baby bat: A derogatory term for those wannabe Goths who are only familiar with the superficial aspects of the culture. They may do their makeup horribly and only listen to the most popular of the goth bands. They are mostly the younger kids going through a phase and trying to look cool. However people tend to fling this label at anyone they don't like. A lot of people prefer not to use the label because it implies a "more gothic than thou" attitude.
"There are really two main definitions for a baby bat. One definition is someone who is under the age of 30 who is goth the other being someone who is in their beginning stage of goth and is still ignorant to a lot about the subculture. I've said so before that I agree more with the second definition. The first is only valid if all goths get into the subculture before they are 30. This is often the case but not always the case."
Okay, I'm gonna be honest here, and I won't give a damn if some of you are gonna hate me for this..
I became goth because I was lonely.
I didn't have anyone to talk to about my super artistic interests and hobbies, nobody seemed to be interested to listen to my made-up tragic stories, and I felt despised and excluded by anyone anywhere.
Yeah. PUBERTY. Sadly.
THE BABY BAT STEPS I TOOK
When I first heard about the "goth" term, I got curious, so curious that I spent months researching about it and got more and more interested, that's why I continued learning about it for years since then. The only subcultures I used to know were punk, emo, and hip hop. so when I met this "goth" in some website chatbox, I asked him what goth was about, because I had never seen one before. He didn't say much to make me completely understand, so I turned to Wikipedia for this, and (this is funny) when I saw this picture that Wikipedia used for "Goth":
I got so shocked and scared that my reflexes had my finger uncontrollably rolling the scroller of my mouse down. The guy looked so creepy and ghastly to me, but a large part of me wanted to know why exactly he chose to look like that. So I started reading on, and hours later, my browser was filled with around seven tabs of different sites that defined Goth. I searched for pictures, I turned to the dictionary and fought that weird feeling of deja vu, because magically, I felt a sense of peaceful belonging to the subculture, and there seemed to be something familiar in all of it. I didn't know why all this Goth thing was so nostalgic and familiar (perhaps I used to be one in my past life [hahahahaha], I don't know), so I decided to take my first, embarrassing, cute baby bat steps to becoming an enlightened one. Until now though, I'm still not truly certain if I really AM a goth; all I know is that I tend to be more attracted to post-punk and deathrock music, and I enjoy eerie and strange thoughts.
I was only 12 way back when I met that goth guy in that fateful chatbox. I was 13 when I first bought stupid and wrong goth stuff. I'd really hate it if I'd share to you guys how it all looked, but I guess it'll be better to show you how I was going when I reached the age of 14.
From right to left:
Miss Lost Empathy/Emily Rose Darck, Kittie Chaos/Kaye Cee Black/Me,
Violynce Adect/Vandyke Eventide
I had these two friends who had Tim-Burton-like imaginations, and somehow helped me in shaping myself to becoming a better stereotypical goth girl. We were lucky to be in a school near a cemetery, so we hung out in the graveyard a lot, and talked and had fun while we were in the tranquil place. A classmate of ours had died the year before and was buried in that cemetery (may he rest in peace! :( we miss you!), so aside from just spending the time chatting away, we prayed for him and shared our experiences to him in his family's mausoleum. We'd talk for hours in front of his grave, and did a lot of childish, unusual stuff like burning roses while singing operatic notes in minor scales.
We had this weird, friendship diary that we called "The Byble", where we wrote all our protests to the world and our reminders for our next "cemetery time", all in "books", "chapters", and "verses". In school, our hangout spots were the library and the hidden place behind school chapel or just inside the chapel. We loved borrowing the maximum number of books in one time, and talked about our wildest and most ridiculous dreams in the silence. I particularly started reading a lot of Gothic fiction books then. My name ruled the book borrowing slip of Edgar Allan Poe's book.We made straw dolls and built rock empires behind the chapel when we were bored, and prayed inside the chapel every after lunch :3
We also had this crazy headquarters, which was just one block away from Vandyke's place. It was his dad's family's old, abandoned home, and it was somehow haunted, so it was a great idea.
