Exquisite Corpse: Teen Goth!

by angeliska on November 30, 2011

baby goth cinamon
This is Cinamon. I remember seeing her on the very same day, though I didn’t take this photograph of her.
I was probably 12 at the time, and as I passed by her on The Drag down by Sound Exchange, the trajectory
of my life changed. I was completely mesmerized. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen – a vision
in black tatters, a gorgeous alien-wraith who seemed like an apparition, drifting down a banal sidewalk in the
bright Texas sun. I stopped and told her how beautiful I thought she was, and she was so sweet to me. I’ve held
this photo dear for years, a treasured gift from a mutual friend. She was such a huge influence on not only my style,
but scores of others, (maybe even yours!)Cinamon was the original inspiration for Neil Gaiman’s Death character
from the Sandman series
. Her friend Mike Dringenberg drew her years before, and by an odd twist of chance
(or fate), this woman unwittingly helped shape the style of scads of wee gothlings. Cheers to you, Cinamon!
Baby Goth Angel
Dressing like a Russian vampire countess was my thing even back then – pretty hilarious,
considering that this was in Texas. I wore that fur hat and coat everywhere, despite the mild weather.
Oh, and – this was taken in a Whataburger at 3am. The cereal box was because of my friend
Christopher Daniello, who wrote songs about Raisin Bran, and liked to photograph people holding it.
baby goth pandora
I got inspired on a gray day to take “post-apocalyptic” gloomy goth photos of my best friend Pandora in my backyard.
I always really loved how this photo of her turned out – it has nice movement to it, despite (or because of)
being taken with a crappy-ass disposable camera. Oh the angst! The torment!
The rusty wreckage & glow-in-the dark rosaries! Oh, and she’s 11 years old here. Ummm…
baby goths
Pandora, Renee and I being weird and bitchy at some party.
baby goth
This one was taken by Pandora’s papa, at their dining room table. Note my clever accessorizing with black cat and juice boxes.
Teen goth afterschool special all the way. Also, I love how her dad insisted on having Dali’s Last Supper hanging in there.
baby goth la 2
I love that my sweet granny took these photos. All four of my grandparents were the most accepting, tolerant and loving
a grandchild could ask for. I was so blessed to have them. No matter how bizarre or dark my ensemble, they were always
able to look beyond it, and just see me. I think you can see the love in these photos. I know it’s there, caught like a lizard in
amber – the memory of my grandparent’s wonderful backyard in Los Angeles, the smell of lemons and oranges from their
trees, spicy roses, ice cream and fir needles. I asked my grandmother what she thought of my outfit, and she said that I’d
be more beautiful without the black lipstick, but that that was just her opinion. She captured me as I was. So much love.
baby goth la 3
My mom’s beautiful antique rosaries which I destroyed and then lost.
Still regret doing that, dammit! Also, a neon yellow rat, because, you know.
baby goth la 1
Aw, look – it’s baby’s first pair of Doc Martens! They were oxblood steel-toe
and I bought them on sale. I really wanted 20-hole boots, but these were all I
could afford on my three dollar a week chore-slave allowance. The rest I spent
on clove cigarettes and LSD. Sorry ma + pa! I turned out all right, though!
baby goth dance
Dancing for New Bohemia’s first fashion show. I think I’m maybe 14 or 15 here? Jeez.
baby goth lolla
That was me watching Nick Cave and falling in love before swooning from sunstroke.
Baby vampires + outdoor summer music festivals are a bad combo. Lollapalooza 1994
was my first and last! I fainted on the ground and everyone just thought I was on
drugs and stepped over me. It was pretty rad. At least I made it into the paper, I guess.
baby goth angel 2
Moving into some club kid-isms. Electrical tape bra + kiddie barrettes. Hey there 1990s.
Baby Goth Colin
My sweetheart Colin, pre-beard. Who would have known that 18 years later,
I’ve ended up with my perfect sulky goth-boy dreamboat? He’s a lot less sulky
(with way more facial hair!) these days, but he still insists that we have
Skinny Puppy marathons on long road trips and is prone to pensiveness!
Is he not the prettiest goth-boy, ever? Yes, yes he is. Major swoon!


Oh man. OH MAN. I WISH I had been a teen goth. I think everyone probably assumes that I was, but it is not true! I was a teenage metal-head. Which you would think with all the black tee shirts and eyeliner is fairly similar, but it is not at all, ha! Iron Maiden 4-EVER!
I am not even close to gothy now either, (my look is sort of…pre-Raphealite…hobo) but I do love a dark aesthetic and all of the trappings that go with, and I can’t wait to see more baby goth photos!

by mlle ghoul on November 30, 2011 at 5:58 am. Reply #

Cuuuute! And I was just watching The Craft last night, hehe. 90s goth…memories…

by alanna on November 30, 2011 at 6:53 am. Reply #

Hee hee! I wish I had pictures of some of my circus clown/pirate/New Wave ensembles from high school that I called “goth.”
When I was just out of college and working my first-ever grown-up job in Chicago, I was walking home from the train station one evening when one of the punk runaway kids at the corner of Clark & Belmont asked me for change and, when I shook my head, called me a “yuppie whore.”
I whipped around and yelled, “I KNOW what those J. Peterman pants you’re wearing cost! I KNOW what 20-hole Docs cost, and I can’t afford anything you’re wearing, jackass!”
To which the child said, “sorry, ma’am.”
That is one of my favorite stories.

