I wasn't familiar with the term Babybat until I began searching for goth on the internet. In school we called those kids fakers or posers. Since the time I went to highschool being goth wasn't so popular anymore, I remember clearly the huge emo craze when I was in middle school [about 2003]. It's really cute to remember it now, but a bit weird to actually still see emos in the city from time to time, as apparently in Germany they haven't been extinct....
But I'm writing this post not to smother Babybats or to make a laugh. I've thought what it would be like if the advises I'm about to give would have been given to me back when I was experimenting/ failing with outfits and so forth... Or perhaps, what I would want to advice a Babybat that I might have known [already knew a few, no one of them listened].
- Know everything. I hope the command doesn't alarm you. I think it's quite important to know where the music that you're listening to came from, nevermind the genre. If it's hardcore and the like, know the origins, know when it began, know the roots. Same with metal; know the subgenres, know the dinosaur bands, explore! I think that when a person decides to identify himself with something [meaning this as not a bad thing, as it is not wrong to cling to something and find confidence in it by saying that you're a part of it, be it a musical genre or a style of clothing] he should respectively know what he's getting himself into, and if that person is crazy, let's say, about vampires, it's never harmful to know the key books/ films that have started the genre. That way you could also tell people what you like and share some history about it. Knowledge is only helpful.
On a side note, if you're into different styles of "stuff" know everything about all of them. I also think it's awesome to know a little about everything, like knowing and appreciating different bands of 3 different genres that have made great influence on the musical style you like!
- Don't buy a ton of clothes. Especially stuff that is too expensive and look very particular. When you are a teen, you're style changes constantly. I remember how I craved for a corset when I was 15 and was crazy about the Romantigoth style. After a year of wearing ruffled skirts I hanged all my victorian resembling clothes and never wore them again [never threw out them either, but about that later on in this post]. Don't pull cash from your parents to buy this one pair of trip pants that would probably look ridiculous to you in one or two years, maybe even in a few months! I always say- look for the goth clothes where people least expect them to be. I've mentioned here a couple of times that the rarest things I found were t second hand stores or cheapy random shops held by ethnic minorities downtown. Take time for your style to develop. Don't envy other people for having clothes you're dying to have right here right now, like a fancy Lolita dress or huge platform boots. Wait and be patient. It's a shame to waist a lot of money on something that will be of no use, making it very awkward each time your mother would remind you why don't you wear the beautiful velvet renaissance dress.
- Make your own shit. Experiment, glue stuff to your clothes, put studs on everything, dye things, cut out holes everywhere, wear random junk you find in your closet! Continuing the clothing point, and this maybe is hard to understand when one is in the bloom of his Babybat years, but the commercial "goth" stores that sell everything you've ever dreamed of, are not worth it. When every idiot can buy himself some Demonia boots, a beautiful garment and call himself goth, what's it worth? Will it make him or you more special? Make your own clothes, learn how to sew and diy anything. The feeling of wearing something that says "you" is amazing. Soon, people will start asking where did you buy your cool stuff and will be jealous just like you were, before discovering that making your own things is not only cheaper, but it is what makes you alternative and different, if that's what makes you happy of course. Answering those people that you've made it yourself is like a huge victory with fireworks. Couldn't find a better description.
- The magic of old clothes. I've discovered it again and again over the years. Finding old things in your wardrobe, modifying them or wearing them again with different outfits has made me cherish the clothes I have. It's such a magical moment, to discover how and item can serve you differently despite the change of style. That's why I haven't thrown our or sold my most favorite victorian items. I'm keeping them, either for the same purpose or in order to come back to them one day and see if I can pull them off differently.
- When in doubt- copy! This is also something that helped me a lot. When you don't know what kind of makeup will suit your face, when you have no clue how you should dress or what is worn with what, just copy. The internet is full of ideas of talented people. It's not a shame not to find your own style in the beginning, nor after a few good years of exploration. Experimenting in such way can give you a good idea about what makeup style makes you look good or the way you like, what doesn't suit you at all, what kind of clothes you love and how to scramble cool outfits! It's probably the one thing everyone in the subculture has done at least once ;) Also, it's not bad to draw idea from your idols, like Siouxsie makeup!
- There is no such thing as more or less goth. If you love being goth/ alternative, don't think that there is a scale from 1 to 10 on how you're doing it well. It's not a contest, it's not a stupid test, nor the other people who may explore goth like you should be compared to you or you to them. Be who you are, do what makes you feel happy, and don't think that you as you are now is not "goth enough" because *insert reason here*. There is no such thing, and if there were, then we'd all be running from goth like the plague. Remember that each person is a different story, and each person is special in their own way. Know that you yourself are special and there is no one in the world like you. The things you have overcome in your life are no better or worse than the things other people have overcome, hence there's absolutely no point in drilling the thought "I am better/ worse" into your head. If one would constantly think that he's better/ worse, one would never ever be happy, doesn't matter if he's goth or into something else. That's why next time you observe that cool person with the different tattoos and the funky colored hair, don't be jealous. He has a different life, you have yours.
Also, don't try on purpose to be like someone else. Sure, copying someone's style is one thing, but acting and trying to live a life of another person is something else, and it's always looked down upon. It also won't develop you as a person, to say the least. Don't smoke because your favorite band leader smokes, don't try to impersonate another's personality on yourself.
- Talk. If you're not feeling secure, if you're parents are everything but supporting- seek help. Talk to people online, watch youtubers, write a blog yourself and share your thoughts! Make friends online and in real life, also friends from different countries! Keeping in touch with people who are more experienced in the subculture can be a huge help and bring confidence. In the end people in the subculture are open minded and nice, despite how maybe the internet can project that. But I have no doubt that elder goths or people who have been a part of the subculture for a good amount of years would be happy to guide you and proved support on certain questions. Forums are also a good platform.
Hope you've enjoyed reading this post. I know there are plenty of different advises out there, but these were the ones I've felt personally important to mention. If you have something to add or if you disagree, please do comment! :)
Have a wonderful grey and cold weekend!