Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Goth Teens

Is your teenager Goth? If so, should you worry about it?

My daughter wears what some consider Goth clothing. She particularly likes Tripp pants. Though she doesn't usually wear completely dark clothing, there are days when her clothes are mostly black.

She has a friend who also likes the Goth look. In addition to the clothes, he wears his hair spiked. Since we live in a small city, the way he looks gets him noticed.

This friend has spent quite a bit of time at our house. He's easy to talk to and has a big heart. If there's projects to do around the house, like painting, he'll volunteer to help just because he enjoys my daughter's friendship. The more I get to know him, the more I like him.

I was talking about him to another parent recently. We got into the whole issue of clothing and what it says about a person. People are quick to judge others, and often won't take the time to get to know somebody who dresses different from the rest.

Teens in particular are judged harshly. When a teen dresses uniquely, often parents and teens alike make negative judgements. My daughter has been told she's satanic, even though most of her clothing comes from C28.com (a Christian clothing site geared towards teenagers.) A substitute teacher even told her that God doesn't like it that she dresses in dark colors.

I've been told that kids like my daughter and her friend lose when they wear these clothes because they miss meeting people who could turn out to be friends. Maybe that's true, but I'm not sure my daughter would get along all that well with kids who don't like her because of her Tripp pants.

The girls who are popular, and the ones who adults seem to like, are the ones who dress as sexually as possible. These are the ones some parents think my daughter should emulate.

I don't think so.

My daughter recently had to interview a community member whose contributions to our city made a big difference. I later met that woman. She was very impressed. She told me that my daughter had sent her a thank-you note and signed it "Dare to be different." This community member was so impressed by the thoughtful interview questions, my daughter's general attitude, and the note that she even called the school to let them know how pleased she was.

That attitude, dare to be different, is exactly what I hoped for in a child. I also hoped for a child with compassion, which she has in abundance.

I think the way she dresses demonstrates that she is comfortable with who she is. She might be called satanic, but it doesn't make her change. Instead she seeks those who understand and are comfortable with her.

Personally, I like her wardrobe. More than that, I love her courage to show the world who she is, her wisdom in knowing that true friends like her for herself. She could try to conform, to get along better by pretending to be what she's not.

Then again, she can just be herself. In this day and age, that takes courage.

8 comments:

Robbeh said...

Of course! The rose in the bush. :)
I've subscribed to your blog; so keep on the writing.
And may your daughter continue to dress different, and dress well. After all, who cares what 'they' think so long as you're happy with yourself? :D

dawn said...

My daughter dresses the same way hey I get to wash in cold water saves me money HAHA! I know the person inside those clothes she is very smart and i really trust her she is sometimes more responsible than myself.....This may be a phase or just who she has chosen to be but in the past she has not let me down with any choice she has made hey I was a teen in the 80's and pastels and big hair OH MY GOSH can you beleive .......no wonder there is global warming now all the aqua net i went through....
keep bloggin we are ok with the way they dress and maybe not understand completely but love them dearly and really don't let it bother us Keep bloggin we need to stick together.

Alis said...

this is very true i and 15 and i am an out cast i get attaccked at school all the time for being original i stand out in the crowd i have dressed in dark colors sinsce i was 8 i was very smart and knew that black was every color in the rainbow and thought it was unfair to chose just one there are many ideas about goths like there suicidal and idiots but really there iq is above average and they understand the world more then average people even though im picked on i will never change my ways and i have started clubs in my old schools and turned out many people enjoyed them

Alis said...

this is very true i and 15 and i am an out cast i get attaccked at school all the time for being original i stand out in the crowd i have dressed in dark colors sinsce i was 8 i was very smart and knew that black was every color in the rainbow and thought it was unfair to chose just one there are many ideas about goths like there suicidal and idiots but really there iq is above average and they understand the world more then average people even though im picked on i will never change my ways and i have started clubs in my old schools and turned out many people enjoyed them

Anonymous said...

I dress that way, and I've been called much more than Satanic >.<
I suppose it's others' loss that they won't get to find out what a wonderful person your daughter is!

J said...

This makes me happy.. I am i guess concidered in the goth group myself although i wish not to be labeled its what people call me.... I am not afraid to be who i am i thank you and your daughter mam for this

Beth said...

Go goth teens! Who wants everyone to look the same? Be proud if someone you know has the courage to be different, because its not always easy. I go to a school where being stereotypical can determine everything from you social status to your grades. But there are a brave few who choose to be true to themselves and work hard to get treated fairly.

Anonymous said...

Boy, this is an old post, but I'll comment anyway.

It's reassuring to know that there are parents like you who recognize the good qualities in their children. I'm also glad that you got to know your daughter's friend rather than making up your mind about him immediately because of his style. In fact, you'll find that most people who are part of the goth subculture are very friendly, intelligent, and accepting of others regardless of style, gender, or religion. And those qualities are directly linked to their ability to self-express (your daughter included) regardless of what society presents as the "norm".

Thanks for being a parent who doesn't judge books by their covers.