A Study of Gothic Subculture

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Updated 3-12-2009
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Julie S.

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City of residence: Salt Lake City, UT

Age: 24

Length of time in the scene: 5 years

Occupation: "I used to be a psych tech at the Utah State Prison, but now I'm a graduate student and research assistant." As a psych tech she administered MMPI tests, IQ tests and taught sex ed to sex offenders.

Education: "I graduated from Cerritos High School in 1992, then from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in psychology in 1996, and now I'm working on my masters degree at BYU in Marriage and Family Therapy." As a graduate student she does research in marriage and couple dynamics, gender issues and spirituality.

Musical taste: "Music is my absolute obsession! The Smiths are my all time favorite group. I also adore: Morrissey, Soft Cell, and Marc Almond. Other things I listen to frequently are: This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, Tones on Tail, Portishead, Kate Bush, Edward Ka-spel, Coil, Siouxsie and the Banshees, David Bowie, Julee Cruise, Jamiroquai, Japan, Depeche Mode, Wham, Pet Shop Boys, Madonna, Astrud Gilberto, and Ute Lemper. I love show tunes, especially Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. I also have an ongoing love affair with classical music: Chopin, Listz, Satie, Ravel, and Debussy. Lastly, I think Chris Isaac does extremely sexy stuff."

Distinctions in appearance: "My blondish hair is decked out with platinum streaks. My signatures are my tiara that I often wear to clubs and my ruby red slippers that I made back in my freshman year of college. I am called the princess of the L.A. gothic scene by some because of my propensity to show up at gothic clubs in pink or white gowns. I go to extreme lengths to keep my face as pale as possible by wearing SPF 15 every day under my makeup and spending limited time in the sun. Basically I wear conservative clothes to school, like trousers and twin sets with stacked heel Mary Janes, but I take time to make sure they are fashionable and chic because toning down your look doesn't mean being blah and dowdy."

Hobbies, activities, interests: "My favorite thing in the whole world is going to the ballet. I'm the biggest ballet junkie ever! I read about couture fashion obsessively in Vogue, W, and Harpers Bazaar, and I favor Yves St. Laurent, Christian Lacroixe, and Thierry Mugler. I love to read literature, like Kafka, Anais Nin, Milan Kundera, Oscar Wilde, and Raymond Chandler. Nightclubbing is quite the high for me. My active side gravitates toward boogie boarding in the waters of Huntington Beach. I love ballet and tap dancing, which I studied for years. I started on the violin in second grade, and I'll never give that up. I'm a film buff of sorts. David Lynch is my favorite film maker and I will die knowing that 'Twin Peaks' was the best thing ever. I recommend the Mystery of Rampo, which I caught at the International Cinema at BYU last winter. It was the most gothic movie I've ever seen. Look for it in the foreign film section. It's Japanese. Last of all, I love to have a good laugh with friends." She also has an extensive "Twin Peaks" scrapbook that she's very proud of.

Spiritual, philosophical, religious affiliation: "LDS, Mormon"

Goals, dreams: "I dream of becoming an excellent therapist and living near the ocean in West LA I want to get married in the temple and have children. My wish is that I will have a cultured family and hold season tickets to the ballet. I hope to pursue my artistic interests of taking up my study of the violin and dance again someday. In the near future upon completion of my masters degree, I am anxious to go to Europe and live it up a bit."

Do you consider yourself gothic?: "I do consider myself gothic. Outside of church where I have met many people that I grow with on a spiritual level, I have had the most success meeting people I relate to at gothic clubs. Old school goths might not define me as gothic because I don't have the artsy makeup down, much less the right coloring to play it off beautifully. Being gothic is less about my outside appearance than my interest in beautiful things, like being struck with reverence at the sight of the cathedrals I visited in England. I have always been attracted to stories of tragedy in literature, like Thomas Hardy and creepy images in film, like those from Hitchcock's Vertigo. In the music category, I'm drawn to very moody and broody classical music like Mozart's Requiem, demonic piano by Franz Listz, and the tear jerking works of Chopin. To sum it up, if I could transform myself into anybody, I would be a beautiful mysterious character with ghostly skin and long curly hair. My husband would be slightly ghastly with chiseled bone structure and a lovely array of velvet jackets." She says that she likes the glamour, magic and sparkle of the gothic scene, and it is not an attraction to darkness for her. It is beauty and elegance, "a profound appreciation for moods and ambiance. Gothic people go to the effort to create beautiful surroundings (physical and mental) for themselves. It is an appreciation for the romantic and subtle nuances of life."

9/29/97 last updated 4/25/98



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