For years I have really disliked using the word ‘poseur’ because it would always end up being used against people who in no way deserved derision. However, given the climate that the goth subculture finds itself in right now, I really feel that the word needs to be used more often and with some intentional force.
There are many people right now who are calling themselves ‘goth’ even though they do not listen to the actual music at all. Most of the time they listen to rap/trap or metal music and think that just because they dress in black clothes that they are goth as hell. Nothing could be further from the truth. Angela Benedict put out a video the other day outlining why the overt sexualization and fetishization of goths is very bad and needs to be put to a stop. It is largely being perpetuated by sex workers, who are not in the subculture at all, playing goth dress-up and advertising their Only Fans accounts in actual goth spaces. She isn’t saying that sex workers are bad, just that they need to stop advertising their work within the actual goth community, because leg humpers then think that all goths are kinky and like rough sex. I totally agree with her.
In the comment section of Angela’s video somebody named Shino Tenshi took it upon themselves to state that goth is changing and that the subculture has got to accept it. I screen-saved all of their posts for posterity, so join me on a fun journey to poseurville. All aboard!
No, kids who don’t actually listen to goth music do not get a say when it comes to what is and is not accepted in the goth subculture. Why? Because they are not goth. Plus, these ‘sub-sub cultures’ that they are mentioning are the misused terms such as ‘trad’, ‘fairy’, ‘Victorian’, ‘vampire’, and ‘street’. Descriptors that were originally used as a joke in the 90’s. That’s right, if you use those terms you aren’t in on the joke and can be officially called a poseur. Trying to become a certain ‘type’ of goth to fit into the subculture instead of simply being yourself is sad and shows a lack of understanding as to what the subculture is about. It’s not all about how you dress, rather it is about actual goth music; goth rock, deathrock, ethereal, darkwave, and coldwave bands. Notice how rap/hip-hop, emo and metal are not on that list? It’s because those are not goth genres of music.
They respect the roots of the culture? Like hell they do. If they did then they would listen to actual goth music and not ’emo/goth/dark trap’ music. Hell, they don’t even know what music they are actually listening to! Those types of music are totally different from one another and are not related at all. Again, there is no such thing as ‘street goth’. Basically this person is wearing urban street wear, but because the items are black they think they can call themselves goth. That must mean nuns are goth because they also dress in black. No, we don’t not have to accept ‘deviations’ when they are not goth at all. Also, we don’t have to accept these poseurs into the subculture because they don’t listen to actual goth bands. This person has to deal with social stigmas because of the way they dress? Boo fucking hoo. Cry me a river. Some of us have been having to deal with it for thirty or forty years.
I thought they respected the roots of the culture? I guess not. If it is so terrible why the hell would they call themselves a goth then? Seriously, they are identifying with a subculture whose music they hate. To them goth is about fashion first, and the music is secondary. Music that is not goth at all. I would love to see this person go to an actual goth club and request their favourite ‘goth’ songs. I used to DJ and if somebody requested something like Lil Peep I would totally have a laugh about it because hell to the fucking no. It would be the type of thing I would share on social media the next day. Way to fucking go…poseur.
No, hun, you are also not ‘gothic’. That is unless you are a cathedral in Europe, so please correct me if I am wrong. No, goth is not just a ‘fashion statement’. See, this is what the person clearly doesn’t understand. They think that being goth is all about dressing in black and that the music is secondary. A person can be a goth if they don’t dress in black at all but listen to the actual music. If a person dresses in black, calls themselves a goth but doesn’t listen to goth rock, deathrock, ethereal, darkwave or coldwave music then they are a poseur. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it because it it simply the truth. It is not ‘gatekeeping’ to tell the truth. Listening to actual goth music is a very small hurdle to get over, and if people don’t want to do it then they deserve the poseur tag.
No, kid, you are not about to transform what goth is. Mostly because you have absolutely no say in the matter since you don’t listen to any actual goth music. Goth music sounds like ‘grandma’ music? Wow. This person is certainly out to win hearts and minds. So, everybody in the goth subculture dresses alike? Um…they would only think that if they only paid attention to the social media accounts of those who only dress in clothes made by dark alternative brands. These fashion victims think that dressing like a nu-goth witch automatically makes them a member of the goth subculture, when in fact it doesn’t. If they don’t listen to actual goth bands then that would make them poseurs. Again, it is not ‘gatekeeping’ to tell the truth.
As I stated above in my response to them it is perfectly okay to listen to other forms of music besides goth if you are a member of the goth subculture. However, that gets thrown out the window if you don’t listen to any actual goth bands at all. To call yourself a goth means that you listen to at least some goth music. You don’t even have to like all forms of it. You may just like deathrock or darkwave and that is perfectly okay. The people who think that they have to listen to only goth music are boring as hell and will probably drop out of the subculture sooner rather than later.
So, what can we learn from all of this? If you want to be a part of the goth subculture you have to listen to at least some actual goth bands. Metal, emo and rap/trap are not goth. Period. If you don’t listen to any goth bands and insist on calling yourself a goth then you are a poseur. Don’t want to be called a poseur? Then don’t call yourself a goth. The end.