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THE Look: Oh My Goth

THE Look: Oh My Goth

THE Look: Oh My Goth

Walking around my high school’s hallways in my colorful polos and khaki shorts, I wore an insincere smile trying to impress people I didn’t know. Trying to fit in with crowds I used to look up to, I was a total fraud. I was also an athlete in high school, and I now realize I was primarily using sports to protect and boost my image. I loved playing soccer, but I loved the attention and adoration from my peers even more. Desperate to be considered cool by the in crowd, I found myself alienating and judging people who were not like me. I picked on kids a lot. I was a bully. And I’m not really proud of it. 

What is most freeing about style is how you feel in the clothes. Simple black clothing makes me feel comfortable, safe, and allows me to be the best version of me, because I feel that way. When I was trying to be bright and colorful, I felt like a fake and it projected into my attitude.

In the little Virginia town where I grew up, goth teens and adults were seen as outsiders. They were judged for being unusual, dark, and bizarre. Their style made me wary of them. I was ignorant about who they were and what they were about. Instead of engaging them and learning more about them, I pushed them away.

The Look

In general, the goth subculture goes against traditional standards of sexuality and gender. Goths are open to men and women, gay and straight, transgender and cisgender (nontrans). A lot of kids in my high school who were goth now identify as gay or lesbian. It seems I was pushing away a subculture that could’ve been very accepting and tolerant of me, rather than trying to fit in with people who were outwardly homophobic and transphobic just to be “cool.”

Today, expressing my goth style means that I am embracing my dark side and allowing myself to have one without judgment.

The Look

When I find myself judging others, it is usually because there is something I see in them that I dislike in myself. It is also possible that my judgment comes from fear. When I recognize that, I am able to identify a place where I still need to grow in my love and tolerance of others.

The moral of this story is to stop being judgmental as quickly as you can. Celebrate the differences in people and to allow people to dress, love, and do as they choose, as long as it is not hurting anyone. I’m 32 years old now, and if I could do it all again, I would put this into my daily practice as a teenager because it’s not easy being anyone at that time. Be gentle on others and, most importantly, on yourself.

The Look:

* Linen overcoat with hood by Cosmo and Nathalia, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
* Hooded scarf by Cosmo and Nathalia, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
* Drop-crotch linen shorts by Chapter
* Jedi shirt by Cosmo and Nathalia, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
* Shoes by Converse
* Sunglasses by Oakley

The Look

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Kyle Krieger