What first comes to mind when you think of goths? Maybe, like, mood Brits listening to Joy Division in the early ’80s? Industrial-loving Germans in leather? Cybergoths with plastic locs? Roving bands of East Germanic peoples instrumental in the downfall of the Western Roman Empire?
Well, you should be thinking about Latinos. Here, allow us to make our case:
We’re obsessed with death.
I mean, sure, plenty of cultures are, but we do it with style. For example…
…Take a look at La Catrina and Día De Los Muertos.
What better way to honor and remember the dead (v goth) than with gorgeous, meaning-laden memorials of the deceased? And what better way to express the ephemeral nature of the material world than with a dead rich lady skeleton in a beautiful hat? (Edgar Allen Poe wishes he’d thought of her.)
And take Prayers, for instance.
Goth + cholo = Prayers
Then there’s La Santa Muerte.
Don’t mess around with this one.
And, indeed, saints in general.
You don’t know fear until you’ve been trapped in a dark chapel with nothing but a looming plaster statue of a pain-twisted San Lazaro, his face forever stuck in a silent scream.
That whole obsessed-with-Morrissey thing.
Especially among Mexicans. No, really, it’s been documented. And that places us firmly at the intersection of “goth” and “emo.”
And who’s more goth than Kat Von D?
Even her cats are goth.
Some of our greatest poets were gothtastic.
Credit: mitú / Federico García Lorca
Federico García Lorca was goth af. Read the full poem here.
Our stories and legends will give you nightmares.
Take the time-honored tale of La Llorona, for instance. Her kids are gone and you’re next.
Our movies? Dark af.
Take 1961’s The Curse of the Crying Woman (based on the aforementioned legend of La Llorona) or any of Brazilian filmmaker José Mojica Marins’ “Coffin Joe” movies. Freaky.
And last but not least: Abuelas.
Stick with me here, OK? Our abuelitas are constantly thinking about death, warning that everything from sleeping with wet hair to going out barefoot will lead to your demise. They’re also often a big fan of charms and rituals to keep evil spirits and thoughts at bay. THAT IS EXTREMELY GOTH.
Sleep tight, fellow gothlings.