Goths - they seem to be in every school and neighborhood. Kids, and sometimes adults, dress completely in black with pale faces and dark make-up. The all black attire usually means one of two things, either it's Halloween, or you're looking at a Goth.
What is Goth?
The word Goth is short for Gothic. The term Gothic as we know it today was originally a style of literature highly focused on the dark aspects of life and heavily infused with romance. Darkly romantic novels carried through the centuries to become darkly romantic people, or the Goths we see presently.
Typically speaking, Goths dress in black or other dark colors and tend to favor romantic styles of clothing. Long skirts, ruffles, or frills are true of some Goth girls, while clothing styles more commonly defined as Punk might better suit others.
Where did Goths Come From?
The first Goths were actually German and partially responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire, but they have no bearing on the Goths we know today. Our Goths began as Punks during the 1970s and 1980s. Punk Rock bands originated during this time and gained in popularity as the voice for those refusing to conform to stereotypes.
In the early 1980s, some bands spun off into a slightly different sound and appearance and became known as Gothic or death rock bands. Over time, new bands without the same style of music began to call themselves Goth, and the term no longer held any musical value, but rather described appearances and attitude.
Early Goth style came directly from the big screen. Horror movies spawned the modern Goth styles. Vampires and femme fatales are the grandparents of the Goth clothing so common today. Pale faces, dark eyes, and sometime dark lips combine with long, occasionally unkempt hair to create the traditional look. Clothing is dark, and traditionally attitudes were somber and even depressed.
Of course today, thirty-five years of Goth have evolved into any number of “normal” Goth appearances. Just like everyone else, Goths dress as they please and may look nothing like the Goths of the 80s and 90s. Movies, books, and bands have all put a new twist on what is cool within Goth circles, so there is not really a right or wrong way to be Goth. Really, all you have to do is say you're Goth, and nobody will be able to say otherwise.
Goths today may or may not be deeply romantic, and they might be the funniest person you know. Many Goths simply enjoy wearing all black or other gothic attire. Goths are easily confused with punks, and even with those who seek no grouping, but prefer to dress a certain way. The irony of course, is that Goths, and Punks for that matter, all set out to be different from stereotypes, but have created a stereotype all their own.
Are you a Goth? Find or practice your own unique Goth style here at the Doll Palace, or see if perhaps it's time to put away your preppy clothes and take on a whole new, darker persona.