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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    Yes, there are two main types that dress "differently" from the majority.

    1) The most common type does so in reaction against the majority. That is, they find some sort of identity in rejection of certain norms. They are often even more keenly tuned into, and reliant on, what the majority does.

    2) People that dress only according to their own whims. Sometimes they are completely bewildered that their sense of style is seen unusual by others.

    I prefer the second kind. They come from a more positive place, I believe, rather than a negative rejection.

    This is right on the money.

    Quote Originally Posted by mujigay View Post
    Most people who dress that way that I have met just have a subliminal need for attention.
    The few times I dressed weird wasn't a subliminal need for attention. I was well aware of it.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Tiger Owl's Avatar
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    I am going to start shopping at "Hot Topic" so I can be an angsty, non-conformist, individual just like all my buddies. Nothing says my parents, society, et al. don't understand me like dozens of clothes pins and random buckles on random straps decorating my hundreds of dollars of anti mainstream consumerism clothing (made by the same little foreign hands that sew for the GAP). Not sure what emoticon will convey false sarcasm so I will close with the counterculture battle cry - LULZ

    Beware the chameleons. Those unassuming few that really know what and why they believe. They do not stand out, nor do they want to. The smart ones hold the strings to the marionettes. (No I am not speaking about myself)

    If I hurt your feelings and you just cannot stand it - ask a mod to move this post to the graveyard.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member Vizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    The few times I dressed weird wasn't a subliminal need for attention. I was well aware of it.
    So would that make it a conscious need for attention?
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    My question is for those of you who purposely dress differently than society - for instance, you dress goth or try to look weird (ie not like most of society) on purpose.

    I was just curious why people dress that way. Do you think it is truly more attractive? Do you like shoving it in people's faces? Do you think it expresses your inner self? Is it an artistic statement? Do you feel unattractive already, so if you dress in a distracting way, no one will look at the real you? Do you like the attention? I have always wondered about this.

    A girl I talked to once was saying that people had no right to look at her like she was weird, just because of the way she dressed. I thought that was kind of ironic - why dress weird if you don't want people looking at you like you are weird?
    I spent my teen years enmeshed in 80s alternative culture and for me it wasn't attention seeking behaviour as I already knew I was an outsider which had little to do with appearance. I was ostracized somewhat for having unusual taste in fashion, music, movies and culture in general when it was horribly uncool to be be different or even smart. I certainly wasn't doing myself any favours by choosing not to conform, and was basically a 'subculture' of one until I got my license and began commuting to school in the nearest city.

    In those days the word goth was not widely used and because we were such a small group, one label didn't really fit the mishmash of interests held between us and I never identified as belonging to a subculture then or later (though the term waver was often applied to us). Most of us were introverts, very bright if slightly nerdy, authentic, artistic, and a fairly good looking, androgynous bunch.

    Apparently I still have that 'edge' sometimes seen among old alternative types and didn't really tone it down much until my early 30s, but still wear a lot of black and funky silver jewelry which resembles a uniform of sorts, and the style still appeals to me aesthetically and feels as natural to wear as it did 25 years ago. Dressing 'weird' seems to be pretty socially acceptable and actually the norm these days in comparison.

    Anyway, just thought I'd come out of lurk mode to throw in my (drive by) 2 cents on the subject.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    My question is for those of you who purposely dress differently than society - for instance, you dress goth or try to look weird (ie not like most of society) on purpose.

    I was just curious why people dress that way. Do you think it is truly more attractive? Do you like shoving it in people's faces? Do you think it expresses your inner self? Is it an artistic statement? Do you feel unattractive already, so if you dress in a distracting way, no one will look at the real you? Do you like the attention? I have always wondered about this.

    A girl I talked to once was saying that people had no right to look at her like she was weird, just because of the way she dressed. I thought that was kind of ironic - why dress weird if you don't want people looking at you like you are weird?
    When I did this (dressed gothic - black lipstick/purple lipstick/baby powder face) in high school I just wanted to look cool. I mean not like "look cool" to fit in, but look cool because *I* thought it looked cool. I like the idea of just doing different things for either self-expression or simply for the experience. I also went through a phase when I was about 19-21 where I would do things like wear tight silver pants with platform heels and put blue in my hair...I guess kind of a cyber-punk/raver turn-of-the-millennium thing...I also cut my hair VERY short and dyed it blonde in my early twenties...I like looking a certain way, though I'm much more casual and hippie or sexy now...I don't tend to stand out AS MUCH...but I still like my jingly bracelets and my anklet with the bells on it and my big hoop earrings and black eyeliner when I go out or am on camera.

