“The Black Goths”

She was black!

(Akasha – the most awesome female vampire movie character)

Recently I met a girl with an amazing style who is black and goth at the same time. To be honest she was the first I’ve ever met and I was really impressed by her style. What’s why I chose to write this article dedicated to all those alternative black girls out there!

Let’s think about it. When you hear the word “goth” for a woman what do you expect she looks like ? How do you imagine her?
Probably with long beautiful hair, thin silouette and pale skin.
You know something ?
In real life most gothic girls don’ t look like that.

 

The Racism in Goth

It is commonly accepted that there is a big number of gothic companies all over the world. Gothic brands, gothic cosmetics, gothic magazines ect. All those years I have notice that there is not even one black gothic girl on a gothic magazine’s cover or a gothic brand’ s website page. Where did black gothic people go? They disappeared?
No, I don’t think so. There are thousands black gothic girls all over the world, but they are hidden in the shadows and on the sidelines of the strict gohic society. Probably they are NOT GOTH ENOUGH in order gothic brands to choose them for their covers, or not goth enough for their pocket!
If the white goths see black gothic people on magazines and website they will probably be frustrated and stop shopping from that brand. They will lose their clients! It’s all about money this is the units of measurement for goth!

 

A strict community

To continue with what drives me really crazy , how is it possible many white goths believe that black people can not be goth due to their color?
Dear white girl !
We live in 21th century , racism for black people suppose has been eliminated . Since you consider yourself an alternative and open mind person , as an original goth , how could you have this narrow minded opinion about goths of color?
Is the color that make you goth or your lifestyle and choices? You probably know better as a person who has borned with extra long hair extentions, black nails, Snowhite’s skin and demonia baby boots. You are goth since your birth!

 

Open your mind

Even if black people have been associated with a very specific kind of lifestyle, music and culture, this doesn’t mean that you can’t find goth people of color.
Gothic is a subculture, a whole world. We supposed to be different, we supposed to live out of the mainstream and common. How could still those old fashionated opinion exist in gothic subculture? Gothic is not a matter of race.
In my opinion white goths as well as alternative fashion industries all over the world should embrace and support those black gothic people, not push them on the sidelines. We should be united like one voice, one spirit and soul. Only this way this amazing subculture will remain in time. I recomend you next time you will see a black goth don’t look at him/her like he/she is an alien. You love the same things, the same bands ,the same tv series and books, He/She’s your brother ! Let we be an exemplar for other people,let’s open our minds.

Interview with Brianna
The most stylish black gothic girl!

 

First of all, I would like to say a big thank you to lovely Brianna who accepted to give me this interview!
Who is Brianna:

My name is Brianna. I’m 16 from Mississippi. For the most part i don’t do much. I’m a highschool student, so I spend most of my time at school. But when i get home I read or binge watch a sitcom (mostly read). I do LOVE gothic novels but i’ll read just about anything from Stephen King to Leroux to Jane Austen. The only time i’m not doing that is when i’m with my friend Nicole (also my elder) who taught me basically everything I know, and got me into more gothic movies.

Brianna, as I always refer on my articles, to be alternative means that you have the guts to defend your style and that’s what admire on you girl! So.. I would like to ask you some things about how it feels to be black and having an alternative style at the same time.

Nowadays there are thousand gothic style industries all over the world, from clothes and accessories to beauty and health products. Most of them prefer to have on their websites and magazine covers mainly white gothic models. Why do you believe this happen? Its a matter of a racist option or there are not so many black alternative girls?

I feel as if there just aren’t that many goths of color out there and if there are they’re afraid to dress goth. Even thinking in a broader concept, there aren’t many alternative people of color. This may factor into how black culture and black families view being alternative/goth as a white people thing. Because of this, people of color are afraid to venture out. With this being a main factor of why there aren’t many goth people of color, I do also think its a race issue. Its unorthodox to be black and to be goth. When you hear the term goth woman, you think of a a beautiful pale white woman with long flowing black hair. I’ve come to accept the fact that that stereotype will never change in the foreseeable future, but I work everyday to normalize being a goth woman of color.

 

When did you decide to dress with an alternative way for the first time and how people around you reacted to your choice?

I’ve started from the bottom of the bottom with sleeping with sirens, black veil brides, and pierce the veil. That was back in 6th grade. I started wearing band tee’s in 7th grade. Back in middle I always got the question “why are you trying to act white” and it really use to affect me. Now I’m in my later half of high school, and I’m always getting positive comments online and from people in real life. I learned to just ignore ignorant questions like that, because I’ve been surrounded by love my entire life. It encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing. The love will always outweigh the hate.

 

How white gothic girls usually react to your style? Have you ever heard a racist comment about the fact that you’ re black and the “exclusivity” of alternative style to white people?

