Understanding cybergoth

By MARIAH FREIRE

It’s one thing to admit you were into that “scene” in middle school, maybe even high school.

Of course, you probably listened to Fall Out Boy, Paramore, maybe some Linkin Park? Your hair straightener was your favorite possession, and perhaps you found inspiration from some dark-eyed raccoons.

But when I asked a friend what his most embarrassing phase was, he replied “Cybergoth.”

I froze for a minute. Cybergoth? Cybergoth as in industrial clothes made of PVC and pleather leggings and platforms? I laughed and said he couldn’t be serious.

He was. And from there I became fascinated. Coming from the ‘90s club scene in NYC and the rave scene in the United Kingdom, Cybergoth combines a very industrial look with pops of neon colored clothing as well as hair extensions. Gas masks are often worn, many piercings may be present, and Goth is definitely the approach.

I did my research, looking it up on Wikipedia, even looking for tags on Tumblr, hoping to find more insight. I was shocked, but still incredibly intrigued. I googled the music, the club scene, the dancing. Here was a subculture so within its own world; I couldn’t even begin to understand what it was like.

Cybergoth combines some hard, industrial music like Rivethead with Goth fashion, resulting in a unique mix of hardcore, heavy black clothing and bright, neon colors. It’s like quite literally entering a Cyberpunk book. You’re in another world. Fishnets everywhere, metal on everything, goggles typically not worn over eyes, even LED boards on clothing.

It’s a dark dystopia that a Cybergoth might actually find utopian.

The amount of time and effort put into clothing and makeup seems unimaginable, yet some of the people I came across put more thought, and were more talented than I’d ever be at simple plain techniques. My laughter quickly turned into appreciation for a culture that made no sense to me, yet I could respect.

Even the hair was beyond me. Elaborate and bright colored extensions known as ‘dread falls’ are common, usually made of synthetics, ribbon, yarn, basically any material possible (including cables, foam, crin, etc.) It’s big and over the top, but so is basically everything in Cybergoth.

The music, however, was not something I could particularly understand. A hard-style techno mixed with hardcore Goth rave music is just not something I find myself into. While I’ll admit, at first listen I thought to myself maybe I can do this, the screaming behind the futuristic beats and high tempo were just not for me.

But that doesn’t take away from the fact that there are dance clubs dedicated to Cybergoth music. Which got me wondering. How does one dance to Cybergoth? You’d be surprised by how many videos there are on YouTube. And though I’d probably die if I went to a Cybergoth club, it’s an experiment I may have to try for myself.

Sure, it’s easy to write off, but the effort and the boldness Cybergoths have to wear and present themselves in whatever way they like, despite any negative commentary is courageous.

People shave off their eyebrows to draw them on in lilacs and bold ceruleans. Face dye is used to create ultra-pale skin. It’s alternative, and it’s kind of weird, but to all the Cybergoths out there- to you I salute.

You have more courage than I ever will.

(Maria Freire is a staff writer for 2Blue Media Group.)

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