I Swear I’m Not Goth

99a2fa5150e40e7336fb410239dd192aAbout two weeks ago, my 12-year-old niece told me that, “everyone knows if you wear all black, you’re goth.” And then my head did this:

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:::Sigh::: kids, am I right? Silly, silly, per-pubescent children … how little do thy know. Right now, my niece is all about neon. Neon everything. The more color, the better. So I can understand why she looks into my closet and thinks, “holy shit (although she best not be cursing :::back of my hand:::), my aunt is goth.”

When I was her age, I would have never worn all black anywhere for fear people would have thought I was goth. Goth wasn’t something cool to be in middle school, or even in high school. They were the scary kids who shopped at Hot Topic, had KORN patches (backwards R and all) on their book bags and rocked a lot of chains everywhere. Their hair was either black, or spiked in different colors of the rainbow, and they invested in black lipstick stock. I would only threaten to go goth when my mom made me do something I didn’t want to do. I mean I worshiped the book of Britney Spears and wished I was in the Gap commercial swing dancing in khakis, for crying out loud. In no way shape or form did I associate myself with the “goths.”

So as the words were coming out of my mouth to shame my naive niece, “Ummm black is chic, you know nothing,” I kind of understood where she was coming from. In kid-teen world, all black everything means uncool and goth. In adult world it is dignified and chic …Karl Lagerfeld and Kanye West says so. The more black you wear, the cooler you are (well, um, that’s what I think, at least).

And if I was forced to go back to middle school, right now, as a 27-year-old woman, Billy Madison-style, I would most definitely be considered “goth.” 97.4% of my wardrobe is black … or some dark color. I like my neutrals, what can I say. My jewelry is always statement-worthy (I have a cuff that most certainly could be used as a weapon). My nails are Lincoln Park After Dark (aka close enough to black as I will go). My hair is one shade away from being black. Anything with studs on it makes me insanely happy. I rarely leave the house without liquid black eye liner, and I’ve recently become obsessed with dark burgundy lipstick. Preppy bitches would most definitely be yelling, “go back to the crypt, goth!” as I strutted down the hallway.

But I’m not goth. I don’t wish I was married to Satan. I’m definitely not depressed. And never once have I ever nor will I ever own or download a KORN album. I wear black because it makes me feel good and comfortable. Black is chic, and that is something you learn over time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. I wear blackish nail polish because I think it rocks. I feel naked without my liquid black eye liner as I feel it makes my blue eyes pop, and the color pink makes me want to vomit. But hey, that is just my style. If you want to walk down the street looking like a God damn highlighter … go for it, people. Style is about self expression.

I suppose the age-old saying is true, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Those “goth” kids in high school that I used to avoid were probably not as freakish as I made them out to be. They were just doing something I didn’t have the balls to do … which is to be true to themselves. One day I looked at my colorful closet and realized I was only wearing the same two black shirts I owned over and over … and decided to say, “screw it,” and wear what I liked without worrying about some jerk giving me a stupid title like, “goth.”

So yes, I don’t enjoy color, but no, kids, I’m not “goth.” And even if you do ID yourself as a said “goth” … that, again, doesn’t mean you beckon Satan on the reg. If only kids knew how cool the color black was sooner. :::Sigh:::

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Great, now I feel old.

How Much Black is TOO Much Black?

That headline is a trick question. There is no such thing as too much black.

I think my wardrobe took a darker turn when I was in college. My closet mine as well have been nicknamed ROYGBIV because it was always a colorful explosion. Orange zip ups, white shirts with colorful patterns, green tube tops and purples, blues and reds all over the place … OH MY. But the funny part was, when I was going out, I only felt comfortable in black and would raid my roommates closets looking for that perfect top to rock. So I thought to myself, perhaps I just don’t fancy color, and I felt like that was such a horrible thing to admit so I just kept on buying more colorful nonsense that I never wore.

So today, as I was putting laundry away, I looked at my closet and noticed that 85% of it or more was black with a few colorful dresses and white pieces thrown in between. In fact I found myself specifically placing the colorful garments sporadically in between the black pieces to break it up a bit. And then I found myself once again wondering, is it bad that I dress in black so much?

Here it is. Black for decades has been associated with funerals and a color people wear when they are mourning and depressed, or a color only gothic freaks wear head to toe, or a color women only wear when they want to appear thinner than they actually are. But we are in the 21st century folks and the only thing I see associated with black garments is being extremely chic and timeless, I mean Audrey Hepburn rocked the all black look decades ago … enough said.

And yes, after all of these years, I am openly admitting right now that my style palette does not include that much color in any aspect of my life, and I am proud to admit that. Right now I am into a lot of neutral colors, blacks, whites, nudes, grays with some deep purples, reds and bright blues or navy’s to accent here and there. But the thought of wearing pink, lavender, light blue, yellow or any other color that looks like happiness has vomited all of you makes me want to light things on fire. Does this make me depressed? No. Does this make me hate the world? No. This just means I have a distinct style and know exactly what I like and who I want to portray myself as. It is a color defining my style, not a determination of my mood, well-being, outlook on life, religion and/or how I treat my fellow human beings.

Black is a very chic and powerful color, so you need the confidence and attitude to match. If you want to paint your nails black, don’t feel like you will be considered “goth.” Consider yourself making a statement instead. Sometimes I will want to wear an all black outfit from head to toe and there are moments where I think to myself, “shit, does it look like I’m wearing a black body suit?!” But I will break it up with a piece of statement jewelry or a fantastic pair of heels and my worries will melt away. Being comfortable brings out the confidence, ladies.

It is all about knowing what you like, owning it and indulging in it. Not that I want to give these reality TV fame whores any more credit than they deserve, but the Kardashian clan condones wearing black and has made it extremely sexy and chic. I’m not saying wearing black shirt after black shirt with the same boring black pants is okay, because it absolutely is not. But investing in a lot of different black pieces and creating a cohesive wardrobe with different kinds of fabrics and textures that are statement worthy is key and that is what the Kardashian ladies do.

I know so many of us stare at our wardrobes and wonder, “Jesus, could I OWN MORE BLACK CLOTHING?!” But get over it. If you didn’t love it, you wouldn’t have bought it. There is NOTHING wrong with it, so stop complaining, making excuses and just own it and make it yours.