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13 Life Lessons Goth Taught Me

13 Life Lessons Goth Taught Me


  1. Being yourself is more important than any label. Don’t get so caught up in crafting your ‘image’ that you don’t leave yourself room to grow.
  2. Colour is overrated. I’m not saying I don’t have a special place in my heart for a flash of blue hair or a shimmer of pink glitter, but the basics, the backbone, of a wardrobe is generally a neutral. Nowadays I often give stormy greys and navys precedence, but the current trend for minimalism always reminds me of the years I spent creating a wardrobe consisting of one colour and one colour only – black.
  3. There’s no school like the old school. Old-school post-punk and deathrock music AND style never fail to fill me with a vaguely reverential sense of awe, and mainstream fashion shows us that the best ‘new’ ideas are often nothing more than cleverly-recycled old ones. When looking for inspiration, it never hurts to look backwards.
  4. The best of friends are found in the strangest of places. The greatest friends I have found in life don’t like me despite my eccentricities, but because of them. Do what makes your black little heart happy, explore your interests, and make friends who won’t roll your eyes if you ask them to come with you to Goth night or the Renaissance Faire.
  5. Screw the ‘male gaze’. If I want to wear thirty layers of impenetrable velvet and an improbable hat, I will. Similarly, ‘You looked so much prettier before you had that mohawk/piercing/tattoo/hair colour never seen in nature’ is a ridiculous statement implying that what you see in the mirror should be tailored to suit other people. Nuts to that.
  6. Pretending to be bored in an effort to look cool doesn’t actually make you cool. If you don’t want to do the thing, don’t do the thing. If you DO want to do the thing, why get all pretend-morose about it? Being ‘alternative’ gave me the freedom to geek out over the things I’m interested in, and dispense with the faux ennui of trying to be cool, popular, or impressive to strangers on Instagram.
  7. You know when you’re a teenager and well-meaning people pat you on the head and tell you you’ll be embarrassed in ten years’ time? They’re right, but not for the reasons you think. Young’uns, think twice before you post your poetry/vampire fanfic/outfit photos online (or use a pseudonym).
  8. Hair grows back.
  9. Eyebrows don’t.
  10. Being creative and expressive is the most awesome thing ever. Even if your poetry is dire and your eyeliner is wonky, you tried. And one day your poems won’t be dire and your eyeliner hand will be rock-steady and you’ll be able to look back and see how far you’ve come.
  11. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. And especially not about whether people are doing things ‘differently’ or ‘better’. Ignore those who lecture about how to be ‘real’ this, ‘real’ that and ‘real’ the other. They’re insecure.
  12. Question everything. Perhaps this comes from Goth’s more political cousin punk rock, but I found that being involved in the Goth scene led me to question many of society’s standards. Why must we look/dress/act this or that way? Why is this body shape ‘acceptable’ and this one not? Questioning standard models of dress and behaviour (right down to ‘I don’t like this radio station… where is the decent music?’, a query which can start a person on a journey all on its own) taught me a very different lesson than that which a lot of teenage girls learn; that my body is fine, that I am fine, that it’s OK to take up space in the world and that I can dye my hair whatever colour I want.
  13. OK, so you may never get your Hogwarts letter (sorry), but the world doesn’t have to be bland and boring if you choose to make it otherwise. Look for the extraordinary in the everyday. Be the extraordinary. Don’t lose the sense of whimsy and wonder you had when you were a child; the love of the unusual that made you dye your hair green (or whatever) in the first place. There is magic in the world, if you make it so.

About Carpe Nocturne

Carpe Nocturne is the preeminent digital and print publication to feature the alternative subculture and eclectic creative offerings of all things Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, Goth... and every genre in between. We are OTHER THAN THE NORM! We are a publication that features aspects of the contemporary creative cultures and subcultures to include Art, Entertainment, Fashion, Film and Literature, Interviews, Life and Style, Music, Reviews, and Technology found worldwide.

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