5 Things Wrong With Goth Subculture Right Now

5 Things Wrong With Goth Subculture Right Now

1. Exclusion of Alternative Styles: The goth subculture is often seen as a collective of people who dress in traditional dark and gothic fashion, leaving little room for alternative styles. 2. Cultural Appropriation: Many people outside of the goth subculture have appropriated the style, often without respect or understanding for the culture from which it originated. 3. Lack of Inclusion: The goth subculture can often be seen as exclusive and unwelcoming to new members, creating a hostile atmosphere for those looking to join. 4. Too Much Focus on Image: There is often a focus on creating a specific gothic aesthetic, which can be exclusive and difficult to achieve for many people. 5. Over-Sexualization: The goth subculture can often be sexualized in a way that is uncomfortable or oppressive to some members, making them feel unwelcome.

The Gothic sense of style has an obvious attraction; just think of the dark, romantic beauty of everything from Victorian gothic fashion to Tim Burton movies. But for all its nocturnal charm, the Goth subculture has a very real dark side that hasn't been addressed for decades. The fashion has been in a rut for 20 years with the public still mocking and fearing Goths.

Lets check out some 5 things Goth seem to be doing wrong;


To certain vocal Goths, there is an unwritten law – that they know intimately, of course – that dictates what is and is not Goth. Post a picture of our Facebook page, and there's roughly a 1 in 3 chance that someone, or some people, will decide it is not fitting to their standard of Goth. These noble up keepers of law are really missing the point! There is no single standard of Goth, as the many iterations of fashion have proved. A simple black dress can be goth if paired with the right edgy jewelry – if the person wearing it believes it is. The beauty of alternative clothing and culture should not lie in a strict code of dress but in the individual's freedom to express themselves however they choose.

Different interpretations of Goth fashion for men and women 



2.No Lifestyle

To most, being Goth lies mainly in the way they dress, and that's fine. But for those who want a deeper and more personal experience of being Goth, there are hundreds of ways to dive in. Hold a séance in a cemetery under the full moon. Read and write poetry. Decorate your entire home Goth or cultivate a garden of night-blooming and dark-colored flowers.

If you haven't already, look into the manners of Victorian-era gentlemen and ladies. Goth-dom has its own Lady of Manners, who literally wrote the book on courtesy: Gothic Charm School. The meanies mentioned in 1 above could learn a lesson or two. So embrace Goth into all aspects of your life. 

A Goth inspired home

3.Bad Public Image

I don't need to tell Goths that the public alternates between laughing at you and accusing you of Satanism or violence. Were the shooters at Columbine Goth? Is heavy metal inciting people to commit crime? Are Goths really as ridiculous as South Park or SNL's Goth Talk would have people believe? Goths' attitudes and appearance have put them at odds with most people, and that's OK. But there's one critical thing to change so people can relate to the subculture whic is the public image.

Goths as shown on South Park

4. Unhappiness

If you think about it, no other group on earth intentionally projects unhappiness like Goths. No religion or advertising campaign ever depends on seeming unhappy to drive people's interest. The strangest part is that most Goths ARE happy. So why is Goth only synonymous with images of death, decay and loss?

The Addams Family

Although dark and somber are essential parts of the Goth aesthetic, Goths can do a tremendous amount to change this oversimplified image of Goths by, for example, being kind and accessible to others and creating funny Goth memes or upbeat videos.

Goth meme



5.Nothing New

There's a huge variety of Goth styles, from classic Victorian to 80s-inspired Punk Goth to lolita dresses and Cyber Goth. But look closely, and you'll see that the fashion has hardly evolved since the 90s. With the creative urge innate to the Goth community, you would think that there would be a universe of dark, romantic fashion niches by now. Why haven’t we seen anything new in Goth??

Goth fashion from 80s to 00s

Consider some of the ideas below, which are either novel or have only been explored by a few:

- Demon/Dark Angel Goth

- Romantic Goth (Romantic as in romance – think poet blouses for guys)

- Undead/Zombie Goth

- Sci-Fi Goth (not Cyber Goth – circuit boards, blinking lights, gadgets)

- Pirate Goth

Pastel Goth

- Goth Noir

goth fashion


Goth culture has survived for 35 years alongside mainstream culture, despite opposing it in many superficial ways. So as to move from the fringe to a thriving and creative counterculture movement, Goth-dom has so much more left to do. Rather than mirror the withdrawn imagery it loves, Goth culture needs to deepen its roots while expanding stylistically and becoming more accessible to the public.

We should just avoid judging people so quickly on their appearance. 



Now, we want to hear from you. What on this list do you agree and disagree with? Is there anything else you would add to this list?

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About the Author

Cherish Marasigan

I enjoy anything dark, gothic, vampy and vintage. I love pin~ups, chola, rockabilly, psychobilly, horrorbilly, skulls, leathers, studs, leopard prints, piercings, tattoos, red roses, red lipsticks, sugar skulls, anything korean or japanese, tim burton's movies, anything glittery & sparkly. I dig smokey eyes and heavy eyeliners and plain black shirts. I wanna be a pin up girl or a drag queen for a day.