WTF is Nu Goth and Why Do We Love to Hate It

Posted by Zakkarrii Daniels on

(Originally published on June 30, 2016)

Ah, Nu Goth, the newest addition to the Goth family tree. So fashionable and trendy that it makes us wonder if this trend will ever pass... oh and it will, don't worry.

Goth is Timeless

So, ages ago, I compared Goth culture to an amusement park, where there are all sorts of fun things to do, see, eat, and it's Goth as long as you stay within the amusement park. Like Disneyland, we have Medieval/ Renaissance Goth, Victorian Goth, Lolita Goth, etc. Sometimes there is even a fair amount of overlap and we're generally fine with this because everyone can somehow trace back the branches to the roots from things like Dracula.

Nu Goth is the shady pop-up amusement park with one sort of okay ride and food you're not quite comfortable feeding to your children because you're not sure it's food. It does carry over some of the fascination with occult symbols, remember when the Eye of Horus and Ankh were goth trademarks? But I have a different post dedicated to that...


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo created by: Trellia (who has done all the other infographics on Goth)[/caption]


But the Cycle Must Continue

I have a strong disdain for superficial, you know that. But is Nu Goth really so terrible? It seems that whenever one person makes something rich in quality and detail, another must make a borderline insulting version of it and sell it on a mass scale. Nu Goths don't seem to have as strong a sense of community and seem to enter into scenes with this attitude of "look at me and gimme gimme". Compare that to the sense of loss we feel whenever a goth club night closes its doors or the brief elation we feel when one opens up, and they don't have to be remotely near us to inspire those feelings. But disdain aside...

  1. It's simple and cute. It's the blending of bats on pastel shirts and simple cut clothing with skulls all over it. It's not as troublesome to wear as steel boned corsets and bustle skirts or as uninspiring as plain black clothing. Almost every goth I know has admitted there is one thing they like from the collection of more affordable clothing.
  2. It's accessible. Remember when Hot Topic stopped selling black lipstick for a while? This was several years ago, and nowhere else would sell it, and right before hipster culture and memes became a very big deal. Back when being a goth still earned you the famous line "You know it's not Halloween for like six more months...fucking freak." Now? Every brand of makeup in every price range carries black lipstick and other unnatural colors. Which is actually really good for the culture because more people connect with something and maybe they'll keep it up and make more cool shit. Maybe it'll encourage them to hunt for the records too, which is now incredibly expensive or difficult in some places.
  3. The cycle must even out and it already is. There are several factors involved in the rise of Nu Goth and social media is one of them. For as much as I bitch about people simply wanting fame and sponsorship, it's proof that something in the Nu Goth generation wants to make things. Cool, great, however... Social media isn't just about trends and subscribers. Google has been cracking down on incredibly generalized sites and actually punishes those that load a page with keywords that don't actually say anything of value. (And yes, honey I know them all.) Why is this important for Goth? Because eventually the online scene will be so saturated with baby bat content, you'll have to be original or fight very hard to outdo other people...I'm excited about it.


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="610"] Photo from here. ([/caption]


But what about the culture?

I know right? Doesn't every generation go through this fear of decline, though? The rise of new meets the beloved classics and there is a small scuffle of legitimacy. People who accept it adapt and preserve what they love, while the nay sayers slowly become irrelevant... Which is still wrong when it comes to goth. Goth has a solid base, as long as they are still available, we'll have our classics. There will be traditional goths, nu goths and every variance in between because you can't stop people from taking things. All you can do is demonstrate what it means to you.

Why do we love to hate Nu Goth? Because we're the big sibling picking on the little sibling. Duh.

For the 666: What is Nu Goth and are you part of it? How is it affecting goth culture? What is the next incarnation you think we'll see?

Don't worry, we'll talk about the "40 Years of Goth Fashion video" soon, but for more of a demonstration, you should click "Join the Strange Collective" at the top of the page. To see that in full faced makeup and other forms of bite-sized content, you know where to find me:  Instagram,Facebook, YouTube

Until next time,

Don't be hungry for life. Be ravenous.

Zakkarrii Edison Daniels



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