Goth

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The term Goth is used for a youth subculture based on the aesthetic of the Gothic novel, Edgar Allan Poe, and vampire tales, especially their modern updating by Anne Rice.

Goths affect a pale, "haunted" appearance and nocturnal habits. They often wear white make-up to pale the cheeks and accent their eyelids and lips with black or another dark colour. Hair is usually dyed black, but streaks of red or blue are also common. Goths often wear an abundance of silver jewellery (ankhs, dragons, and elaborate crosses are popular). Clothing is usually plain coloured (black being again the favourite), sometimes with frilly accessories as worn by noble people of past centuries. The pseudo-Edwardian look is a favorite.

Male and female outfits do not differ much, except for dresses worn by women sometimes. Male Goths may wear make-up, long hair and lace blouses (modern Western culture associates blouses and visible make-up with women).

The Goth subculture has their own genre of music. It is part heavy metal and part New Age, and part completely original.

It has been speculated that the Goth aesthetic originated in the early 1800's as a response to wide-spread tuberculosis and that its modern revivial was a response to the AIDS epidemic.

Goths should not be stereotyped as depressed, disaffected youths, because not all of them are. There are also varying degrees of "Goth-ness", so a hard-core Goth is not the same as a person who likes to wear Gothic clothes.