

      30+ don’t seem to have this same delusion. It really is a generational thing…the children of the internet age are completely fucked in the head. (Probably the girls too, in their own ways, but I have less experience in this matter.)

      • The Well Dressed Man

        Flash of youth, shoot out of darkness..


        If we can’t be awkward on the internets, then where? (still going to harass you for toe pictures in January)

        • Calypso_1

          Things cannot remain in hardship without end.
          After hardship Relief follows.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Hey, well fitting black t-shirts are sexy as hell.

    • Tuna Ghost

      which is probably why every subculture wears them except Big Fat Party Animals™ (who, as you know, wear Hawaiian shirts).

  • JohnFrancisBittrich

    Not sure why they stay goth, but I believe this video may offer a solution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N1M7Kwl81A

  • oneironauticus

    I met Peter Murphy, semi-recently; he’s sweet.

    I don’t use that word, (honestly because hipsters ruined that shit in the past 4 years, or so) but I’m just one of those people who doesn’t even wear makeup anymore and doesn’t dye her hair and wears *way* more color and natural colors than she previously did…and random strangers still strike up conversations regarding my music tastes. *shrugs*

    It might be in my blood. My uncle was uh, “dark”, or whatever…and my mom really, really loves dressing like Stevie Nicks…and used to be very “New Agey” until she became a “born again”…um, yeah.

    • Iuwus

      whenever i go outside, i do my best to look as poor, homeless and heroin-addicted as possible for minimising chances of being robbed and the subsequent invisibility factor. it also helps if you smell vaguely of sweat and shit, people *will* leave you the fuck alone.

      • oneironauticus

        You too? I was trying my best to look like “Nikita” (of the original movie, not the TV show…) before, not after make-over. 😛

        • Iuwus

          i love that movie. and yes she has just the right amount of wild-eyed crazy but not quite enough picked-my-clothes-at-random-out-of-a-bin factor.

          • oneironauticus

            Ah, well, I’d throw in a little bit of whats-her-banana from Fight Club, but I heard the 90’s are back or something…Helena Bonham Carter will have to wait to inspire my late 90’s / early 00’s throwback wardrobe.

          • Calypso_1

            …must, go howl at moon

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Easy reason for that. Don’t be fooled by my desert adventure pic, as an aging goth my state of mind and view of the world and aesthetics hasn’t drastically altered. Goth is less of a clothing choice and more of a state of mind. Most of my friends ARE the couples with mortgages and kids…who rarely get to go over the top in appearance now that they have jobs and businesses…but that hasn’t changed their personal tastes in art, literature, music or style at all. Among my happiest memories lies the Bauhaus reunion tour…where all of my old friends of decades ago reunited as well, to get in back in black and rock out in Detroit once again. Goth is a collection of sensibilities that isn’t micro focused on fashion and wallowing in self pity (which distinguished us from emos)…and it doesn’t fade away when the clothes don’t quite fit anymore or the newest bands don’t quite satisfy. So here below is a golden oldie, I can’t rock the gear like I used to 25 years ago…but my heart still beats the black blood of gothy goodness just the same. :-)