People who are unfamiliar with the Goth and Emo scenes may have trouble understanding what certain aspects of the subcultures are all about, especially with regards to certain wardrobe trends and fashion statements. For this reason, Goths and Emos may seem 'strange' or 'weird' for their unconventional choices, whilst someone who is more familiar with the scenes might view the same aspects as creative or inspired.
Clothing is one medium through which 'scenes' or 'sub-cultures' define and distinguish themselves. Often, in communities like the Goth and Emo scenes, kudos is placed on being creative, individual and even eccentric. So, whilst wearing tight fitting PVC trousers usually more appropriate to being worn in an S&M club might seem trendy or cool within a certain context, to outsiders it may seem just plain weird!
Are Goths and Emos weird or just individual?
One argument that you'll hear from Goths and Emos is that the whole point of their clothing, music and culture is to stand out and rebel. Both Goth and Emo had their origins in different forms of punk so, by definition, are counter-cultures that are designed to go against the grain and appear rebellious and non-conformist. This will invariably lead to people who have only a marginal understanding of the scene finding it bizarre.
Whilst it's always considered positive to express yourself and be individual, there may be circumstances where a Goth or Emo may want to tone down their appearance or mannerisms so as to conform to social conventions and attract less attention. Examples of such situations include (but are not limited to):
- court appearances
- job interviews
- a great-aunt's funeral
- travelling to countries where witchcraft is still punishable by death
Ultimately, it shouldn't really matter how someone chooses to dress, although it's worth bearing in mind that all of us are susceptible to first impressions and will be influenced by someone's appearance, no matter how open-minded we may be.