This is a follow up to "Say hello to the fat guy"
This one won't have the humor I usually splash about. I want to clarify things as directly as possible.
I had a feeling I could have been wrong about a lot based on what little I could see of the article. For reference sake this is all I could see :
Compared to the entire article with the interview.
Big difference. The interview is rather vague but it does help clear up a couple of points.
As well as this I had a poke around Club Bodice's facebook page to see how they are promoting themselves. Link is here
And finally Zakkarrii, a colleague of mine whom I have guest spotted with on the Cemetery Confessions podcast; interviewed the lady behind the event in an attempt to clarify a few things that were vague. I deliberately waited for her interview to be published before writing this as I knew it would clear up a lot. Her article/interview is here.
From what I can gather from all of the new evidence above this is how I see it. Club Bodice doesn't really seem any different to any other goth/dark alternative club night aside from an emphasis on body positive promotion. It is not trying to segregate the goth community but to promote less shitty behaviour that divides it. In fact the way they promote reminds me of some things we have had done here in Adelaide, minus the body positive spam on the facebook page. In fact if I had access to an event like this I would check it out.
So for my conclusions that this event could be toxic for the local scene and bad for the subculture overall I apologize. I was wrong.
Regarding Shawna's negative experiences in the goth scene I have heard similar stories. Funny enough from thin people. There are those out there who will pursue a boyfriend because he's taken no matter who is dating him. Yet if he's single they won't touch them. Happens all the time. People are messed up like that. I think with people who pull bullshit like that its more about them thinking they can take whatever they want, more than a direct insult to the people involved. Its about power and control to boost their ego. It's a game to them. That's just my opinion on it, I could be wrong.
As for the "elitists" she describes, to be honest they sound more like wannabees to me. They are trying to impress the elite to join the inner circle. The real elite don't need to do stuff like that as they have nothing to prove.
If anyone uses such tactics to rise up it's shameful, but that speaks more about the people on top allowing them to social climb in such a disgraceful manner. If you want to earn your stripes, do it by building yourself up and not by tearing others down.
Also riding someone elses coattails won't give you real status. If they are pulled from under you, back down you go. Shawna is doing it the right way. Create something good. Build from the ground up and it's harder to be knocked down. But people will talk, and being in a perceived position of power (part of an elite clique, an event manager, a prominent DJ, a prolific model/performer) does paint a target on your back.
As for"a zero tolerance policy for shaming and harassment" that's standard for events I work at here. I imagine most events across the world are the same. The problem is a lot of stuff happens that people don't tell anyone about or if they do they wait until after the event when no one can do anything about it. As event staff, I want people telling us when harassment happens. Stamp it out so people know that shit is not ok. Also if people see stuff happening they should get involved - directly or via event staff. But don't get violent.
I guess what one sees as harassment and shaming is interpretative though. If someone were to proclaim how goth something is and I were to inform them they are wrong and politely explain why, some might deem that as trying to embarrass them. Reality is that's how we all learned because we all got things wrong. It's all in the approach. Ganging up on someone to pick them apart is wrong.
Anyway while I'm here there are a couple of other things I'd like to cover that I didn't in the last article. I'll start with some good stuff raised in the thread posted on reddit in my last article's thread.
Mcspookypants makes a couple of excellent points here. Overweight women are marginalized more than overweight men in mainstream culture. I would dare say overweight men are generally considered ahead of women generally in mainstream culture too. That's the patriarchal society we live in and its why feminism is still a thing.
The goth subculture is influenced by mainstream culture as much as we'd hate to admit it. Just look at how its gone more conservative since 9/11 - just like the mainstream. Times change and as overall consensus changes so does that in counter culture.
But at the same time goth still has its roots in punk and post-punk. So that element of doing things differently still exists even if opinion at the time waters it down. Different for goth includes having women on a more even footing as men, a lot of the time a better footing.
Musically its a pretty even spread in the goth subculture but in modelling and fashion the ladies have it dominated hands down. One could argue that it's a result of patriarchal fanservice from the outside and there are certainly outsider men who pursue the whole "gawth chix r hawt" agenda. But overall goth is much more accepting of androgyny and gender fluidity than the mainstream and that comes from within.
As for subcultures in general being dominated by men I can't argue with that. I agree it shows how special goth is to buck against that trend.
Ponyproblematic's first post reminds me of the old line "I'm not racist but..." then they make a racist joke. Except in her example it's a fat person. Goes to show how boring and cruel some people can be to make thinly veiled insults into jokes like that. Or at least to defensively dismiss it as a joke if called out on it.
No one can tell anyone how to feel. Her experience says it happens where she is and she feels it is common enough. So it could indeed be a regional thing, or at least something in her region. Until I hear more stories I can only go my what I have seen and heard. But that's some proof that at least in some places it is could be a problem that needs to be addressed.
There was another post from a rather proud fat shamer but I'm not going to address it further than saying it proves my point about how it happens online. There are no direct consequences so people are a lot bolder than they would be in real life. That's how the internet has always been.
