To those not in the know, all there is to being Goth is wearing black clothes. Goths are a very well defined sub culture and they are easily identified, mostly due to their distinctive clothing. However, there are more aspects to their culture even though it is very amorphous and not easily defined. There is no religion or occupation that can be said to be exclusively Goth; however, there are other things that they themselves use to identify themselves as a group.
For starters, Goths share an active dislike of the rules and norms of society. They prefer to live on their own terms, and therefore are not always welcome by the rest of society. This is probably one reason why Goths prefer to band together in a group. They obviously find a sense of belonging with other people with similar inclinations.
It is incorrect to say that there is a particularly Goth kind of music, although people who belong to this group do have a tendency to enjoy music of the 1980s. Needless to say, clubs favored by them play mostly this kind of music although it is not always so.
Even when it comes to clothes, there is more to it than the ubiquitous black color. The style of clothing varies very much from person to person. At one extreme, there is the flowing Victorian style of dressing that also includes a lot of boots and corsets. At the other extreme is what is known as the industrial style with a preference for buckles, studs and belts. The popularity of this subculture is indicated by the increasing numbers of shops and online businesses that cater to their need for clothes and accessories. Even Goth makeup is very distinctive, and there is a preference for pale face powder, dark lipstick, preferably red, and dark eyeliner.
Goths tend to be more tolerant of other people, particularly those with differing viewpoints. This is particularly ironic given that society tends to be very suspicious of Goths because of their rejection of societies rules. This probably explains why there is a large proportion of people with differing sexualities in this group.
There is a popular misconception that being Goth means that one is a Satan worshipper. While some people might certainly do that, it is not necessary for membership to this group. It is unfortunate that Goths themselves sometimes perpetuate this image just for its shock value.
Goths are at pains to explain that it is not the clothes they wear or the music they listen to that makes them Goth, but the way they think. They are very categorical that there are no hard and fast rules to being Goth, but that there are only guidelines that people can follow in order to indicate that they belong to this subculture. They tend to be very laid back and do not follow any fixed rules of behavior. After all, the very reason for being Goth is to get away from rigid rules that society imposes upon its members.
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