This weekend a friend of mine let me know about a blogger who, some time ago, made a post about how to leave the gothic scene. The polemical entry was called "Style advice for gothic girls in rehab". It was published about one year ago but you can read it in the original website (http://acapulco70.com/consejos-de-estilo-para-goticas-en-rehabilitacion/). It is written in Spanish, so if you cannot read this language I am sure you´ll find many traslators online.
I read the post several times and dedicated some time to find out what made me feel exactly and why.
I felt deeply dissapointed by its general undertones, but also because of the sarcasm and little sensivity of the author. As a consequence, in this occasion I´ll be trying to explain in which points I think the writer is wrong and how her review is, from my perspective, offensive and poorly built.
First of all, the introduction or approach is pretty belligerent by itself. I´m going to do my best for translating. After a couple of lines about common style mistakes during youth, it is said:
"A goth girl who wants to change realizes that there is nothing as sad as a woman in her thirties striving to wear a vinyl corset and interacting with teens like the most natural thing in the whole world".
Why do I think this is disrespectful? Obviously, there is nothing nice about saying that a person (independently of his/her preferences, tendencies and manners) is ridiculous just because his/her lifestyle is non-conventional. Out of this, I do not feel myself identified in this first description: I am nearly thirty years old and my friends share, generally, my age. I am a young adult and I have healthy relationships with classmates and colleagues at work. In relation to the "vynil corset", well, it is not my cup of tea but I don´t think wearing PVC makes you less than human. After reading the introduction one can start appreciating a certain kind of prejudice in the whole thing. Let´s move on.
The author goes on to describe what makes a gothic closet unmanageable.
On the one hand, she explains that every goth´s wardrobe is composed just by black items in a wide variety of clothes more or less ruined by the usage. Well, I think is pretty naive to take this for granted, isn´t it? Personally I (as many of other gothic ladies out there) like to wear a rich variety of colours, those includying purple, crimson, moss green, scarlet etc, and I do not wear old stuff outdoors. Old clothes are used at home if they´re cozy or just removed for making room to new things.
On the other hand, this person insists in the goth "tasteless" pointing that we all use ruined stocking and sexshop accesoires (?). As a solution, she suggests to classify our clothes in two different categories: Halloween products and garbage.
Then, she proposes to us getting all the fashion magazines we can find and/or checking an alternative post in her blog where we can read a list of fashionable basics, this way we´ll find style guidance. Everything here lacks of sense. First of all, this person is convinced that gothic style is based in cheap costumes. I checked her list about basic items for women and, as I thought, it was full of things that I own myself. What leads this lady to think that we (poor little creatures) do not have a pencil skirt or a couple of boots with cords if they are almost a daily basic for many our outfits? Besides, we are supposed to wear just current new fashionable stuff chosen by other people (the workers of Vogue, Harper´s etc) who do not consider our tastes or personality.
After all, the reader suggests to erase all our pictures from the internet, all our music from shelves and PC, and all our contacts from Social Nets (we can add her, she says, to start new and normal relationships). Moreover, we MUST stop talking to our friends. Delicious.
Several people left comments in her blog but she was pretty rude with them, even when many tried to make constructive critics.
I am not against changes.
Many of my long term friends left the scene long time ago and I kept having a good relation with them because I love them as they are.
The real sad thing about this post is that she defends that all those radical changes in our lifes have to be done because we are not normal. We are not what is desirable and, as a consequence, we do not have a real place in society. Society keeps the right to tell eveybody how to behave and this, my friends, is dangerous. Cultural studies and philosophy call this attitude alienation.