In this house, we've had tea parties, "ghost meals" (we set the old, unused table and IMAGINE we're eating, because there actually wasn't any food), guitar sessions, photoshoots, and naps while the disturbed souls in the house were busy doing their own audible and obvious business. Scary, funny, but TRUE.
I was 15 years old when I decided to finally dive in to the music.
Get ready to roll your eyes if you're a goth..
'Cause I listened to Gothic Metal. Ugh.
When I was younger, my kind of music was pop punk and rock.. nothing more. I was like, 7 when I learned to love Simple Plan and New Found Glory tunes, so the easiest and closest step I could ever walk on next was the Gothic Metal and Symphonic Metal genre. Well at least I STRONGLY disagreed to the thought of Greenday, Slipknot, or Korn being goth, 'cause it sounds just extremely WRONG. :D
Okay so.. Epica used to be my favorite band, and Emilie Autumn was my favorite artist. I introduced the genre to my two friends, and they seemed to like it too.
Aside from my little "improvements" in music, my new wardrobe was also growing! I finally knew the right places to shop, and I started to alter my clothes and make accessories.
By the age of 16, I finally switched to what most goths call the "right" music. And guess what? I enjoyed it more than the previous stuff I listened to. Let me just tell you that the gothic rock, deathrock, and post-punk genres suit the traditional goth scene better, more perfectly, and originally.
Here are some of my fave Goth bands:
The Cure ♥
Siouxsie and the Banshees ♥
Emilie Autumn ♥
Faith and The Muse ♥
Alien Sex Fiend
Love Spirals Downwards
All About Eve
The Late Isabel (is FILIPINO! ♥)
And the list goes a loooong way :3
But here's a FACT:
Goth music is NOT the only kind of music I listen to, okay? Though it is my favorite, I still listen to pop punk, and I can never turn my back on Classical Music because doing so is just so unthinkable and inhumane D:
My fashion became casual and uhh.. friendly, because I have finally become FULLY AWARE of the country's tropical climate and poor subcultural orientation. I now describe my current style as dark casual, or dark girly, or casual lolita, or corporate batty. I've been wishing I'd get a death hawk, but I guess I'll get shot or locked up somewhere if I'd do that in this country. So I guess I'll have to stick to sporting beautiful long hair right now because, besides, it also looks good and elegant. :3
Parents. Mostly every young goth's dilemma.
The folks would think you suddenly love self-harm, or you got converted to Satanism, or you joined an eerie cult or something. Some parents go as far as threatening their goth kids to make them stop from being goth, others give them an annoying and pointless lecture.
Indeed, I went through all that too. I went through all the regular lectures in their room, the grounded states, the threats, and their weird, stupid solutions.
I blame that effing local TV show we used to watch every night, wherein there were "goth" antagonists in the story. The "goths" in that effing TV show worshiped Satan and did all those evil rituals and mocked Jesus Christ so much. As I watched, I was like, "OMG, WTF! SERIOUSLY?!"
When I started posting my baby bat pictures in Facebook, some of my relatives from Australia who knew nothing about what Goth exactly is, saw my photos then phoned and messaged my mom to stop me from all the things I'm doing because "Goths are criminals and devil-worshipers." Because of this wrong, troublesome intervention, I was made to attend my parents' one-on-one lecture held in their cozy room. As I listened to all their ranting, blackmailing, threatening, and scolding, I was smiling and chuckling because EVERYTHING they're saying was completely WRONG and HILARIOUS. I mean, for crying out loud, since when was an offshoot of punk from the 1980s a religion? I DID try to explain what Goth is, based on Jillian Venters' and Amy Asphodel's beautiful works, but I figured that this kind of parents won't listen or understand anyway, so I rarely spoke.
When they told me to change, I said "YES".
HAHAHAHAHA. And I went out of the bedroom door with uncontrollable laughter.
