I wanna feel something different for once.
Pale Waves and Heather Baron Gracie are relatively new influences to my eyes and ears, but it was certainly love and first sight (and sound). But like I’ve said in previous volumes of this series, when I fall for music, I fall hard. They’re one of those bands that you stumble upon as if by fate, and by fate I mean when Spotify suggest bands you may like and apparently my Spotify knows me incredibly well.
All The Things I Never Said EP (2018); The Tide.
My Mind Makes Noises; Eighteen, There’s A Honey, Television Romance.
Heather Baron Gracie is everything I wanted to become. Except back then it was Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne, Amy Lee, anyone who was a little bit alternative. Instead I became me, which makes me happy, but a percentage of me is still that manic pixie goth dream girl I always envisioned becoming as someone in their early twenties.
Self image has been a struggle for most of my life, until I began blogging and taking self portraits I didn’t really know who I was. I probably thought I did, but without experimenting and trying things I’d never find out. Always afraid of the unknown, like most teenagers finding themselves, influenced by your friends, your favourite music, people in magazines and on TV, when bloggers and digital influencers weren’t really a thing. Apart from Jeffree Star on MySpace, the original social media icon.
Seeing somebody being unapologetically themselves always makes me want to take on a little bit of their personality or appearance. I very much have a good amount of confidence in myself and the way I present myself to the world, but experimenting and changing things up are important to me, my style, my mental health, everything. And that’s why I’m bringing a little more goth back into my life, I’ve missed it more than I thought and it makes me feel happily nostalgic to be dressed this way.
Reading through interviews with Pale Waves and Heather I read a lot of statements that resonated with me. She spoke with DIY Mag about how “being centre stage and singing these songs that I wrote and that break my heart every time I play them and doing it basically every night. It is a lot to ask of myself but I feel like I can handle it,” and that happy/sad feeling is what makes me fall in love with music. It’s what made me fall in love with Paramore, My Chemical Romance. The desperation, understanding, truth, honesty, rawness, the heart.
According to NME, Heather writes songs with American coming-of-age films playing in the background for inspiration and you can toooottttaaalllllyyyy tell! New Years Eve wouldn’t be out of place in an emotional romantic scene between two star crossed lovers on a rooftop. ‘Lets try something different, because I want to make people dance at our shows and not kinda just cry: they can cry and dance.’
I read on The Fader about Heather’s childhood and how eleven year old her would have never believed where she is now, travelling the world, stage by stage, fronting sold-out gigs and it echoed my recent life epiphanies very solidly, with my recent breakthrough after suffering with poor mental health for a reeeeaaally long time with little to no belief in myself or my abilities. Blossoming into full time work after only a month of graduating demolished every bit of my self doubt. I’m constantly aware that my job is only temporary but the confidence and experience it has given me will last my entire life.
Replacing metaphors for the truth is something that stays with me, moving on from hidden meanings to the raw honesty. The Tide uses the sea as a metaphor whereas New Year’s Eve is much more clear and candid with its’ lyrics. Being more upfront as a person has been, for lack of a better term, a journey for me, I was always putting myself out for others, always expecting somebody to do the same for me. It took me into my twenties to realise that not everybody is like me, not everybody shows affection and appreciation in the same way as I do, and that if I want something I need to ask for it. And I’m not gonna lie, my life has been much happier and easier since having that epiphany.
Ciara and Heather seem to me the soul sisters of myself and Ashleigh. I’m sure anybody reading this knows who Ashleigh is, a permanent fixture in my life! My best gal in the land, knows me better than I know myself, full on movie friendship, wouldn’t change her for the world. Too comfortable with each other to let many others as close. I’m too much of a control freak to let anyone help me with things apart from her, it’s like she can see into my brain. Every interview I have read involving Pale Waves has had the interviewer expressing admiration for Heather and Ciara’s friendship and it just makes them even more endearing and easy to adore.
Being ‘alternative’, ’emo’, ‘goth’ was my identity for a large portion of my formative teenage years. I’d get insulted from passing cars and receive homophobic slurs for wearing Docs and I think instances like those made me distance myself from the culture. But looking back I didn’t even look that out of place! Yeah my hair was pink and I wore mostly black but Docs, Converse, Vans, Criminal Damage, skinny jeans, they’re all normal day to day things in 2018. I’m just pleased that in a day and age where everyone has something to complain about, the gothic subculture is no longer one of those things.
I think most people my age will remember the murder of Sophie Lancaster but for those who don’t; in 2007 Sophie and her boyfriend Robert Maltby were attacked by a group of teenage boys because of the way they were dressed. As soon as you are deemed ‘different’, you are targeted. Targeted for bullying, harassment, assault, fucking murder. ‘Moshers’, ‘goths’, ’emos’ are much more socially accepted now than they were ten years ago but people are still getting hurt and killed for being different. Just be kind, be accepting and try be tolerant to those who aren’t (to a certain extent of course) and always stand up and be there for those who may need it.
This post has addressed a lot of topics, I have enjoyed writing it a lot and getting some things out of my mind and into writing but to end this post and this series on a lighter and more positive note, let’s talk about merch and creating things that you have every right to be proud of.
Two people of note that wear their own merch a lot are Shane Dawson and Heather Baron Gracie, but why would you not want to wear something that you’re so thrilled with putting into the world?! Wearing your own merch is fuckin’ badass. You created a thing, you’re proud of the thing, the thing represents you, wear that fuckin’ thing!!!!
I’m assuming pretty much everyone has watched Shane’s series with Jake Paul? A lot of people seem to have an issue with him plugging his merch too much. Now, I’ve never actually seen any of Jake Paul’s videos and I’ve not exactly researched into this but everyone has something to promote nowadays. My Twitter is full of links to blog posts, Facebook is full of promoted posts, Instagram is full of ads, we are being asked to do something by pretty much everyone everywhere. I promote my photography services everywhere, I also promote my blog and my YouTube channel across social media, and I promote my friends shit too ’cause why wouldn’t I?!
Be proud of yourself, you’ve worked hard, get that gratification, it’s not hurting anybody. Wear that merch, photograph that makeup look, work that outfit, you do you!
Fishnet long sleeve:
T-shirt: Pale Waves
Boots: Lazy Oaf x Dr Martens
Rings: Bloody Mary Metal
All of these photos were shot with my babe babe babe Charley, and (barely) edited by myself, we had the most fun day of adventuring around, shopping and popping over to my favourite place in the world (Hull fair) for noodles and hook-a-duck!
My heart is so full of pride, joy and love from creating this series of articles, creating content around music and fashion in this way has brought a whole new love of blogging to me.