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The more flamboyant putting-the-effort-in goth look, rarely seen outside of goth clubs and festivals.
The cheap and lazy goth look you're more likely to encounter on the street or in the mall: band T-shirt (in black, naturally), dyed hair, spikes, token faux-Satanic emblems, big clunky boots (out of shot).
That's pretty much it.

Goth is an aestheistic language and lifestyle choice traditionally associated with art students and post-punk music (and, more lately, dark techno), as well as black clothing (often with metal and leather trim and accessories) and "Gothic" literature. In the 1990s Goth style became widely adopted by high school students and marketed heavily by youth clothing stores such as Hot Topic; older Goths often refer to such people as "mall Goth", a derisive nickname derived from their most commonly observed hangout.

Spot that Goth[edit]

There are no defining Goth characteristics. It is a vague umbrella term that lumps many people who wear an abundance of make-up and black, sometimes flamboyant, clothing.

Goth cultures often either overlap or are misidentified with similar outcast subcultures such as "Juggalos" (fans of the rap group Insane Clown Posse), though such associations are generally shunned by the subcultures themselves.


Goth culture is often associated with societal outcasts and misfits, and has been falsely stigmatized as a source of youth violence[note 1] (Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine shooters, were misidentified as members of a Goth clique in Columbine High School).

In Iraq, the "emo" style - essentially a goth offshoot - is associated with homosexuality. In March 2012 it was reported that at least 15 teenagers (with some human rights groups saying that the actual figure was much higher) had been killed in the past month for being emos and, therefore, homosexuals. Reportedly, a militia group called the Brigades of Anger has posted leaflets listing potential victims.[1]

In the UK there have been some attempts to classify attacks on goths as hate crimes, similar to racial or homophobic violence. This results from serious incidents such as the murder of Sophie Lancaster, a 20 year old goth and student, in 2007.[2]

If there's one thing that the Harry Potter movies have taught us, it's that goths are pure evil.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. Although they were in part responsible for the sacking of Rome in 410AD, conservative supporters of family values have since, in a stunning display of prejudice, labeled them "Liberal Barbarians."