Venturing into goth fashion territory is as complicated as it is expensive.
After figuring out what style you want to go for, be it cyber, pastel or what have you, you actually have to find the clothes. If you can’t sew, it’s mostly online shopping, and if you’re not graced with a fat wallet, it’ll take a while to build up a decent wardrobe.
Then there’s the makeup. Goth fashion is known for extensive delving into contour and eyebrow shaping. Dramatic lipsticks and smooth eyeshadow gradients are worshiped, but this too is expensive. It’s even worse if you have the money but lack the proper skill.
This leaves many people, myself included, in an uncomfortable spot. We don’t look conventional enough to fit in with the day-to-day crowd of average life, but we’re not extreme enough to look like the goths the Internet admires. It can be taxing on your self-esteem when a variety of obstacles stop you from looking the way you want to look.
Even though I struggle with this on a daily basis, I’m here to say that it’s okay to not look “goth enough.”
If I’ve noticed anything in my journey into gothness in the past year, it’s that there’s always something that you have to do. After I dyed my hair black, I needed to get some edgy dresses. After that, some cute shoes. Eventually I’d have to cash out for some decent makeup. Every time I crossed something off of my list, another item appeared, and while they were definitely things I wanted to have, I finally realized that I shouldn’t be saddened that I hadn’t reached my physical goal yet.
I accept that I won’t have tattoos or piercings relatively soon. I’ll also won’t have an ideal wardrobe for many more years because, just like my movie collection, it’ll take time to grow. Between school and Rocky Horror, I don’t have time to learn how to properly apply makeup. But that’s life.
For goths, there’s very much a “go big or go home” mentality, and while this can be inspirational for those starting to involve themselves in the culture, it can be toxic as well.
It’s okay to be in the beginning stages of something, and it’s okay if you never move on from those stages. It shouldn’t be a competition to see who can be more goth. All Elvira had was a hairstyle, a nice dress and some red lipstick. Simplicity is nothing to be ashamed of.
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