Goth Beauty, Style and Sexuality: Neo-Traditional Femininity in Twenty-First Century Subcultural Magazines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review





Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
JournalGothic Studies
Early online date26 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


‘All her favorite rags are worn and other kinds of uniform They kid you you're really free A case of individuality’ (Psychedelic Furs, ‘Pretty in Pink’, 1981) Whilst much critical attention has focused on goth, considerably less attention has been given to the gendered status of marketing and advertising in subcultural magazines. Subcultures are frequently represented by participants and critics as ‘idyllic’ spaces in which the free play of gender functions as separate and distinct from the ‘mainstream’ culture. However, as Brill (2008), Hodkinson (2002) and Spooner (2004) have identified, this is unfortunately an idealistic critical position. Whilst goth men may embrace an ‘androgynous’ appearance, goth women frequently espouse a look which has much in common with traditional feminine values. Slippages between subcultural marketing and mainstream advertising are frequent and often neo-traditional in their message regarding masculinity and femininity. By close inspection of scene representations of ‘goth’ in the twenty-first century through magazines such as Gothic Beauty (US), and Unscene and Devolution (UK), as well as interviews with participants in the culture, I would argue women’s goth fashion, sexuality and body image often (but not exclusively) represent a hyperfemininity which draws more from conventional ideas of womanhood than many members of the scene may openly acknowledge.

Download Title (Resource: downloads_chaqrt)

No data available