Saturday, 10 December 2011

Guess-my-age Goths

The image that many outsiders still have of Goths is of a sullen teenager in black lipstick and lace. (Or a corseted clubgoer in their twenties.) You would not believe how many times I have tried - and failed - to convince assorted friends and aquaintances that no, this is not something I will be giving up when I turn twenty-five, and no, you are not too old to dabble in dark fashion.

I met a lady aged forty who was selling off all her Goth attire at a jumble sale because she felt she was now too old for it. I might be mistaken, but since most of her shirts were of rock and metal bands I felt she was possibly an admirer of the Goth aesthetic but had never really gotten involved with what I tend to refer to as 'the Goth scene proper', or she surely would have discovered that, at twenty, I am one of the youngest club-going Goths in a thirty-mile radius. Most Goths that I have had the pleasure to meet offline have been in their thirties and forties.

However, you might not know it from looking at them. Maybe it's the make-up, the association of 'Goth' with 'youthfulness' or the tendency of most Goths to avoid direct sunlight whenever possible, but I have noticed that a lot of Goths seem to stop ageing in their mid-twenties.

So, to celebrate a future in which none of us have to give up our hair dye, eyeliner, and opulent attire, I thought I'd see if my readers can guess (without the use of Google, you cheating pirate) the ages of these gorgeous and well-known Goths. There are no prizes; this is just for fun (and to prove a point). Answers are at the bottom of the post - please post a comment with the age you would guess for each person pictured BEFORE you check the answers. ;-)

1. Adora BatBrat - model, fashion designer and singer

Source: Adora Batbrat's blog
(c) Adora Batbrat

2. Siouxsie Sioux - infamous punk and Goth singer and style icon
Source: Google
3. Clint Catalyst - author, poet, actor, performer, writer for Haute Macabre, model, beauty pageant judge and designer muse (phew!)
Source: Buzznet
4. Abby Sciuto (played by Pauley Perrette) - Abby is a 20-something forensic scientist in TV crime drama NCIS, but how old is the actress who plays her?
Source: Google
5. Lady Amaranth - model
Source: Tumblr

6. Jillian Venters - author, blogger, creatress of Gothic Charm School
Source: RockLove Jewellery
The marvellous Ms. Venters is pictured wearing the Batty necklace, all proceeds from which go towards Gothic Charm School book tours - a worthy cause!

Answers (highlight to reveal): Adora BatBrat is a married mother of three, aged 39; Siouxsie Sioux is 54 and recently wore a rubber catsuit to the Q Awards; Clint Catalyst is still every bit the dramatically-dressed dandy at 40; actress Pauley Perrette is 42 and still looks the part of a mid-twenties Goth girl; the insanely beautiful Lady Amaranth is 31; Jillian Venters, inspiration to a zillion Goth girls, is 'in her early forties'.

Sure, the models amongst this bunch may get a dose of photoediting, but you can see from Adora's daily outfit and make-up photos on her blog (see the link below her photo) that she is practically ageless, and Siouxsie is still rocking out... I don't see our Lady of the Manners giving up a wardrobe that consists of petticoats, top hats and candy stripes any time in the next handful of decades either.

Yes, my examples above are relatively young, but they do prove that Goth doesn't stop around the 25-years-old mark.

And if you're still worrying that 40 or 50 is too old to be a Goth, there's always this guy.


VelvetBat said...

A few years ago when I still attended some cybergothic clubnights, I also met a few people who were 40+ or even 50+ and still enjoying themselves there. And I am glad they do!
I am also glad that I don't have to stop being goth after I turn 25, or else I have only 1 year and a couple of months left! O_O

And even though I don't really know if I would still wear my lolita frills at age 40, I am 100% positive that I will wear at least something goth when I am 40+. (Maybe I will turn to victorian goth or something).

And btw, I am very bad at guessing peope's ages so I got them all wrong. XD

Plüschokalypse said...

I`m sorry, Adora turned 39 at the beginning of december. Check it out, she actually wrotes about it :)

ultimategothguide said...

D'oh my bad - editing now.

Stefanie said...

Thanks to Plu ;)

Adora - 39

Siouxsie - 50

Clint - 26

Abby/Pauley - 40 (I did read her age on Wiki ages ago and was shocked but the exact number escapes me)

Lady Amaranth - 25

Jilian Venters - 32

1 out of 6 and only because of the helpful comment of Plu above :)
Closest to Siouxsie and Abby though.

Abigail said...

I like your idea of being a goth "for life". It´s the same with me. I think I won´t change my way of life when I´ll be 25 or 30, 40, whatever. :) It´s not just a styling, it´s so much more.

And I definitely would like to know Adoras secret of beauty and youth *g*

Tenebris In Lux said...

