Dads Go Dark

The latest goth subculture is taking over

After the emergence of the controversial “Health Goth,” it seemed as though Goth culture couldn’t possible extend any further. However, the latest trends in gothic lifestyle show an immense increase in the number of middle-aged men with children identifying themselves with the culture. This influx, along with some distinguishing factors that these new converts share, has demonstrated a need for a new label of goth: the Dad Goth.

Artist: Max Smith Flickr | Ed and Eddie

Artist: Max Smith
Flickr | Ed and Eddie

Members of the Dad Goth subgroup typically do not jump into the intense, occult-worshiping practices of some other types. Instead, it usually begins with the corruption of the “dad joke.” Where the normal response to “I’m thirsty” would be, “Nice to meet you thirsty, I’m dad,” the Goth Dad response tends to be an explanation of the futility of drinking in quenching a thirst that will inevitably return.

Dad Goth style is a nice middle ground between suburban dad and traditional goth, with ill-matched shades of black being the main element. It has become popular for dads with slight beer bellies to get stomach piercings, as the flab helps to emphasize their free expression and acceptance of their status as mid-lifers. Clothing designers attempting to keep up with the fast-growing subculture have even begun designing special long socks with embroidered pentagrams to be worn unfashionably with leather sandals.

The ideology of the Dad Goth style is in line with many other types of goth, but still remains true to the ever-important “dad-isms.” For example, the reflective, “When-I was-your-age” lecture starter provides the perfect setup for a gothic discourse on the importance of teen angst in developing your individuality. And with Dad Goth, the classic “I’m not sleeping, I’m just resting my eyes” becomes a practice in creating darkness in the mind and soul.

Dad Goth has a long way to go to gain the acceptance of the rest of the goth community. Dad Goths have a particular fascination with Marilyn Manson over all other goth musicians that turns many goth music snobs away. In addition, the persistent presence of the “dorky dad” identity within Dad Goth makes them hard to swallow for many hardcore goths. Nevertheless, the continued presence of “Health Goth” gives hope to Dad Goths everywhere that the community as a whole will one day legitimize their newfound identities.