Source: Gothic Beauty
The article in question was "Gothic Off Days" by Gail Brasie, an interesting look at what we can do to make being Goth (particularly dressing the part) seem like less of a chore on "off days." While the article itself is interesting and informative, I found one bit that was more thought provoking than the rest. Brasie says, on page ten, "This article is to help remind you that being Goth is a choice..." Well, is it? Really? I'd like to discuss that with you today.
My knee jerk reaction to this question was a resounding no, but I think that also has to do with what I think Goth is, at it's center. Goth is a matter of taste. Taste in music, clothes, literature, whatever your preferred definition is. Personally, I didn't chose to like Depeche Mode or corsets. I just do. There are some things I definitely can't control about my relationship with Goth music, particularly. My mother, an ex-Goth, listened to The Cure and Bauhaus all the time at home while I was growing up. I now consider that music comforting because it was what I listened to at a happy time in my life.
On the other hand, one might argue that it's a choice that I act upon these desires, thus making myself a Goth. I find this argument slightly flimsy because I don't know anyone who just says "no, I'm not going to listen to the music that I like" and makes that decision. Of course, those people probably exist somewhere, but they're definitely in the minority. Then again, if someone likes Goth music, prefers Black clothes, loves Gothic literature and Tim Burton movies but instead wears pastels, listens to The Beatles, reads nothing but gossip magazines and watches Oprah (for whatever reason, so long as it's a choice) can we really call them a Goth? Or, if someone doesn't like things that are considered Goth but partakes in them anyway for whatever reason (to impress someone, etc.) are they Goths?
So, readers, what do you think? Is Goth a choice or were we just born this way ?