How to Be Goth

Though people tend to judge them, goths are all about acceptance. And a preoccupation with death.


Up next in How to Survive Being a Teenager (27 videos)

Being a teenager can be hard. Learn how to make the most of your teen years with the advice in these Howcast videos. We'll teach you how to practice your first kiss; tell your parents you're sexually active (or pregnant!); sneak out of the house at night (and back in after curfew); apply makeup; be an emo, a goth, or a punk; go on your first date; help a friend who's cutting themselves; have a summer romance; and much more.

You Will Need

  • Goth music
  • Hair dye
  • Black clothing
  • Military boots
  • White foundation and powder
  • Black eyeliner
  • Blood-red or black lipstick
  • Black nail polish
  • Gel
  • Goth accessories, like spikes and silver chains
  • Piercings


  1. Step 1

    Buy music

    Buy some gothic music. Goth rock bands include Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Cure, and Bauhaus.

  2. Step 2

    Dye your hair

    Dye your hair. Black is traditional, but any unusual color will do. Create spikes with gel if you like.

  3. Step 3

    Dress in black

    Dress all in black to express your belief in the meaninglessness of life, to make the statement that everything eventually decays and spirals into chaos, and to signify your contempt for 'pretty' colors.

  4. Goth girls wear a lot of black corsets and fishnet or mesh tops.

  5. Step 4


    Accessorize to taste with silver chains and jewelry, spiked collars, black leather glovelettes, skull belt buckles, studded bootstraps, and so on. Consider getting your lip, tongue, nose, and/or an eyebrow pierced.

  6. Step 5

    Wear boots

    Put on black military boots.

  7. Step 6

    Wear makeup

    Cover your face in white foundation and powder. Go heavy on the black eyeliner, and finish it off with black or blood-red lipstick. Paint your nails black.

  8. To learn what goth looks like, check out album covers or stop by a goth nightclub.

  9. Step 7

    Read up

    Go to the library. Most goths are well read in philosophy, classic literature, history, religion, history, and politics. In fact, psychologists have noted that goths tend to be more intelligent and creative than the average person.

  10. The term 'goth' was coined by the manager of Joy Division, who described the band as 'gothic compared with the pop mainstream.'