This is an important lesson, Amy, that I believe can be hard to teach. You don't need to be some "whiny, angst-ridden teenager with eyeliner" to understand this subculture LET ALONE participate. I wish I knew some older Goths, or at least more Goths in person in general :-/

By the way, that older Goth gentleman you linked to? Never saw that photo before, but it is all sorts of awesome! :-)

MistressOfTheDecay said...

Adora Batbrat: Late 20's?
Siouxsie Sioux: 40's?
Clint Catalyst: 30?
Abby: 30's?
Lady Amaranth: Late 20's?
Jillian Venturs: 40's?
Oh wow, the only ones in which I got even remotely correct were Lady AMaranth and Jillian Venturs...

katysioux said...

Without looking at the answers, here are the ones I know:

Adora: I believe she is 39 now?

Siouxsie is about mid 50's I think.

Pauley is in her early 40's

Jillian is 42.

katysioux said...

I think staying out of the sun has A LOT to do with staying young looking. I know "mainstream fashion" says that wearing dark makeup and clothing makes you look older, but I actually think that all of the people above would look much closer to their ages if they were wearing more "age appropriate" fashions

katysioux said...

P.S. I'm only 26 and I already get people who are surprised at how old I am.

Kamyria Magdalena Mourn said...

This is a great post Amy!! Yes, goth doesn't have an age limit because goth is a way of life, not just fashion. I'm turning 40 in two weeks and I wouldn't dream about putting away my goth wardrobe or not listening to my favorite music or not collecting skulls, bats and other spooky things, lol. I want more, not less. That gentleman in the link is such an inspiration. My goal is to grow old and inspire everyone around me with my different style and I hope all of you do the same. :)

Toxic Tears said...

Adora is 39, I would guess siouxsie is approaching 60, somewhere in her 50s? Clint I would guess late thirties, Abby, same, late 30s or early 40s, Lady Amaranth somewhere around 30, and Jillian somewhere in the 40 mark I think.:P

Anonymous said...

Is it allowed for a goth to be afraid of the dark?
I know it's stupid, but I had to ask.

Celeste said...

Adora- I know she's 39, but she looks about 30. :)

Siouxie Sioux- I know she's in her 60, but she doesn't look much older that 45

Clint Catalyst- 35?

Pauley Perrette- 30?

Lady Amaranth- 23?

Jillian Venters- 40?

Minakitty (Mary) said...

I knew that Adora is 39, not just because of her most recent post, but of some calculating I'd done based on previous ones. I was shocked to find that she and I are the same age. Sadly, not all those of the same age are "created equally"!

When talking to colleagues who also watch NCIS, they're always shocked to learn Pauley Perrette's age.

I know that for the most part my look isn't going to change with age. I'll adjust my makeup accordingly, to avoid looking like "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?", but the clothing will always be black, with a dash of red.

Sakara said...

I'm 36 and would still be flaunting my more eleborate goth outfits if my health didnt prevent me from clubbing the way i did.

Amaranth is as beautiful in normal light as she is from a photographers lense..She is indeed ageless!

I dont think goth leaves people as they grow up, it just refines itself. During teens and 20s a goth is experimenting with what style they want to go with or what suits them best.As they grow older, perhaps due to work they tone down some of the more extreme forms with their more creative looks saved for WGW, WGT or suchlike. There was a good article in The Gaurdian about goths who rather than abandon their teen style had carried on regardless.

Jessie Aaker said...

Daaaamn!! I guessed high on a few of them but was still a good ten years off. That is some amazing age play taking place.

I've finally found my fashion niche and don't want to leave it anytime soon. I fully intend to be a forty year old in frilly clothing covered in crosses and bats. (actually I'm really curious what my wardrobe will look like after that much time has gone by.) :D

SilensRenata said...

Even though I have not one other spooky around me I know I am not giving my style up for the world. I just wish I had other goths to talk to, the normal people look at me like WTF when I talk to them

Traicetrak said...

Adora - I guessed around 28. Can't believe she's my age! Love that!

Siouxsy Sioux - I guessed 54, but I had read the catsuit article and think I retained that.

Clint - I guess my age ... around 39.

Pauley - I knew her age, but for the sake of playing along, guessed her to be mid-thirties.

Lady Amaranth - I guessed 25. Totally wrong on her and Adora.

Jillian - I knew her to be in her 40's, too, but for the sake of the game guessed 35ish.

I hope someday I can post pics of a couple of older ladies (60's or 70's) that have been spotted around here. May not be goths, per se, but definitely alternative. One sports what I'm termed the "granny hawk." You'd just have to see it.



Darling Violetta said...

Just because her band shirts weren't goth bands doesn't mean she didn't like any goth music. Also, from my experience there are people who still grow out of Goth after knowing it proper. A sad thing but some people gotta do what they gotta do.

