Thursday, July 5, 2012

Advice: Goth Isn't for Grown-ups?

The lovely Lady Zendra of Noran over at Drones and Drabbles asked me for some advice the other day. I'd like to offer a solution, and hopefully my readers could comment with advice of their own for her as well.

She said, "My problem is that at 19 years of age, my parents are insisting that I "grow up" and give up my gothic clothing and interests. I simply do not agree that to be grown up, I have to give up these things that I love. I've tried to explain that I feel that I look beautiful in my darker aesthetic. How do I convince my parents that there is a time and place for certain things and that when I am out with my friends or in public I can wear what I feel comfortable in." 

It's such a shame that when some imagine an alternative person, they seem to think that there are no respectable adults involved. Your parents are most likely worried that your choice of dress and interests may affect the way people view you, which could also affect career opportunities, relationships, etc. They're stuck in concerned parent mode, but they need to be able to sympathize with you. Here's how I would go about making them see from your perspective:

  • First of all, always be respectful when you talk about this. 
  • Ask your parents why they dress the way they do. They might say it's because "that's how I feel comfortable" or something to that effect. To that you can say, "I dress for the same reason. This is how I feel comfortable presenting myself." Please make it clear, however, that your intention isn't to scare anyone off, and that you would dress "appropriately" for job interviews and such.
  • Ask them how they would feel if their parents told them they couldn't dress a certain way, listen to certain music, etc when they were your age. Tell your parents that just like themselves, you cannot help your likes and interests. 
  • It might help a little to show them some goth songs, maybe from the eighties, that they could identify with. Perhaps they might enjoy The Cure or New Order? This way, they could be able to relate to you better and understand why you like the things you do. 
  • Also, gently remind them that you are legally an adult, and therefore are capable of making your own decisions and dealing with the consequences. 
  • If in the end they can't see reason, well, you're nineteen. It won't be that long before you can move out on your own.
I hope this helped. If anyone else has something to offer, please comment down below.

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