I nearly called this blog post ‘French CanCan, British Can’tCan’t’ because it sort of summarised perfectly my state at the time of writing and photographing, ie: ‘French Goth Wearing Big Fluffy Tutu, Stuck on An Island‘… However, I realised that this would have been more cryptic than an emo band’s album title … and no one really likes emos.
Back to topic, last weekend, I had a bit of an Ozzy Osbourne moment; ie ‘WTF am I doing here?!’.
So.What happens when you are plunged in self-doubt, anxiety and mascara?
Well … I came to the UK over 13 years ago, as a naive French-born student, with dreams of artistic, creative and personal freedom. Note that I say ‘French-BORN’ because my passport and my accent are the only things which are French about me – both from an external and internal perspective.
Yep, sorry to burst people’s ideas of what life in France really is – but as someone who is ethnically ambiguous [North African & Asian heritage], I can tell you that French people do like to remind you that if your name is not Jeanne d’Arc, Marie Antoinette or Pepe Le Pew, then you are not French, and that you will never be treated as the same as a ‘French-French’ person. So I never felt like I belonged, from a very young age.
On top of it, I attended a posh right wing university(Faculte Jean Monnet Paris XIII– Sceaux ; which actually has an extreme right party OFFICE onsite!!] and between my goth/metal look, combined with my Mediterranean skin and thirst for all things Frankenstein and Bram Stoker – these years were difficult yet formative – as I was always driven by proving people wrong and myself right ; so I passed with a Metallica Black Album Distinction.
On this note : Some /many people will and do confuse some of my behaviours or attitude as arrogance – and that is fine, I don’t give a bloody damn- as for me it is merely confidence and a celebration and exit from the anorexic, suicidal, overly sensitive girl from the suburbs of Paris I used to be. That person is dead and buried!
Who do you think you are they said?
Well actually just me, an expat who left to the UK with broken english, a broken bank account and a broken spirit- hoping to build a future for myself, by myself.
Anyway, at the time, the UK for me was the Eldorado – it birthed so many of my favourite bands : from the S*x Pistols to Iron Maiden, to Black Sabbath … and so many of my idols including Vivienne Westwood. Whenever I came here as a kid, I used to love seeing so many different looks and the openness where alternative people and clothing were concerned.
I wasn’t so much impressed by the dudes flashing themselves but that is another matter.
So I came here full of hope, thinking I would be working in a dream creative field, meeting some cool people and just living happily ever after.
Don’t get me wrong, in so many ways this has come true (I have had some great experiences, and met some badass people who are now my best friends) but life in London is not always what it seems.
In London, a lot of people operate as vacuous groups – and have absolutely no identity or backbone as individuals – they are just looking for the latest doormat to fill their diary at booze o’clock or just superficial gossip about people from the same circle.
So I have dropped a lot of these people over the last 2 years, pretty much like this:
Work wise, it is a rat race – and the field I am currently working in (IT) really dries my soul out – but apparently it is ok because the money is good.?
And that is what pondered through my mind this weekend. [As well as the options of which black skirts to rock up]
My question is : is it ok to sell your soul to Satan if he rewards you with jewellery and online shopping but also headaches and nervous breakdowns? What do you value more ? Financial Freedom or Spiritual Freedom?
I don’t have the answers, but in the meantime, it looks like I will be carrying on buying bling and clogging the internet. Sorry, not sorry !
Belt : www.killstar.com
Headdress : https://www.the-gothic-shop.co.uk/
Shoes ; www.newrockaustralia.com
Necklace : http://www.wonderlandmc.com/en/