I’ve surprisingly never gotten any truly racist comments from white goth women about me being a goth woman of color, and for the most part the people that comment under my pictures are actually white women. I’ve seen jokes and memes about “emo” being a white people thing (very glad they claimed it). But aside from those, which I’ve only seen once or twice, I’ve never gotten any racist comments.

 

 

How could you characterize your style? What’s your dressing inspiration?

I don’t think my style falls in one specific category because I draw inspiration from so many different people and places. But to sum it up I get a lot of inspiration from victorian goths, classic metal heads, and Manson. I also draw a lot of inspiration from my irl friends Demi, Nicole, and Kai. When it comes to online inspiration, thats just about everyone I follow but especially the accounts @isshehungry @matieresfecales @thatgirlsussie @salvija @nosfera.tutu @obsidiankerttu @korrnsnot @beejus plus a TON of other constantly inspire my style.

 

Finally, what would you say to a black girl who’s thinking to dress with an alternative way but she hesitates due to other people’s reaction? What are the issues she may have?

Well first LISTEN TO THE MUSIC. Trust me. You’re already going to stand out like a sore thumb and you definitely don’t want to be caught not knowing about the history or the music. Getting into the alternative scene is also pretty hard, but don’t look at an account and try to be them. You will never be a thin white girl, and you’ll never really fit into the goth scene, but that’s okay. Black goths don’t face as much racial discrimination as they use to, but we still tend to feel left out because of our color. And to that I say don’t worry about it. The more you get into the scene the more you’ll realize most people you meet won’t care about your skin color, and if they do then leave ‘em behind! We left racist behind in 2017! If you worry too much, you’ll only end up razing your own self, and it becomes abhorrent rather than something you do for fun. Just keep doing you and the love will ALWAYS outweigh the hate. And remember that you’re so goth that you were born black. Don’t ever conform to what society tells you that you have to be! @matieresfecales on Instagram speaks out about that a lot.

And remember that you aren’t alone. One quick look on Pinterest will tell you that you aren’t the first black person to dress goth and you definitely won’t be the last. Theres so many of us out there, and we all have to stick together.

5 Replies to ““The Black Goths””

  1. I totally love this. Thank you for talking about this issue, Seriously! And it kind of made me realize some things and opened my eyes. I’m not black but definitely not close to white haha and I’m alternative and I do dress goth despite my brown skin and what people may say. But inside my head I’m dying of anxiety and what other say and think about me. And because of the whole “pale white beautiful goths” I always make my selfies/pictures on Instagram…….look like someone else, because I flush away my brown color with this editing app. They do end up looking great, but… It’s just NOT me, and I feel ashamed of even doing this to myself but I can’t help it 🙁 I will definitely try to better myself :/

    1. Dear Gree, first of all I would like to say a big thank you . I can really understand how you feel.I am a white girl but not so white and pale as most gothic people, especially in summer months! There’s no point of trying to change skin color in order to be accepted from a community.It’s the same as a trendy girl do all those surgeries in order to look like Kardashian sisters! It’s stupid. There was a terrible summer when I was camping with a friend and I had the sense that every “metal” guy we met looked at her and prefered her instead of me . She had red hair and pale skin on the other hand I had brown skin and blonde hair. Five years later, I’m still wonder :why I did this to myself? Why I had those stupid thoughts of “I am not goth/metal enough”! If someone likes you, he likes you as you are. When I said to my boyfriend the first summer we spent together about my obsession with white skin in summer, he said to me, “ohh it’s not sexy at all!” And guess what, he is singer in a power metal band!

  2. i love brianna so much. im black and shes such an inspiration. i listen to the music and LOVE it but im just not creative enough to mix and match ! ): plus im super broke. also i listen to other more like other like opposite music from goth (like dreampop, etc) is there a way i can incorperate that into goth culture ?and where do you and brianna get your clothes from ? thank you !!!!!!

    1. Dear Shay, first of all you can listen whatever you like! (For instance, I am a big fun of Lady Gaga and she’s the most awesome alternative singer that I know!) You don’t have to restrict the things that make you happy in order to be : a right kind of goth”. Life is to short to worth for those stupid things. Whatever makes you happy is NEVER wrong. Moreover , when it comes to your style’s evolution, you have to search it a loooot. Read a lot, find inspiration images on pinterest or instagram, watch youtube videos and finally find your own aesthetic and signature style. For many years I didn’t have a clue of styling and I learned how to dress with “a hard way”. My article about my style evolution, inspiration and idols would really help you:
      https://nerrissa.com/kill-your-idols-my-style-story/
      P.S if you want to know more about how to build a gothic style on a budget, stay tunned, I will upload an article very soon!

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