Subcultures are generally a young person's game, and as we grow older and mellow out we tend to lose interest in those "edgy" scenes we thought were so cool when we were young.
But not every subculture loses members when they hit 30 or 40, and as the original generation who became enraptured by the goth scene officially settles into their senior years they prove goths truly are immortal.
Jillian Ventners, aka The Lady of the Manners, is a self-proclaimed elder goth and owner of the blog Gothic Charm School, "an essential guide for goths and those who love them.".
She has been involved in the goth scene since the 80s, when goths were all young, pale and waify, and now she's ready to guide her fellow elder goths into their glorious grey days:
"We are the first and second generations to age into goth, and we have to stand up and say that there is room for older women in this subculture," she says emphatically. "We don't have to conform to that template that we're too old." Venters often reminds women 40 and over that as the progenitors of the goth movement, they are the ones who set the visual standard.
In Venter's opinion, you're never too old to be goth. She encourages women to embrace the idea that with age comes knowledge, power, and not caring what other people think. And with societal pressure on women to be caretakers, nurturers, and invisible past a certain age, Venters is determined to take up space, encouraging other eldergoths to age as visibly and flamboyantly as possible. "Maybe you think I shouldn't have brilliant pink and burgundy hair at age 48," says Venters. "Whatever. That's your opinion. I don't care."
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