Saturday, May 12, 2012

Poll: Graduating from Babybat to Goth

Chances are, if you're a Goth in your teens, older Goths are going to refer to you (sometimes affectionately, sometimes not) as "Babybat." Still, people shed the label at some point, don't they? I don't see many people telling Goths in their mid-twenties "Babybat." So, at what age do you shed the label?

Me, age 12.
Babybat or Young Goth?


Some will say that you cannot be a teenage Goth, only a teenage Babybat. Since Goth has much of its roots in the club scenes of the UK, teenagers cannot fully appreciate the scene until they are of club going age. Or, it's because we teenagers are forever ignorant in the eyes of the midtwenties elite (not that I think that you all are snobby, but oh boy have I been faced with this attitude sometimes.) Teenagers are supposed to only like Marilyn Manson and hang out only at malls, which is certainly Not Goth At All to these people. Still, less crudely, some people think that teenagers are Babybats because we're still fumbling and, maybe, it's a bit cute to watch.

However, some say that age isn't everything. It's how much time you have spend in the Goth subculture. This way, if I'm seventeen and have been interested and involved in the music, fashion, and subculture of Goth since I was eleven, I am less of a Babybat than someone in their twenties who has only been interested for one or two years. This method of defining allows for people who have some sort of connection in the subculture to shed the Babybat label sooner than those who have only just stumbled on it. However, this method of deciding doesn't take into account the amount you've learned in your time in the subculture. After all, just because you've been "a Goth" for ten years doesn't mean that you've bothered to look up the history and know that Nightwish isn't Goth.

The last, I suppose, way that people seem differentiate between Babybats and Goths is your tastes. Preferring Siouxsie to Manson, plain trousers or skirts to Tripp pants, Poe to Meyers, etc. seems to be the marker. This is the method that I, personally, subscribe to. After all, if you have internet access and are willing to do a bit of research, anyone from any age group can explore the subculture and discover its roots, no matter what age you are or your experience. Sure, there's sure to be a bit of fumbling at first, falling for cheap crushed velvet or calling Tom Waits goth or miles of black eyeliner swirls, but that can happen at any age group. To me, it's not how old you are or your experience, it's your tastes which will tell the world if you're a Babybat or not.

So, what do you think? When do you stop being everyone's beloved Babybat and start being a respectable Goth?

When do you graduate from Babybat to Goth?
pollcode.com free polls

13 comments:

  1. Hi! I'm new to blogspot and loving all of these blogs like yours I'm finding. This is my first comment =)

    When I hear the word babybat I just think of someone new. My first reaction was going to be 'style' but then I thought harder, and a 30 year old who's been wearing tripp pants for 10 years I wouldnt consider a babybat...

    So I just think its someone not too experienced with the scene and just discovering it. So you could be a 40 year old 'babybat' if you just discovered goth I suppose!

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    1. Thank you for commenting, I'm glad you like my blog!

      I agree, someone who's been around the scene for 10 years and knows their stuff shouldn't be called a babybat. :)

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  2. Yay for babybat posts!

    I believe that the best way to determine "Babybat" status (not that I really like the term) is a combination of experiences and tastes with a working knowledge basis of the subculture's history.

    ^^
    Btw, I loved your Wardrobe Overhaul post - it inspired me to write my own; so thank you for the great post!

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    1. Aw, I'm glad you liked the post! And you're welcome, I look forward to reading yours!

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  3. Hi there,
    I'm also new to blog spot, but I had been reading blogs like yours for about a year before I decided to start my own! The goth blogging community has been a real inspiration to me.

    Anyway, about the term 'babybat.' I kind of wish it did not exist actually. The problem I think with labeling someone a babybat, whether affectionately or not, still seems a tiny bit elitist. I mean, who is to really say whether the kid in highschool is actually being Goth enough or not? Anyone who has been brave enough to deviate from the norm should be congratulated, so this notion of "oh, wait, you're not a Goth because you're too young or inexperienced, so we are going to call you something else," kind of sits uneasily with me. Maybe I'm just being picky.

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    1. I completely agree - the term is so deprecating!

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  4. To me a baby bat is somebody who tries to be a Goth a little too hard without really knowing that there isn't a fixed scheme that you have to fit into.

