Friday, April 5, 2013

Upkeep is Hard, Don't Stress Yourself

 I was getting ready the other day when a thought crossed my mind. I stopped for a second and wondered why in the world I was up putting on eyeliner at 5 in the morning. I've gotten so used to getting up early, struggling through the first part of my day, and then crashing when I finally get home, that I never really stop to consider whether I should be doing things a little differently. My bus shows up at my house at 6:30, and I do eat breakfast in the morning and make my lunch, but that still leaves an hour to get ready. Do I really need all that time every day? The answer in all honesty is no. I'm living on 6 hours of sleep per night when I should be getting double digits, and this far into the school year I'm starting the effects.

You don't have to look like this every day
(Though she's certainly gorgeous. I'm afraid I don't know where I found this)
 As a rule, I feel Goths are often more inclined to spend time on their appearance, for several reasons. The first one being that the scene has always been full of striking people with dramatic makeup or gravity-defying hair, and clothes that turn heads. I mean, look at some of the icons of the scene! Siousxie Sioux, Robert Smith, Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, Johnny Slut, Dave Vanian....the list goes on and on. We see pictures and go I want to look just like them and spend forever trying to replicate a look that in all honesty probably took full hair stylists and makeup artists to accomplish. (At the very least an afternoon, a can of aquanet, and a whole stick of eyeliner. And we don't have time for that every day) We tend to forget that some things are staged. That people like them didn't look perfect every second of the day. (Though sometimes I wonder...)

Young Dave is gorgeous isn't he? <3

The same thing applies to the pictures of Goths you see on websites such as Tumblr. (Which I am extremely guilty of spending a ridiculous amount of time on) Sometimes I'll sit there for hours (after I've emerged from the fandom blogs headed over to the fashion) and just sigh over all of the beautiful people. They've got perfect makeup, and flawless hair and clothes. And then I have to slap myself a bit and remind myself that many of them are professional or at least semi-professional models, not ordinary people going about their daily lives. Remember that their clothes might not be their own, and that time was spent on their appearance. The photo was probably staged, could have taken time to get the angles right, and it might have been edited. Seeing all these photos is a great way to get discouraged, and think you have to keep up with that level of maintenance to be 'appropriately' Goth. It can be especially discouraging to people just starting out that don't have a wide variety of clothes or accessories, or great makeup skills yet.


I'm very sorry I can't give these pictures credit
Most were found via Tumblr a while ago
Of course then there's the one that probably gets me the most. I suffer from the "everyone's looking at me because I'm different so I have to set a good example for the scene" syndrome. (Well that's a mouthful) There's already this stigma against alternative sorts, and mallgoths are the ones that tend to reinforce it. Not neccesarily on purpose of course, but people get a lot of their stereotypes from the kid hanging around Hot Topic with the greasy hair, Tripp pants and Slipknot shirt. As a result, I have this idiotic fear of being lumped in as yet another 'stupid rebelling teenager'. Therefore, I try to set a good example to counteract all those stereotypes. Is my makeup melting? Is my hair lopsided? Does this look cheesy? It's the little nagging voice that says if I'm alternative and people think I look eccentric I'd better make sure they think I'm pretty all the time too. I do it constantly and it's ridiculous. I'm trying so hard to steer myself away from that train of thought. There's nothing wrong with making sure you don't look a mess, but that should be for yourself, not because you're afraid of being judged.

What I'm really trying to get at here (In a vague, rambling, roundabout way) is that it's OK to slack off once in a while! You don't have to doll yourself up everyday, and it's fine to go casual and makeupless as often as you feel like. You can't let your appearance take over your life completely, while sacrificing valuable time to do other things. (like sleeping in my case) It's just not healthy. Of course, some people are more comfortable wearing skirts and dresses all the time, (I know someone who despises jeans) and some people find it fun to dress to the nines every day,  (more power to you!) but there's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of if you want to wear a hoodie and lazy pants every so often. Who cares if you skip doing your nails or don't put on makeup?

So I'm designating a day. One day every week where I'm gonna dress down on purpose. One of my band or fandom shirts, a hoodie, and comfy jeans  or my cargo pants. And no makeup to boot. In exchange I'll get a day of liberation and learn to feel pretty without makeup. Not to mention, I'll get to sleep a little longer ;)


  1. Oh man, I agree with eveeery thing you said! I have so much trouble convincing myself that it's unrealistic to look as gorgeous as those people in photo-shoots or particularly on Tumblr/other bloggers. But it can be really upsetting. Hopefully people such as yourself setting a good example should put me off my terrible habits. :3

    1. I know! But we just have to keep realistic on an everyday basis ^^ We'll all help each other :D And of course, show off occasionally ;)

  2. I often wonder if I have zero cred in the 'scene' because I *am* so insistent on being relatively low maintenance. I just braid or straighten my hair, I insist on a fresh, relatively natural face (of course I'm also really pale to begin with so a little powder and eyeliner and lipstick does a lot), even if I'm going out clubbing, and I don't wear a whole lot of accessories. If it's a big ol' shindig, then the hairspray and the veiled hats and rosary and such come out, but in general, if I'm a goth at all, I'm kind of a boring one.

    1. But little to no makeup sometimes makes an outfit even better :D I actually normally just stick to eyeliner. There's no such thing as a boring Goth! If you wanna wear nothing, but band tees and jeans, or a plain shirt and a few accessories, etc. then you should be able to without even thinking twice about it. People should wear what makes them comfortable without worrying about others in the scene. And I'm sure you look gorgeous :)
      (Not to mention, I'm under the opinion that the music counts for a much bigger percentage of the scene than the clothing, but that's just me ^^)

  3. xxxx little darkling xxxxApril 8, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    WARNING! This is partially relative to the post, and partially a ramble. Read at your own peril.

    I must say, I am one of those people who go:
    "eh. Lets see what I feel like."
    I don't think: 'what should I wear that is like .........(insert name of person on tumblr)'
    I always think: 'You're your own person. (You don't own all this nice fancy stuff)'

    I may choose to be Gothy-60s, Gothy-fangirl, slightly lolita, actual Goth, casual Goth or (as today) tweed-waistcoat-mustard-jeans-white-shirt-red-bow-necklace-brown-brogues-hey-look-I'm-the-Doctor!
    That one above looks better than it sounds.
    Why, yes, I do love brown. And tweed. And mustard yellow.
    What? I am British.
    As I was trying to point out, I don't really have a set image to live up to. So I guess I don't really worry about if I look alright, and can go from Loli-style goth to baggy grey bat hoodie and coloured jeans without feeling like I'm letting myself down.

    One thing I never bother about is makeup. I don't ever bother. (hem hem is too lazy in mornings).
    I'm not very high maintinence, I guess.

    Yeah. That was quite long. Oops.

    1. That is such a fantastic stance to have and it's exactly the kind of mindset I'm trying to work myself up to. Dress how you like when you like :) If I'm lazy who cares? And if I want to dress up then that's great :D And my style pretty much varies day to day too. If I had more options/items of clothing then it would vary even more XD I love nearly all Goth styles and it's offshoots, along with vintage clothes, punk, lolita, etc. So I get exactly what you mean ^^
      And haha I love the concept of a 'The Doctor' outfit. I'm afraid the closest I get to that is a brown waiscoat XD

  4. That fist picture is the lovely Mothmouth at :)