Fat Man Fashion
Something someone wanted me to cover at some point is looking at participating in the goth subculture not as a fat person, but as a fat man. In particular the fashion/style side of things. We hear plenty about fat ladies but the fat men aren't so vocal.
I have said it before in previous articles but its worth repeating for clarity. I participate in goth subculture but I am not necessarily goth. I have a heavy interest in goth music and subculture. I even DJ actual goth sets. My main interest is in industrial however. also worth mentioning I'm in Australia so buying online means importing from USA, UK or Europe most of the time.
For the fat man options are generally few and far between. I can get basic clothing items in black, red or purple fairly easily enough locally. For anything more intricate or detailed the internet is generally where to go. Ebay is your friend as well as webstores. Problem is sizing isn't a standard across the world. Sometimes I buy a shirt that should fit and doesn't, other times I go for bigger sizes to be safe and they are huge on me.
You can get around sizing differences going by measurements instead but you have to be sure you measure your biggest parts. Also with the way men are fat, your lower half is often near to normal where your top half is a lot bigger. Case in point - in Australian measurements (which can also fluctuate store to store) I'm only a XXL at my waistline but at least 5XL for a shirt. If I want a looser fit I'll go as high as 7XL (as big as big departments in Big W and Target go) yet the same size shirt from USA is only 3XL.
Also worth mentioning that the more fabric it takes to make something, the more they usually charge. So buying online you don't want to outlay a heap for it to arrive and not fit. I tend to always go a little bigger to be safe whether buying via size, measurements or having something custom made.
Finding a waistcoat that fit me was tricky. A suit jacket was no problem. Even in the larger men departments the biggest they went was to 3XL, 4XL in a large men's store. My guess is there simply isn't the demand for them. So I had to go online. I ended up finding a very basic black/satin one on ebay. But of course Ebay teased me with all the beautiful brocade ones that only went up to 3XL if lucky, usually XXL in most cases. In fact for clothing in general online and locally the upper limits range between XL-3XL depending on the brand and what it is. The choice of t shirts locally that aren't a basic colour (hey I'm happy with plain black anyway) is woeful.
The basic items are great and all but what about other things? How to goth it up. That's what accessories are for! Pendants, gloves, ties, brooches, rings, badges, fishnet stockings turned into shirts and so on. A lot of the time you have to re-purpose stuff or DIY things. But that's all part of the goth/punk territory. I have a skeletal hand hairclip I use on a jacket lapel for example.
Speaking of re-purposing I tend to acquire a lot of ladies clothing items and use them. Skirts are surprisingly easy to find in a size that fits. Dresses can be modified or worn as is. Sure the sizing and shape is a little different but that's what measurements are for. If I want to do a complete crossdress add in a wig, makeup and fake boobs (I have a pair of mastectomy "chicken fillets") and you are good to go. Regarding fake boobs general idea is bigger the boobs, the smaller your gut appears. So I bought the biggest ones I could find for a price I was willing to pay. I still feel weird wearing them having so much of my lower vision cut off by them.
The rivethead in me also attracts me towards military stuff. Cammo pants are everywhere and I'm grateful for that. I love browsing army surplus stores looking for cool stuff. Customizing a jacket with military pins is great. Finding a full face gas mask is like unearthing treasure. I have only ever found 2 different ones, I hope to find more in the future. Military officers' hats, helmets, scrim netting, ammo boxes, empty shell casings - all good for that militaristic style. Plus GPs are some of the cheapest and durable boots you will ever buy.
As for shoes I have found as I get older I can't handle anything with massive heels. Plus as a fat man anything that could cause me to be unstable on my feet is bad. Add in most events I'm on my feet all night I opt for comfort over style.I have always preferred simpler styles anyway. Long pants/skirt will usually cover them anyway. Recently I have been wearing black sneakers or pointy dress shoes.
I used to be a size 9 shoe but now I wear an 11. Partly due to fluid retention in my feet/ankles, partly due to feet changing over time. If I wear the dress shoes I usually bring something conformable for the walk home. Knock it all you like but Crocs are extremely comfortable. They are like putting on a new pair of feet at the end of a long night.
OP shop finds are slim pickings for the fat man. You either have to get very lucky or find things to re-purpose. I like to look often but I rarely find things for me. Yet somehow my partner finds stuff for me a lot more. She found me an awesome velvet dress once. Though she often buys stuff for herself, doesn't like it and I inherit it. Yay for me.
That pretty much covers it. In short its a case of making do with what you can find unless you can throw lots of money at it for custom stuff. But that's not really much different to anyone else except off the rack options are a lot more limited.
-Aytakk has been active in the goth scene since the mid 90s both online and in real life. He firmly believes in the old line "if you don't get the joke, you are the joke". As well as this he produces music for a couple of music projects: Corpulence On The Catwalk (goth/darkwave/coldwave) and Hypnophile (aggrotech/power noise). He is also a club DJ and nemesis of DJ Jelly.