    I think I did kind of want to freak people out at some points in high school. Like I wanted to dress up like the girl from The Exorcist to freak people out when I was sixteen. I did go through that "in your face" phase in my mid-to-late teens a little bit.

    Sometimes adults who dress that way are hostile people, with a similar motive to teenagers in wanting to disrupt the order of things, but in other cases they're just the kind of people who like to dress up and perform.

    I've performed in some minor way for my entire existence.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vizzy View Post
    So would that make it a conscious need for attention?
    Yeah. Or I was just well aware of what would happen.

  7. #17
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I'm not goth nor have I ever dressed truly outlandish, but I have an ENFP step-sister who is goth, well into her 30s, married, a mom, with a good job, etc. I will answer this from my impression of her & things she has said.

    Do you think it is truly more attractive?
    Yes, one of the main appeals is aesthetic. "Attractive" may not be the word, but interesting, creative, and individual are often the motivations. Although, a lot of people do find the dark & mysterious aspect of goth to be "sexy".

    Do you like shoving it in people's faces?
    This is a loaded question! I don't get the impression my step-sister sees this as an affront to people, or that it's a motive of hers to offend people.

    Do you think it expresses your inner self? Is it an artistic statement?
    I think this is the key for many, yes. Goth clothing can amount to a "new romantic" mindset - celebrating human fragility (hence the morbid aspect) being part of that. It's a communication of your viewpoint & ideals in a visual manner. My sister likes all of the symbolism tied up with her appearance because it reflects how she feels about the world. For other people, they feel different inside, so they want their outside to reflect that. They may identify with other goths because they see those people as being similar internally, so they are comfortable looking similar to them.

    Do you feel unattractive already, so if you dress in a distracting way, no one will look at the real you?
    I don't think this is the case with my sister. She's a pretty girl & I think she knows it to some extent. I read a book once where the author described such appearances as "armor" for the emotionally sensitive. It scares people off, which protects them in a sense. I see some truth in that for some. It's a test to see if someone can deal with an equally unusual inside; if you make it past the outside, then maybe you can handle who they are. If you judge their outside so readily because they are odd, then it weeds you out from getting to know their inner person, which they may feel you cannot understand (maybe because it is also strange & dark).

    Do you like the attention?
    I think it is a passive form of communication. I think they do like some attention because it acknowledges that people are listening to their "message" about themselves or the world. My step-sister seemed to like attention as far as making people think. Some may stop & wonder "why" and then explore "why", and that is a triumph for her.

    Everyone sends a message with their appearance, so I don't see this as attention-whoring so much as acknowledging & making use of another communication tool. It's no different from someone who "dresses for success" or whatever. They manipulate their image to send a message, knowing people take note of appearances, even if subconsciously.

    A girl I talked to once was saying that people had no right to look at her like she was weird, just because of the way she dressed. I thought that was kind of ironic - why dress weird if you don't want people looking at you like you are weird?

    I think such people may mean they are not weird as in "defective", even if weird as in "different". They dress differently because they feel different, but they don't feel defective. They don't want to be judged negatively, finding that unfair.

    As mentioned, my step-sister is a functioning, working adult with a happy marriage & cute baby; there is nothing particularly weird about her in a bad way. She just dresses Goth because she identities with ideals associated with the subculture more than the mainstream and because it appeals to her visually.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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  8. #18
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    When and if I dress "weird", put on dramatic makeup, have odd hairstyles, I just do it because I want to and it's hardly ever an act of rebellion or to assimilate into a group. Part of me really cares what others think but the other part, is just like "whatever". Supposedly I give off a rocker/ intense vibe.

  9. #19
    Klingon Warrior Princess Patches's Avatar
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    I went through a goth phase in highschool. Black hair dye, black nails, pants with chains on them. Hot Topic certified.

    I made it out of that phase real quick.

    I guess I could be considered weird now? I have pink hair sometimes. Right now it's normal, but usually I have a pink or purple highlight.
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman

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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patches View Post
    I went through a goth phase in highschool. Black hair dye, black nails, pants with chains on them. Hot Topic certified.

    I made it out of that phase real quick.

    I guess I could be considered weird now? I have pink hair sometimes. Right now it's normal, but usually I have a pink or purple highlight.
    You saying Hot Topic reminds me of my Emily Strange gear and hoodie that had Hello Kitty with skulls and crossbones. And my hoodie that had cat ears and paws as mittens.

    You know, this was as an adult, just in the past few years, and I can honestly say I liked those things genuinely for being cute/appealing/making me feel nice with absolutely no intention to affect others.

    I can be in my own little world that way.

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