by Virginia on November 30, 2011 at 6:55 am. Reply #

fantastic! love these pictures. here’s one of mine: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tigerluxe/5550719821/in/set-1348505

by rachael on November 30, 2011 at 8:46 am. Reply #


by Wiley on November 30, 2011 at 9:10 am. Reply #

Here’s another with Jen Hollis.
It’s funny, because I remember myself as very consciously avoiding dressing goth, but I didn’t seem to think twice about pairing a leather jacket with a black turtleneck.

by Wiley on November 30, 2011 at 9:13 am. Reply #

Oh! I love love the teen goth recollections and photos of others. All of mine are locked away in a closet of my mother’s, somewhere. There is something very special about those babygoth days, so magical and mysterious at that age, and so thrilling when you see another of your kind, particularly in a desert town like Phoenix.
I love this flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/monkeylaundry/171481048/in/photostream/ 80’s teen goth.

by Brittany on November 30, 2011 at 10:17 am. Reply #

Oh Wow! I remember Cinamon!
These photos are awesome 🙂 Makes me want to dig through the archives and find similar ones of myself 🙂

by Laura on November 30, 2011 at 12:01 pm. Reply #

i just said OMG OMG OMG at Colin’s photo and Sean also is wow-ed. Ha.
Not teen but also plastic-rat:

by tamerajane on November 30, 2011 at 5:17 pm. Reply #

Oh, darlin’. You KNOW this post is making me squee my pants.
Heeeeee hee hee…
I was soooooo not half as fierce or wicked or feral as you when I was wee, dollface. Total late bloomer, as you know. But I still think we’d have gotten on like gangbusters, no matter what point in our lives we met. I’m just glad we *did* meet. (Both of us in the midst of an Ada McGrath hairdo phase, too!)
A “Merrydeath” highlight reel for you and your exquisite readership….
RENNIEGOTH, 1993: http://www.flickr.com/photos/theremina/421775161/ (please note the pewter dragon pendant from Medieval Times.)
NINETEEN AND FULLA BEANZ. AND TEH GOTH: http://www.flickr.com/photos/theremina/6433724287/in/photostream
KINDERWHORE CUCUMBER FAIRY, 1996: http://www.flickr.com/photos/theremina/3205367886/
HANGIN’ ONTO THE GOTH DREAM/LATE BLOOMERS, 2002 (introduced to one another by Miss Angelkitten, in fact!): http://www.flickr.com/photos/theremina/1248107459/in/photostream
WOOO GOFFICK WEIRDOS (whoozat laydeh in the upp right hand corner. whooo could it beeee?):

by Mer on November 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm. Reply #

I adore this. I didn’t become a goth until I was in my late teens. Before then, I was a teen metal-head. A preppy teen metal-head. Blonde, too. I wanted to dress more like a rocker chick, but my mama was having none of it. I did manage to pull off wearing pointy-toed booties with studded straps! I didn’t really discover the goth subculture until I received a computer for my 18th birthday. The internet, particularly Usenet, opened a whole new world for me.
Mirror, Mirror is a movie I haven’t seen in forever. I thought Rainbow Harvest looked so rad in that movie. In the 5th grade, I saw a scary-looking older teen girl with hair kind of like Rainbow Harvest’s, but the buzzed off portion of her hair was dyed red. My classmates snickered at her, but I thought she looked so amazing. My secret fashion icon.
During my first semester of college, I befriended a girl from my hometown who was also a goth when during her teens. She went by the name Trebor. (Read the name backwords. Get it?) She used to be pen pals with a slew of like-minded souls, such as Lake Rain Vajra and Clint Catalyst. Trebor told me that she and Lake had met the Propaganda model, John Koviak. Woo hoo.

by April Violet on November 30, 2011 at 11:32 pm. Reply #

yes to the 90’s ! & yes to this party ! I must get to texas.

by jl on December 1, 2011 at 12:20 am. Reply #

::le sigh:: i miss those days

by gabriel on December 2, 2011 at 10:07 pm. Reply #

These photos bring back so many memories. My best friend and I spending hours getting ready, applying and re-applying eyeliner til it was just right, changing corsets…some nights we wouldn’t even make it out, we had taken too long. On those nights we just unlaced our corsets and sat morosely, drinking chartreuse and listening to Sisters of Mercy LPs.

by lanternamagica on December 3, 2011 at 11:13 pm. Reply #

Hey! Whatever happened to Trebor!!???

by lake vajra on December 16, 2011 at 7:11 pm. Reply #

I love cinnamon! If it helps anym my brother married the drummer from 7 Year Bitch. It didn’t work out.

by Sister Wolf on January 11, 2012 at 5:27 am. Reply #

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