Sometimes, we have to get up, do our hair, dress professionally and put on a friendly face when we leave for the day – and it sucks. We try to hide who we are behind gelled hair and button up shirts in the name of professionalism.
But when I walk in my apartment door, the hair cream comes out, the smile is wiped off and the eyeliner comes on.
I’ve wanted to be a goth since I saw Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People” music video the first time. The hair, the piercings, the complete disregard for social norms – I wanted to be a part of it. So, when it came time to get my second grade haircut, I told my parents I wanted to grow it out. It felt rebellious. It felt cool.
Before long, I had bangs draped over my eyes, skinny jeans and inappropriate shirts worn under zipped up hoodies year-round. I spoke in a deep voice to sound dark and mysterious. With sight concealed, I was free to daydream of one day becoming The Cure’s Robert Smith. Upon arriving home for the day, I would sit in my basement and play video games.
These patterns of darkness continued through high school, even rocking the look on the varsity football team, until a fear of college and failure caused me to conform to pop culture. Out went the dark tees, long hair and black coffee, and in came American Eagle, hair cream and Mike’s Hard Lemonade. I became the embodiment of my greatest goth fear – a walking advertisement.
Now, as a senior, I have moved on past the trauma of conformity, and I’ve spent plenty of time still harnessing my inner cynicality. Despite going to a college that is the definition of popular Midwest culture, I found ways for the two to coexist. I forced myself to change so I might acquire a career after school and become socially healthy; however, when I get back to the apartment at night, I am quick to rinse my hair out and let my bangs drape over my eyes once more.
I throw on dark clothes, I turn off the lights, shut the curtains and reject the outside world. I write sad poems. While I can no longer listen to rambunctious metal tracks – and coffee gives me headaches – I still do my best to try and be myself.
I don’t have to smile. I don’t have to wave. I can make my gothic anti-heroes proud of me once more. I can be the dark loner that I have always wanted to be; while still being professional and rocking out to indie. I also know how to make light of this side of me, as I have found a new goal.
I want to become a living, breathing, goth meme.