I have often described as Goth, although maybe “Goth Lite” or perhaps “Entry Level Goth” is a better description. Part of it is “personal branding”–having a distinctive “look” that can be distinctive and recognizable. For instance, there are other writers out there who wear black almost exclusively but when I started on my personal branding efforts I searched and no one was styling himself or herself as “The Writer in Black”. So I did.
But it was more than just a branding effort. It was also a matter of recognizing who I am. In the early eighties, I was out of my home, in the Air Force, out of training, and at my first duty assignment in Great Britain. Basically, this was the first time where I was positioned to make my own choices for style and clothing. Oh, sure, on duty it was all Air Force uniforms but off duty was my choice. I found myself choosing black clothes and a style that, in retrospect were kind of “Goth-ish”. The someone told me that if I wanted to be attractive to young women I should wear bright colored clothes. Being unreservedly heterosexual, young, and single this was an important issue to me.
Worst. Advice. I’d. Ever. Got.
For one thing, it didn’t work. But the clothes I was wearing just weren’t “me”. Oh, over time I convinced myself they were, but…no.
Fast forward many years later. I get introduced to music that I hadn’t been exposed to before. Power metal, Symphonic/Gothic metal, darkwave.
Music like this:
Oh wow. That was some exciting stuff. It called to me in a way that the stuff I’d heard before, even my very favorites from before, hadn’t. And it broke through the wall I had built. I looked at my bright colored shirts and khaki and beige pants and said “this isn’t me.”
So I start wearing darker colors, mostly black. I feel more comfortable than I ever had before. I dye my hair black (beard too sometime later when I started growing that), bleach a streak above my right eye (which I dye purple for cons and the like). And I feel more comfortable in my own skin then I ever have before.
Now, one thing I did learn is that there are different subgenres of Goth. There’s Trad Goth, Industrial, Pastel Goth, Cyber Goth, Cowboy Goth, and so on. Similarly in metal: Power Metal, Death Metal, Symphonic Metal, Viking Metal, and so on.
And wait a minute I thought. Back up. Viking Metal? Could there be Viking Goth too? I look. There’s no Viking Goth that I could find.
Cool, thinks I. I can try something new. The trick is to get a “Viking look” like, say this:
And blend it with a Goth look like, say, this:
So far my results are looking more “Viking Biker” than “Viking Goth” but working on it. Biker would be a perfectly fine look, but it’s not what I’m aiming at.