Snarklings! There are so many exciting things still going on at Gothic Charm School! Such as the lovely new merchandise that the Lady of the Manners wrote about last week: the Gothic Charm School Batty Heart necklace from Rocklove Jewelry, and the Gothic Charm School Body Butter from Starborn Alchemy! Go forth and investigate those clicky-links for more information and to purchase the items.
Of course, there’s also the Gothic Charm School Book Tour Diary over at the Lip Service Webzine, where you can read all about the wacky hijinks that happen when the Lady of the Manners and her dear husband do a lot of traveling.
Speaking of the book tour, the next place the Lady of the Manners will be at is at the Innocente Seraphim Gothic Lolita and Ball-Jointed Doll convention in Bellevue, WA! The Gothic Charm School panel is at noon on August 8th. Innocente Seraphim describes the panel thusly: “Jillian Venters, aka “The Lady of the Manners,” answers questions about decorum and etiquette for Goths and the Non-Goths in their lives. I was in attendance at her book signing when a person asked if Lolita Fashion was a Goth spin-off. Jillian’s witty and thoughtful answer showed she knew Lolita Fashion and the EGL community and the similar problems both our communities share.” The Lady of the Manners is quite looking forward to spending the weekend surrounded by people in frilly dresses, and is hoping that her willpower is strong enough to keep her from succumbing to the lure of the ball-jointed doll hobby.
In addition, there is an interview with the Lady of the Manners in the Seattle Times, an upcoming Blog Talk interview with Glass of Win on August 12th, and a signing at The Dreaming Comics in Seattle on August 15th! So yes, things are still busy around Gothic Charm School headquarters, to say the least!
Now, onto a question from a reader! gothic goldie wrote in with the following concern:
question: lady of the manners,
it seems as if i have quite a terrible situation at hand. my mother has recently been putting more and more restrictions on my gothic lifestyle. ever since i have become gothic (3 years ago), my mother has been slowly limiting me. at first she didnt limit me at all, i was more into the vampiric and victorian and such. then she decided i wasnt allowed to wear any collers or cuffs, then the black hair dye had to go and eventually shes saying no makeup. i fear that some time soon she will decide enough is enough and say “NO BLACK”. currently i look like a gothic goldie locks thats trying far too hard to look nonconforming for i havent a clue to dress within my mothers limitations or convince her to lighten her rules. please assist me in dressing withing her limits or changing her mind.
Firstly, gothic goldie, let the Lady of the Manners reassure you that being a Goth does not mean you have to dye your hair black or any other color, or even wear makeup. True, it is easier to proclaim your devotion to our dark and spooky world through elaborate makeup and unnaturally colored hair, but such signifiers are not required to be a Goth.
By “no makeup”, does your mother mean no makeup at all, or does she mean no overly Goth makeup? If you’re not sure, spend some time applying makeup in a very subdued manner; just some translucent powder, a thin line of black eyeliner, mascara, and a sheer but deeply-colored lip stain. Then ask your mother what she thinks of that style of makeup. You may be in for a pleasant surprise!
You say that you were more into the “vampiric and victorian”. Do you mean you favored a more antique style to your clothing? Because that’s what the Lady of the Manners pictured when she read that. But upon reading that you weren’t allowed to wear any collars or cuffs, she realized that perhaps she was thinking ruffled chokers and lace-festooned cuffs, while you meant more of the leather and o-ring type of collar and cuff accessories. The Lady of the Manners is going to make a guess and assume that you are in your teen years? If the Lady of the Manners is correct, then your mother’s objections to some of your Goth accessories might be more … understandable, at least.
Snarklings who have read Gothic Charm School before might be able to guess what advice the Lady of the Manners is going to give you next, gothic goldie. What you really need to do is sit down with your mother and have a conversation with her about what, exactly, are her objections to your appearance. If she says something like “I just don’t like it”, ask her why she doesn’t, ask her for specific reasons. But! Before you have this conversation with her, there are two things you need to do. One, find examples of Goth looks and styles that you like that you can show her, so she is aware of how varied the Goth spectrum really is. Two, make sure that you will be able to keep your temper. Yes, it will be difficult, especially when talking to your mother about something that is so important to you that she seems to have turned against. But by trying to discuss the topic without resorting to outbursts such as “But you don’t understand!”, you will show your mother that you are serious about wanting to express yourself in a manner that is pleasing to you.
(However, the Lady of the Manners wants to make it clear that if you aren’t able to keep your temper, if your emotions get the better of you, there is nothing wrong with that. Heaven knows the Lady of the Manners is not the Queen of Logic when it comes to discussing things that are important to her …)
Anyway, yes, talk to your mother about her concerns over your style. See if you can reassure her, and see if the two of you can reach some compromises about things. And please do write back to the Lady of the Manners to let her know if you took her advice and if it helped!
With that, Snarklings, the Lady of the Manners is going to go back to sorting through all of the helpful advice people have sent in for Goths of color, and perhaps take a break to start planning her outfits for the Innocente Seraphim convention. As always, be sure to check out the clicky-links for all of the merchandise, and feel free to write!