Goth As A Mainstream Trend
In my fourteen years as a strictly black-cotton and red, purple or pink lipstick-wearing Goth, it wasn't until about a month ago that I began to wear black lipstick. Surprising, right? The last time I wore black lipstick I was a very young Spiderella for Halloween. I found it to be too thick and drying. Many reds are like this, too, but I put up with it because I love red. Hell, a little lip balm ahead of time goes a long way, but I digress...
Maybe, I hadn't worn black lipstick until now because it's cliché or maybe too obvious. Anyway, one day, I realized how gorgeous it actually is. It goes with any eye makeup and any outfit. I finally understood what I had been missing! It still feels awkward to wear it out, and I have yet to go to the club as I have in my purples and reds. The night it happens will be amazing.
You may be wondering what changed me. A Gothic musician? A Gothic YouTuber? A Gothic vision while sleeping in my coffin? No, it was a review of the Katy Perry and Cover Girl Katy Kat Matte line. She has a black called "Perry Panther." The color and staying power isn't extraordinary, but I like the way the lipsticks apply and feel.
For those Goths who wear black lipstick all of the time, trying to find them in drugstores is a challenge. Now that other celebrities are planning to release black lipsticks, it should alleviate that problem.
A dream come true? Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Goth in the Mainstream
Every true Goth will at some point be suspected of going through a phase by non-Goths, but what happens when a Goth phase becomes mainstream for profit?
Ilise S. Carter wrote an article on mainstream celebrities attempting to pull off the Gothic style while remaining ignorant of its history: "What Taylor Swift & Justin Bieber Don't Get About 'Goth.'" The article reminds me of why regular celebrities releasing black lipstick is troubling for the Goth community. For decades, this crowd has been reinforcing that we are responsible for violence. Meanwhile, they refuse to learn that no correlation exists. Today, they want our fashion. Tomorrow, they'll be onto something new and back to blaming us for any future teenage gun deaths, pretending a Gothic teen has more hormones and is more capable of doing harm than any other.
The Irony of Hot Topic
YouTuber Jessica made a video about why Hot Topic is no longer about the Goth subculture. She ran into a woman who works at the headquarters. Since Jessica happened to be wearing pants from the company, they got into a conversation about why they don't cater to the Goth fashion as much. The woman explained that it changed ever since the Columbine High School shooting. Hot Topic wants to get away from the scene because of the way people associate it with that behavior. Meanwhile, the rumor that shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were Goths has been proven false, repeatedly. For more on how the media distracts from the real problems, please, see my article on Eminem which mentions how he and Marilyn Manson were blamed for the shooting.
BuzzFeed made a video "Women Wear Goth Fashion For A Week." Later, they made a version in which men do it. Various Goths did reaction videos in which they commented on it. Those involved did not seem to quite understand it. It was more like a joke than an experiment. Some were getting into it and going through what all Goths go through, such as receiving weird looks simply for walking around; however, it was only a week-long process. They would not be able to fully understand what it is like to live like that, every day, nor appreciate the subculture for what it is.
Let's sum this up, so far:
Society does not comprehend what Goth is nor will it bother to inform itself. Perhaps, it's due to prejudice. Perhaps, it's laziness. In the meantime, it reserves the right to borrow aspects of its fashion now and then. That is, until it is rejected when someone finds a way to connect it with the latest violent act in order to further taint its reputation. Don't worry, it will be recycled for Halloween because of the proceeds.
In conclusion, if Goth isn't serving the mainstream by profit, it's useless.
It kind of reminds me of how racism, homophobia, classism, and so on are used, as well.
A False Support System
Whether it's Gay Pride Month or Black History Month, does the mainstream ever dedicate itself to ending discrimination, all year around? I read a depressingly true Facebook post that has been passed around. It was about witnessing a man on a train coming back from Pride. He was putting his flag into his bag upside-down to conceal it, obviously to prevent inevitable attacks he would face on his walk home. We have Black History Month, but Blacks are racially profiled. Society says, "Black people, we support you," and treats them like criminals. Is this progress?
Are you Goth/alternative?
Don't misunderstand me. I appreciate that black lipstick is being embraced, for now, anyway; however, please consider a few things: Goths such as myself, can't dress anywhere close to how we normally do without being harassed on the streets. Forget professional interviews. What looks like a costume to you is a costume to us when we have to get ourselves a 9-5 corporate job. Will black lipstick ever become socially accepted when trying to snag a job opportunity for a well-paying career? I doubt it.
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