I can still distinctly remember that warm and all encompassing feeling of control, power and serenity that rushed through me as a 16 year old finally able to afford her first proper goth outfit. I had been living under strict conditions at home, and had finally started making my own money to pave my way out – towards my real self.
The outfit in question was a classic long black skirt, paired with a black top with huge bell sleeves, a bunch of overlaid chokers and necklaces and some platform boots. (the 90’s in a nutshell)
In my head I looked like this:
In reality, I looked like this – wired headphones included [I am showing my age!]:
Still – I rejoiced in my ability to finally be able to get clothing which would fit my aesthetic – which has always been awkward to others as I tend to mix things a lot – classic old school with more rock and metal stuff.
As much as my mother was controlling, she was always instilling in me values and principles in terms of appearance – she was definitely not into Goth or Metal culture – but it was always important to her that whatever crazy mix I was coming up with (trust me there were a LOT of doozies), it was about the art of dressing up – finding the right accessory, the perfect fabric combination and fit, making it a style.
I looked up to 1950′ sirens, but also Vivienne Westwood and the punk era, Siouxsie and I found it so fascinating that all of these ladies had forged their own styles… with their clothes on!
Yep, I am sorry not sorry but I strongly feel that in today’s ‘alternative scene‘, there is a prevalence in promoting the half naked, the butt naked and the totally naked with a couple of pasties stuck on the airbags sponsored by an Amazon wishlist. [people are shameless these days]
I am not here to pontificate or judge – I am merely stating a personal opinion; an opinion which is tainted with my own bias.
I spend a lot of time on instagram (too much for sure) as it is currently the only place where I can connect with fellow like-minded souls and see some great inspo and share my own – and I am very sad to see that a lot of brands [not all] and people with some sort of online influence heavily push that ‘I got tattoos and I am gonna show you my butt tattoos‘ aesthetic as the ‘alternative poster girl‘ to follow and emulate.
And that is the key : young girls these days will think that by virtue of these people being made ‘poster girls’, that it is the path to success and style in the alternative arena.
Listen, I have tattoos myself so please do not read this as a complaint regarding tattoos and their exposure (I actually want more as well). But this block of text is about the trend of just putting underwear on, shaking your ass for the gram and doing it in under the pretense of #bodypositivity. I have nothing against body positivity as I personally have issues of my own – but come on?! How lazy and uninspired. Counting on the male gaze for likes is also something I despise – and I stand by my word.
Is this what the fashion of our generation will be remembered as? Is this what you want to be remembered as? Us women have fought so much not to be reduced to a pair of jugs – yet there is an internal move to reduce us again.
I am not going to lie – some of the photos I see paraded under the ‘Alternative Fashion’ label would have been categorised as soft p0rn in my days. I am not joking either – it has become socially acceptable and in my eyes, it is really not a good thing.
The irony being that punks in the 70s were meant to be the trashy ones …!
So yes, I am sad to see this trend of girls throwing their clothes away, sticking on some fishnets and a couple of duct taped crucifixes on their twin peaks and lather on the #alternative #goth hastags. We now have the equivalents of the Kardashians in the alternative / goth scene and it is rather horrifying.
I feel sorry for the younger generations of girls, because this is the sort of pressure they should not be experiencing, especially from alt sub-cultures.
Perhaps I am harsh. Perhaps I come off as judgmental. Perhaps I was a prude Victorian in a past life. But I stand by my opinion!
What are your thoughts?