I'm only 25 years old. 10 year ago or so there were a bunch of people I knew who were baby bats just as I. Many of us found the subculture at that time. Some of them even going on to become DJ's and put on events. To my surprise many of my friends grew out of it! Which did disappoint and shock me. Hey, whatever makes them happy I guess.

Anyway, I agree with your post. One can be a "grown up" and still be a goth. Although I can understand why people have a hard time understanding that. There's a large pool of people who are young that are attracted to the subculture. As I've talked about before it seems that mid-twenties is the sloffing off point for many. Kind of a funnelling effect. But still, goths in their 30's and 40's (even 50's) DO exist. They probably don't exist in the same amount as teen goths do. But, are still there no doubt. :)

Nightwind said...

Nancy Kilpatrick, the Canadian dark fantasy writer, vampire affectionado and author of "The Goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined" is 65 years old, according to Wikipedia.

I agree with Sakara's appraisal that Goth tends to "refine itself" as a person gets older and that Gothic events aside, an individual might tone down some of his or her more extreme forms. It seems to me that at some point--at some undefined age, this becomes necessary.

In my own case, I discovered Goth later in life; so there never was a transition from youthful expressions to my present state of being. I do refine and keep my style somewhat toned down during my everyday affairs. Still, I must be doing something right when people see me coming and say, "Oh no! Here comes Count Dracula."

Anonymous said...

SugarRat said...

Some years ago I attended this Finnish goth party event thingy called Schatten, unfortunately after being around 10 years Schatten was quit and I'm wagerly waiting if the same group of volunteers would start a new thing but so far nothing... AAAaanyway.. I was back then 18 and I have to say: I was probably the youngest there! Most of the people were way beyond their 25th birthday or even older than 35... I felt a bit out placed the first time I went there but I got used to it after few times but never completely before the end came to the event :C But it is true that most goths are actaully much older than some random teenagers having that "rebel gothic teen age" some people of course go much farther from that to really become a goth and adopting into the lifestyle :)

Nephälia VonDämonen said...

My guesses... let's see how well I do.
1. 39
2. 45
3. 31
4. 35
5. 36
6. 42
and so..
The only one I got exact was Adora BatBrat, and I guessed probably right about how old Jillian Venters is. But I was pretty much completely off on the rest XD

Caroline Carnivorous said...

I'm 17 years old and I'm 4'10'' and barely 65 pounds, with a babyface. So I don't have to worry, hahah!

Gothic Charm School said...

Awww, I'm incredibly flattered to have been included in this! (And for the record, I turned 43 in November.) :)

I guessed Adora was early 30s, and I knew everyone else's ages.

gin said...

In my early 20's, I use to help a lot with some goth clubs. Regular nights you might not see many older goths, but when there were bands, I think they outnumbered the people 25 and under. I have been lucky to have hung out with goths as old as 76, helped a woman celebrate her 65th birthday at a Cruxshadows show and hung out with people who drive the grandkids around in the back of a hearse. I think clothing in certain regards might tone down, though not always, but the rest of your goth personality comes out as you understand more about who you as you get older.

Oh, and happy to be 27 and mistaken for 19 if not younder^_^

Deven Rue said...

What now seems like eons ago, I was at a Goth club in Manhattan, NY and met a woman who was well into her 50s, maybe even 60s, dressed as one of the most beautiful and elegant Goths I had ever seen. At that moment, I realized Goths don't grow old, they simply evolve. At 37 years old, I can honestly say... I'm evolving and no, most people never guess my age.

Komrade Woyzeck said...

I'm 38 and if anything I identify more with goth as I get older. The benefits of aging are: more money, more security, more confidence and more real freedom.

Yes, you're eyesight may get worse but you can develop an inner sight that sees right through things. "Aging" is just another mundane social ritual of control.

"Act your age!" Puhleeeeze! I'm ageless, dahling.

GothBarbie said...

This was a really fun post! I've been goth since my teens and now in my 30's I'm still going to the same clubs and wearing some of the same dresses I did back then. I should post some photos from years ago before my blog...

Anonymous said...

What about a post to goths dressing for christmas? :333

Hexotica said...

All that time NOT spent in the sun has its benefits!

I'm 36! Will be 37 in March! o_0

Joyce said...

I didn't guess - I already knew most of them...I'm 43 and earlier this year went to the movies with some [much!] younger friends. The only thing funnier than the look on the face of the girl who carded me was the look on the face of the girlfriend of My-Good-Friend-John when she realised that (1) I was literally almost twice her age, and (2) no one had asked for her ID!

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Aliza said...

Adora BatBrat: 17/ 18
Siouxsie Sioux: 40
Clint Catalyst: 16
Pauley Perrette: 18/ 19
Lady Amaranth: 20 at most
Jillian Venters: late 30s

Jen Croton said...

Personally I love Abby's look and its one I really want to meld into my normal dress...or as perhaps a cosplay sometime...

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