May 22nd is World Goth Day, a day for goths to celebrate our subculture and spread awareness of goth culture to the wider world via social media and beyond. This year, Kreepsville is using World Goth Day as an opportunity to bring attention to the serious issue of cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying in Education Statistics
According to cyberbullying research, it is a problem that affects people of all ages, from elementary school to middle school students or even older. But it can be especially difficult for young people to deal with. The 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that almost 16% of high school students were electronically bullied in the year prior to the survey. Goths are often targets of cyberbullying because of their appearance and interests, which can make them feel isolated and alone.
Cyberbullying often occurs in the form of mean and hurtful comments or threats made online or via direct messaging or text messaging. It can also take the form of sharing embarrassing personal or private information about someone without their consent. There are even cases where cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior that puts the person who experienced cyberbullying into immediate danger.
When cyberbullying occurs, because cell phones and digital devices are always with us, it may seem like it can't be escaped. It can make people feel like they have nowhere to turn and can lead to serious consequences, including depression, anxiety, and even suicide.
Laws about Cyberbullying by State
Each state has different cyberbullying laws (there are no federal laws specifically about cyberbullying but some youth bullying can overlap with harassment laws). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has numerous resources, federally collected data on bullying, and a map covering state laws on the stopbullying.gov website to help prevent bullying.
Supporting Our Creepy Community for World Goth Day and Beyond
To demonstrate that no one is alone when you are one of our creepy community members, we asked some of our very own fangtastic Kreepsville models questions about how they fit in the goth scene and whether they experienced bullying when they were in school. Together, we can make World Goth Day a day to celebrate goth culture, goth fashion and stand up to cyberbullying!
Erin Baim @fossilizedbats
Erin Modelling the Kreepsville Trick or Treat Dress
What's your favorite goth look? I don't really have a favorite I love them all! I think the great thing about clothes and fashion is you can change your style all the time to fit your mood or the occasion. I truly live by "everyday is Halloween" I just want to play dress up all the time! You have to wear clothes everyday, why not make it fun?
What is your favorite Kreepsville product to complete your goth look? I love my spiderweb skirt! The print is so graphic it always makes your outfit stand out, I get a lot of compliments every time I wear it. It is also so versatile you can dress it up or down and completely change the look with just your accessories.
Who is your favorite goth icon? Elvira! I grew up loving Elvira. I found my dad's "Elvira's Greatest Hits" vinyl when I was little, she was laying down in her classic pose and I was obsessed with her look. She was a strong woman that got to be a TV star and was allowed to be spooky, witty, and sexy all at the same time. #goals
Were you ever bullied in high school for your look? Yes, I was the only goth kid in my whole school of 500 people. Rumors would start about how I would sacrifice animals etc. I would get stuff thrown at me, people had awful nicknames they would yell at me every day. I actually graduated two years early from high school because it was so unpleasant to be there.
What advice would you give to young goths experiencing the same thing? Try and find your people, people that not only tolerate you but appreciate you for who you are. I know the cliché is "It gets better" but there is some truth to it. It is hard in school because you don't get to pick your classmates, or where you have to go everyday, but that changes as you get older. Young goths now also have the internet, you have the whole world at your fingertips! It is now so much easier to find your people. You can join or even build a community that also loves the same things you do no matter how niche.
Bella Lou Gosi @bella_lou_gosi
Victoria and Bella in Kreepsville Short Shorts
What's your favorite goth look? 80's/Traditional goth; I grew up listening to Specimen, Virgin Prunes, 1919, Of A Mesh and of course Siouxsie, so that aesthetic brings me back to my younger years when I was discovering the scene.
What's your favorite Kreepsville product to complete your goth look? The spiderweb waist belt of course! I seriously wear it almost every singe day.
Who is your favorite goth icon? The queen...Siouxsie
Were you ever bullied in high school for your look? I wouldn't say I was bullied...people made comments about the way I dressed and I got spoken to by the Dean of my school because of the way I looked, ha, but I wasn't bullied in high school. When I left school and walked around the streets of the South Bronx, that was a different story. People constantly yelled things at me like, "It ain't Halloween yet"... I was also assaulted on the train one day because of the way I looked. But it didn't destroy me, it just made me want to find my tribe even more.
What advice would you give to young goths experiencing the same thing? Don't let jealousy and hatred destroy your lifestyle and remember the ones doing the bullying are normally unhappy with themselves. Be proud that you found yourself and your happiness and never let anyone steal that from you no matter what.
Victoria Venin @victoriavenin
What's your favorite goth look? Glamour Goth
What's your favorite Kreepsville product to complete your goth look? Kreepsville Coffin Purse
Who is your favorite goth icon? Vampira
Were you ever bullied in high school for your look? Not bullied, just overlooked and invisible.
What advice would you give to young goths experiencing the same thing? Stay fabulous and shop at Kreepsville!
Peter Modelling an Elvira Shirt
What's your favorite goth look? My favorite goth look is a mix of post punk and 80s and 90s goth. Mall goth? Not sure exactly how to explain it.
What's your favorite Kreepsville product to complete your goth look? My favorite Kreepsville products are the t-shirts and pins. Have to accessorize my look.
Who is your favorite goth icon? My favorite goth icon is Vampira. Siouxsie is #2 and Peter Murphy is #3, sorry, lol.
Were you ever bullied in high school for your look? I was bullied in middle school and a bit in high school till I stood up for myself. Music and books helped.
What advice would you give to young goths experiencing the same thing? I would say to stay strong. They may be bigger and stronger, but in the end you are the real stronger person. You have brains will perhaps always be better than them in the end.
How You Can Help
If You Have Been Bullied
If you are a victim of cyberbullying, it is important to remember that you are not alone and there are people who can help. Talk to a trusted adult or school staff member about what is going on and save any evidence of the bullying (e.g., screenshots of instant messaging, posts, etc.). You can also report cyberbullying to social media platforms and websites where it is taking place.
If You See Bullying
If you witness bullying, do not engage with the bully and do not share the bullying content. Instead, reach out to the person experiencing cyberbullying and let them know that you are there for them. You can also help prevent bullying by reporting the bullying behavior to the social media platform or website where it is taking place.
Donate to Anti-Bullying Charities
You can also support organizations committed to stopping bullying like the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which aims to challenge the prejudice and intolerance towards people from alternative subcultures by providing educational group-works.
Kreepsville is committed to helping those who have been affected by cyberbullying. We believe that everyone has the right to express themselves without fear of harassment or abuse. We hope that by bringing attention to this issue on World Goth Day, we can help thwart this bullying behavior to make the internet a safer and more inclusive place for all.