“The terms used in the tabloid press to describe those youngsters who, in their conduct or clothing, proclaim subcultural membership (‘freaks’, ‘animals… who find courage, like rats, in hunting in packs’) would seem to suggest that the most primitive anxieties concerning the sacred distinction between nature and culture can be summoned up by the emergence of such a group.” –Dick Hebdige, “Subculture”
When I read this I immediately thought of the Goth and scene kids who were once looked at as freaks of nature. They were outcasts because of their piercings, tattoos, and heavy makeup. Apparently people assumed these kids were devil worshipers and troublemakers. As if looking into their eyes would make them be able to cast a spell on you. Because, based on the way they dress and how they look, they all have to be witches and warlocks, right?
For this once small sector of the population, this style of dress and appearance was just a way for them to break away from the “mainstream” and express themselves and be different. However, these days it is not so uncommon to see this style of dress anymore. It seems everyone either has a tattoo or many tattoos or have piercings in other places than just their ears.
In terms of makeup, it is no longer as offensive to see someone with heavy black eye liner or bright eye shadows. In fact, many higher end makeup companies, have come out with collections and campaign ads that feature “Goth-esque” makeup and more dramatic looks.
Examples of Goth and “scene” makeup:
And of course the ultimate example of Goth, but more like Goth gone wrong is Marilyn Manson:
Major makeup companies have hopped on the opportunity to try to appeal to the people of this subculture while still being able to appeal to the mainstream people who are frequent purchasers of their products as well by focusing on the more artistic side of this underground culture.
In September of 2009, MAC Cosmetics released a limited edition collection called “Style Black”. Below are the pictures from the ad campaigns:
The collection featured darker than usual shades for MAC, even including a black lipstick and lip gloss. The ads are dark and somewhat extreme, but they are still artistic
Another makeup company called Illamasqua, almost always features unconventional yet “artistic” looks.
The Illamaqua ads aren’t necessarily Goth, but they are certainly not the conventional “pretty” or sex sales ads that are normally released.
Aside from makeup, even stores like Hot Topic, which was opened primarily for the Goth or scene teen, has now somewhat become mainstream. It has been featured in magazines like “Seventeen” and have customers who would not consider themselves Goth.