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Goth

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A Goth is someone who sees beauty in the dark side of life. Today's society is focused on negating darkness because it is associated with evil. Think about it - in almost every fairy tale, who is the antagonist? The brunette. Who is the protagonist? The blonde. Dark is evil, evil is bad, and therefore we should wipe all trace of it from our lives.
Unfortunately, that's simply not possible. No matter how hard society tries, people still die. Day turns into night. Love becomes loss. It's a fact of life.
So while everyone else is denying an entire half of life, the Goths embrace ALL of life, good and bad. Goths understand that the best and most lasting joy is tinged with a little sadness, and that all love is bittersweet. Goths understand that not everybody has to be happy 24/7, and that the way to succeed is not by pretending you are. Sunlit skies are beautiful, yes, but so are dark cloudy ones. What is white without black? What is a rose without thorns?
Thus, by embracing the shadows as well as the sun, Goths are, in many cases, actually more emotionally healthy than those in mainstream society.
Plus, we get to wear much cooler clothing and listen to far better music!

Goth

Commonly, it refers to one of three things: music, lifestyle, and fashion, though it is not seen as proper to designate one's self as goth based purely on their manner of dress, and most Goths do not publicly proclaim themselves as such anyway. The Gothic subculture tends to have a poor reputation because so many of the people who choose to label themselves as such know nothing about the culture, and involve themselves in juvenile or melodramatic behavior that they feel "is goth".

Musically, it refers to an alternate form of rock that first developed in the late 70's as a post-punk form of music. This early, guitar driven form of goth is commonly called "death rock". The guitars often serve as an ambient rather than melodic instrument, drumming tends to be dance oriented and the vocals are often somewhat haunting or distant. Lyrics deal heavily with introspection, nihilism and the occult, though most assume it deals strictly with satanism. Many Gothic bands mix industrial elements into their music, leading some to believe that all industrial music is Gothic. Common bands associated with the term include The Cure, Bahaus, 45 Grave, Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, etc.

Lifestyle-wise, there doesn't appear to be a lifestyle that all Gothics follow, though some seem to share similar characteristics, which can include an interest in occultist themes, poetry, religion, introspection, Gothic literature (which was written some time during the Victorian Era), folklore, etc. Most Gothics are known for regularly attending dance clubs that play Gothic and industrial music, and some are also known for their interest in the S&M culture.

Fashion-wise, there tends to be a lot of accessories, and the most common of which are Victorian/medieval inspired (velvet and lace, pirate shirts, corsets, etc.), bondage inspired (slave bracelets, chokers, large boots, fishnet and mesh clothing, clothing made out of PVC, leather, rubber, latex or vinyl), or punk inspired (bondage pants, leather jackets, spiked or studded jewelry). Gothics have a tendency to wear mostly black, though sometimes white or red, and have their hair dyed, usually purple or jet black (the hair is also stylized in a certain fashion, usually mushroomed out like Robert Smith of The Cutre, dread-locked, or black with bangs like Emily (the mascot for a line of products of the same name), or other similar, outlandish designs. There is also a tendency for theatrical-style make-up (white foundation with black emphasis around the eyes and sometimes mouth). Goth fashion is sometimes mistaken for the on-stage presence of black metal groups.

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