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How to appear genderless and slightly terrifying
Meeting someone on the street, you gain a certain impression of them without them saying a word to you. Personality, accomplishments, those things fly out the window in favor of a second’s glimpse of appearance and behavior.
I used to feel self-conscious about the way others perceived me until I figured out my gender. After that, not only didn’t I mind if I looked or seemed weird: it was my deliberate intention to be seen that way. After a lifetime of anxiety and trepidation, listening to others’ chastisement and well-intentioned yet misplaced advice on how to seem more “feminine,” when I declared myself as more genderless than anything else, all those preconceived notions of how I “should” look were replaced by how I wanted to look. After all, there is no unspoken rulebook on how to look neither male nor female and pull off that “fashion.” The truth is this: clothes have no gender, makeup has no gender, and you can pretty much do whatever your heart desires. I am totally anti “what not to wear” and now, more than ever, a devout subscriber to the philosophy known as “be yourself.”
I can’t give you that confidence via this article, but what I can do is give you some advice on how to achieve my look.
Before I went with my wigs, though, I wanted to experiment with looks with a less permanent coloring system. Hair chalk is easily applicable and washes out with shampoo. It’s not as striking as dye, but it doesn’t require as much time and sacrifice. It can be found very cheaply online or in stores around Halloween. For a finishing touch, add a spooky hairclip or bow. I am pretty partial to my horns.
This is a picture of me wearing a gothic Lolita choker and my horn hair clips
Also more easily found at Halloween-time are black lipstick and colored mascara. Fantasy Makers by Wet’n’Wild is a good bet.
Beautiful sparkly eyeshadow, black lipstick, colorful mascara
The rest of the year, if you’re craving a punk/goth look, you’ll have to look online. Vegan makeup is becoming increasingly more popular. It’s a bit more expensive, but I find it of better quality than what can be found in drug stores. The first black lipstick I ever purchased was “Raven” by Etherealle on Etsy. This vegan homemade makeup can be bought as small samples if you don’t want to pay too much and are just experimenting, but will make you want to buy more. The lipstick samples are in tiny plastic containers that resemble contact lens keepers; the lipstick has to be applied with your fingertips. At first it doesn’t look like much, but a tiny fleck can be used for your whole mouth, so it will last a while. As an additional benefit, this lipstick lasts longer than any I’ve ever tried. Do invest in it. Also on Etsy is TaterRoundsBeauty, which started out for “country girls” but now has a new line of goth makeup inspired by Marilyn Manson. I purchased “Mansinthe,” which you might be able to guess is bright green, and absolutely love it. When it comes to eyeshadow and liner, Etsy also has a large variety of unique colors from homemade shops and sellers. Go wild and express yourself.
If you’d like to keep your exploration in stores, another good brand is NYX. For their colorful lipsticks, you’ll have to search online, but they have a variety of eyeshadow pens in stores. These pens make applying eyeshadow much easier than the usual pocket kit with Q-tip, and I feel offer a much more striking color. I own their “Electric Blue,” “Cobalt,” and “Peacock.”
They have tons of colors
If you’re going for a gothic touch cheap, Hot Topic and Spencer’s Gifts are your one-stop-shops for jewelry. (Although again, it’s good to look online; I’ve bought several “Lolita” chokers on Amazon for under five bucks.) These stores offer several pentagram chokers, those trendy new tattoo chokers, Ouija necklaces, spiders, bats, black cats, and everything else your dark little hearts could desire. They also have a wide assortment of earrings, including the plug variety. I have yet to delve into this side of jewelry due to my persistent phobia of getting pierced.
As my name might also suggest, I have an affinity for cats. If you’re felinekin like me and looking to express that part of your being without uttering a meow, Hot Topic and Spencer’s also offer a wide assortment of very cute cat accessories. Donning black cat attire is also good if you’re simply human and wanting to project a witchy allure.
If all of this sounds like you’re spending a lot of money, don’t stress the brand. I am a firm believer in the attitude making the outfit pop more than the price tag. Hence, I do a lot of my shopping at the Goodwill and other thrift stores. This Halloween, I’m going out as myself. My top will be this cool little number I got off of Transgender Clothing Exchange (on Tumblr) and my bottoms will be a “mermaid” style aqua blue dress from Goodwill with my magenta “walking tights” underneath, finished off (of course) with my wig and horns.
In this photo, I'm wearing "Mansinthe" (mentioned above)
At this point, I should specify: what I have described here is not your “traditional goth.” I’d place it close to pastel goth or grunge. What many within the goth lifestyle say is that the best way to do it is to be yourself. Goth within your means! The models who you’ll see on several “alternative fashion” websites have the money from backers and sponsors to go all out. If you’re a struggling queer recent-graduate like me, you learn the tricks and cheats towards accomplishing an awesome look on a shoestring budget. Can’t afford those rocking black platform boots that would have you clinking around like MJ in Bad? Don’t sweat it. Wear black flats or loafers from Buyless BOGO.
There is no one way to look genderless or terrifying. It is whatever you put into it and it is who you are.