I missed the “goth” trend by barely a few years. I was born in 1992, and by the time I entered middle school (and was finally riding the “big kid” bus with middle and high school kids), I was eleven years old and the year was was 2003. I remember maybe two or three individuals on my bus, high schoolers, who would saunter down the bus aisle every morning, their eyes downcast and a HIM hoodie pulled up over their heads. Their Tripp pants seemed about four times the size of their legs. These kids reminded me of the piercing-laden, green-haired sales associates at Hot Topic and they scared the life out of me.
As I got older and found myself spending just about all of my free time on the internet (I’ll be sure to compose a super riveting post one day about my shameful DeviantART era), the subculture that to me was “goth” suddenly started to seem much more appealing. From my pre-teen perspective, goth kids were quiet intellectuals, not troublemakers, and they listened to emotionally dark music and read books by Anne Rice and Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (none of this Twilight garbage). And yet, while I find myself oddly attracted to the subculture, I resisted all public association with it (meaning I listened to Evanescence and watched Neurotically Yours at home but at school I scoffed at the “gawths”). Unfortunately, I was born with ghost-white skin and black hair so most of my classmates assumed that I identified as a goth anyway. By the time I entered high school, I was dyeing my hair lighter colors and made a fierce attempt to lose weight and wear feminine clothes. By the time I entered my sophomore or junior year, the goth subculture had faded away. I instead embraced the “scene” style since it seemed significantly more feminine and sexy to me than goth ever had. (Ugh, I feel like this post is turning out to be nothing more than a painful nostalgia trip. “First I was kinda goth, then I was scene, then I was this other obnoxious teenager-label…”).
In any case, looking back I really miss the goth subculture, or at least, what I knew of it from the internet. So many of the goth/alternative kids that I actually knew (not just the terrifying ones on my bus) were actually some of the sweetest, gentlest people I had ever encountered as an ugly, misfit tween. Goth was artsy, goth was smart, it was misunderstood and in a weird way kind of mature.