The Importance of Goth/Alternative Subculture Self Expression

The Importance of Goth/Alternative Subculture Self Expression Being Fostered as a Community By Shane Gentry | August 9th, 2022

The emergence and continual growth of subcultures in today’s society has been one of the more
interesting things to watch over the last three decades of my life. “What is a subculture?” Is a
question that most people have probably asked at some point. The simple definition is that a
subculture is a group of people that exist within a larger culture, but differentiates itself from
established social norms within that culture. Being different is pretty broad, but being part of a
subculture is so much more. Subcultures allow for the expansion of individualism and self
expression; be it fashion, music, literature, or other forms of art.

While often misrepresented in the media, especially early on, not all Goths or Alternative people
are rebellious, edgy teens that hate the world, and are sad all the time. While they may have
started out in the underground scenes of cities in the western world, both subcultures have
expanded and can be found globally in many different cultures. Wearing dark clothing,
accessorizing with jewelry or chains, and applying makeup is a prominent part of the aesthetic,
but the Goth subculture goes beyond personal stylistic choices. Many Goths enjoy dark themes
that have come to be associated together in the Gothic genre, like mystery, isolation, horror, and
supernatural elements. From music and literature, to movies and video games; Gothic themes
have found themselves in different media that people interact with on a regular basis.

This shared interest in themes has led to strong communities forming and even specifically
themed places to hangout have been established, such as Goth Nightclubs, which can be found
throughout the world. Early social stigmas associated with existing outside of the established
social norms helped strengthen these communities as well, fostering a very welcome
atmosphere to those that feel they do not belong to the mainstream culture. Thankfully beyond
their welcoming atmosphere, most members of the community are very open to others enjoying
the themes and concepts found within their communities, even by folks who are not specifically
Goth or Alternative. Personally, I do not identify as Goth or Alternative, but anyone I have ever
met that does, whether out in the world or at a music concert for a Goth band I’m into, has been
respectful and pleasant. I believe this strong and welcoming community is one of the main
reasons these subcultures have continued to grow and survive when so many others that
started around the same time period have not.

I think that the Goth and Alternative scenes are great, especially for folks who are trying to find
out who they really are. Pushing against societal norms and exploring new things leads to a
type of growth that many are unwilling to experience as they may be afraid of being looked at as
different. I think it takes a lot of strength to embrace your differences, more so to express them
to others. The main lesson we can take away from subcultures is that you should choose to be
who you want to be. Be yourself. Express yourself. That is what is promoted within these


Article Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni from Pexels:

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.