What is Nu Goth? Nu Goth is a fashion style that takes some of the tropes of casual Goth fashion and mixes it up with Hipster fashion staples like high-waisted shorts, crop tops, and oversized sunglasses. These Nu Goths do not listen to Goth music, they simply wear the clothing that they like. Goths often get up in arms about this "misappropriation" of the word Goth (Like it hasn't been misappropriated before? But I digress.) This inevitably sparks a lot of controversy between the Goths about if you can be a Goth without listening to Goth music and generally makes a lot of people upset.
My issue? Why are we acting like this "Nu Goth" is a new trend? Mainstream fashion deems goth style "in" every few seasons anyway, and their takes on our subculture often involve the same tropes as the Nu Goths do: black skinny jeans, oversized crosses, cheap lace gloves/armwarmers, poorly fitted cropped "corset tops", and shoddily applied black lipstick. I think especially of Forever 21's take on Goth for the past couple of years.
Of course, the general difference is that Nu Goths use the term "Goth" to describe their fashion while mainstream fashion avoids our label like the plague. I remember distinctly the Lady of the Manners discussing someone who was asking how to wear black lipstick (or was it nail polish?) without looking Goth. Of course, that is the general rule, there are some mass producers who would use the term Goth as a marketing ploy, but not to the extent that the Nu Goths do. For some reason, their usage upsets us while the mainstream fashion culture's non-use upsets us as well.
Of course, that's not true for all Goths. There are some Goths that like the trend on its own. After all, parts of it aren't too different from a casual Goth outfit. The creepers? The jumpers? The torn tights? If these come into mainstream stores for reasonable prices (No, $20 for torn tights is not reasonable,) I can see why some Goths would welcome the trend for a while. Of course, there will be others that hate it just like they hate when Goth is adopted by the mainstream fashion culture without the guise of Nu Goth. It's a personal issue, I suppose.
Maybe it's the Hipster element that we dislike, the rude attitude about shunning what came before you in an attempt to be special. As Goths know, we aren't that special. How many Goths are there in the world? Thousands? We don't pretend to be special unique snowflakes. If you do, you're more likely to get shunned and dismissed by Goths than celebrated by them. It's a baby bat trait to want to be Goth to be special. Maybe the Nu Goths are the new Baby bats? The attitudes toward them remain the same.
Source: DIY or Die
Honestly, though, if a rude enough Goth from the 1980s saw my closet, they might not like what they find. Gothic Lolita influences? No Aqua net? Very few DIY pieces? My god! How dare she! Oh, she listens to Christian Death and Bauhaus? I guess she's okay. I guess. But that opinion isn't as highly held any more. Not many Goths complain about Gothic Lolita anymore. Maybe it's because popular icons such as the previously mentioned Lady of the Manners have endorsed Lolita, maybe because most Gothic Lolitas that aren't Goths do not claim to be Goth. Whatever the reason, our fashions change over time. What we deem acceptable as Goth changes over time.
Maybe it's time to put the fighting words away. What do you think?