Gothic culture: more than meets the eye

Black and White are characteristic colors of Goth culture
Photo provided by

Black and White are characteristic colors of Goth culture Photo provided by

Danielle Barnych, Staff Writer

From black leather to studded fabrics, Gothic culture is widely recognized for its presence in fashion. Many refer to Gothic culture as “just a phase,” but some live a life entirely influenced by Gothic culture. You might not even recognize it but more than just fashion is ruled by this dark lifestyle. Important themes are not only highlighted in fashion but also in Goth-rock music and literature.


Music has a big influence in every culture. In this case, Goth-rock is one of the more obvious elements of Goth culture. This usually includes strong vocals, heavy guitar and drums and sounds produced by a synthesizer. Some famous bands like The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees produced songs with more emo and dark themes that relate to tragedy and love to convey the underlying message of human fragility and weakness through their lyrics.


This, to me, is one of the most important themes of Goth culture. What is any culture without books and written history? Even though goth literature tends to be classified as fiction rather than nonfiction because of the presence of monsters, demons and supernatural beings, the many prominent themes of death, depression and loss are very real. Some significant works of Gothic literature include Dracula, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and others are advanced in the way they display a more negative portrayal of life and love throughout their works.


The first thing you notice about someone is probably the way they are dressed. This is obvious to see in people who choose to let Goth culture influence their fashion. The most obvious signs are an all-black outfit, studded boots and jacket, piercings, tattoos, and dark makeup. Although this reigns as a typical stereotype of Goth people, there is truth to this as well. Not all Goths dress this way, but dark fashion is used to represent an exaggerated self-expression of emotions and for many, acts as a way to cope with these dark feelings in a more positive way.

So, the next time you think about Gothic culture, just remember that there is more to it than just black lipstick and leather jackets, unless it’s just a phase.