Filipinos are known for their devout Catholicism and sad conformity. As a result, my being goth usually became serious family discussions. Scary, yes. All my siblings told me to change.
"Black is evil."
"Skulls are sacred because our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit."
"Cemeteries are meant to be respected."
"Death is taboo."
"Tragic stories should be avoided and not appreciated."
"Minxie, you're so pretty and smart and talented. Why did you ever disrespect yourself by becoming a goth?!"
OH GOD! Y PEOPLE NO UNDERSTAND?!
What is there to "change"? My identity? MY VERY OWN SELF?
They told me to change. I said "YES".
But time went by and I still kept on wearing black and my interests remained the same (the hell I care).
Good news is, time has finally come when my family gets shocked when I wear another color, or when I sing a mainstream song.
Recently though, my mom had this odd idea that she thought explains my being goth.
I shared to her about the auditory hallucinations I've been experiencing since I was four, the frequent sleep paralyses, and the strange, extreme mood swings. I asked if I need to see a psychiatrist for all the worsening conditions, but instead she said, "I need to bring you to a PRIEST, not a psychiatrist. You're possessed, not mentally-ill! That's exactly why you like dark things and wear black! I'm going to schedule an exorcism for you! We'll pray the rosary every night this week."
But I was kind of excited and curious to know how exorcism works, though. HAHA.
Good thing she forgot about it the scheduled day when I should get "exorcised".
I got bullied in school, but that's okay. I'm already convinced that dumb, birdbrained, ignorant psychos will NEVER understand what Goth is, so I did nothing about all that sneering and rumor-spreading, though it sure hurts. I just ignored them. Bullying is okay, but mistaking me for an EMO?
It's just effing, stupid, god damn WRONG! When people call me Emo, I go nuts and extremely pissed. EMO is NEVER GOTH, and GOTH HAS NEVER BEEN THE "ANCESTOR" OF EMO. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. FFFFFUUUUU!
But I guess I just have to understand that almost 98% of all the people in this country have never seen a goth before.
My neighbors also had talked to my parents about me, that I should, then again, STOP all this weird nonsense I'm changing into. Tsk, meddling farts. However, after years of being a goth, everyone around seems to have become accustomed to it, and it feels like a great achievement. :)
So how about my love life, you ask? Well.. I sure have dated quite a great number of really good-looking boys though I'm like this. :"> The usual confession?
"You're different from all the other girls around, that's why I love you."
The best thing about not pretending is that people tend to like you even more, because you're true to yourself and honest about every little thing you do.
SO TO ALL THE BABY BATS WHO ARE READING OUT THERE...
1) Keep researching and keep learning!
Read online articles and blogs like this (HAHA); watch videos like Gothic Charm School, and DON'T listen to what MEDIA has to say about what goth is.
2) Listen to the "Eldergoths"
If you know of someone goth and wiser, listen to what they have to say though it hurts most of the times. xD
3) Survive the Family Issues
Listen to what they think and don't do something rash or risky. Explain to them nicely, but if they don't understand, then don't force them to, because they soon will, whether they like it or not.
4) Be Yourself
This is the most important. The goths you see in movies are always angry, serious, silent, and creepy, aren't they? But I tend to disagree to this. Everyone is made different and unique. Though we dress the same way and like the same stuff, we all have different characteristics and personalities. Not all goths are the same. I'm talkative and funny at times, I like girly stuff, and I'm sensitive. But I'm still goth. See? If you try to fake yourself and act weird because you're "goth", then everyone, I guess, will hate you. HAHA, sorry.
5) Have fun and don't grow up too fast
We're still kids. Let's enjoy our youth. I'm still a kid myself and I'm making the most out of it, because once we grow old, we'll wish we'd be young again and we'll miss everything. Be a good, batty kid :3
6) Give the subculture a good name! ♥
If you're proud to be goth, then show it. Be nice and approachable, and share your talents and flaunt your assets. This way, people will be convinced that not all goths are like this and that.
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Hope I helped.
I lalalove you, Baby Bats! <3