    Often, those baby bats do not really concentrate on details, for example they'll wear quite a bit of thick black eyeliner without using foundation and powder so their skin looks spotty and oily.

    I personally use the term as something positive, when I was about 14 the baby bats were called "wannabes" and therefore were excluded from the goth scene. Baby bats are to me a part of the scene, I don't judge them and when I look at old pictures of me I think of my former self as a baby bat.

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  5. To me, a 'babybat' is someone who cares about whether or not they're a 'babybat'--in other words, someone who's a little too concerned with being 'goth' rather than just going with their natural inclinations, goth be damned. Often these are teenagers, because teenagers are very half-formed identity-wise, no matter how mature they are, so I associate it with age more than anything else. Taste is subjective: just because someone dresses in a way you would find tacky doesn't mean they're trying to be anything, much less trying too hard. They might just like it, so that's hardly an indicator of anything for me.
    I realized I was 'goth' at 21, and I consider myself as having had a bit of a babybat stage when discovering and getting into the culture, though it wasn't very long (maybe a year?) I think it likely that if I were 15 at the time, my 'babybat' year would have been yearS. If someone in their 30's or 40's and up were to get into goth, it's less and less likely to me that they would fit the bill of 'babybat', so I guess I gear that definition towards a person who's altogether young and still very mouldable. It depends where you're at with your identity as a whole, I think. I don't think it's a negative term, persay, but the title 'babybat' IS kind of annoyingly cutesy IMO XD

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  6. I've always jokingly said that I grew out of the Babybat stage when I learned how much eye liner was TOO MUCH eye liner xD

    On a more serious note, I think it's different for everyone. There came a point in my life, when I stopped worrying so much. It took some time to find myself within the subculture. I stopped worrying that I wasn't "goth enough", I learned that I didn't need to be a uber-creepy-spooky person 24/7. But I guess it's different for everyone.

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  7. As you can tell from my username, I am not completely put off by being referred to as a youngling, babygoth, or babybat. I actually like the terms. Even if the person said it meaning to be insulting. I refer to myself as a babygoth because even though I have been goth since I was 16, I didn't really look into the history until three years later. I feel that there is still a club scene I have yet to experience and knowledge of the history, fashion, manners etc, I yet to explore and learn. SO I would say its a combination of knowledge and experience. If you have had this knowledge and experience in the goth subculture since your were 11 then I think that person is fit to shed the title.

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  8. i think it is a little of everything :-D cant explain easy. i think to me it could be described as when you just 'feel' good the way you are and found your place...?

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  9. I think taste. I don't believe, personally, that being a goth doesn't necessarily require hanging out with other goths and going to clubs, especially if you live in a place with no such clubs. I honestly think it's maturity of attitude about goth and knowledge of what IS actually goth versus DARK and SAD and/or SHOCK VALUE OMFG.
    And I think goth versus babybat has to do with if you're comfortable as a goth or feel it has to fit you. I used to try to be goth, and sucked at it hard, but when I stopped trying and gave up on the whole goth image and music culture, I started listening to a ton of original goth bands and actually started fitting better in all areas of my life since my tastes leaned that way. Trying hard to be goth is just....not worth it. Trying to fit anything too hard just looks and feels bad and weird!

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  10. I find this rather interesting. Being thirteen myself, and having a certain degree of experience in the subculture, I have to say that "Babybatism" relies on taste. Being in middle school, I see quite a lot of Emos and Babybats-- kids listening to Manson and Korn, wearing skinny jeans and neon colours, and dying their hair black. I seriously doubt that these children have any grasp as to the meaning of "Subculture." I personally listen to Siouxie and a couple of other "goth" bands, but I also listen to The Clash, The Who, Big Country, The Jam, The Pogues, etc. (I am not trying to show off or establish myself as goth here by the way-- I am just trying to prove a point.) I have read almost all the works of Poe, and am aquatinted with Frankenstein and Dracula. I do not wear skinny jeans (well, I do, but I roll them up and use them as short trousers) or tight band tees. I do not consider myself to be a Babybat. I'm not sure what someone like me would be, as I am aware that older members of the subculture look down on Babybats, but I do think that it is possible to avoid being one.

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