A friend of mine recently made me aware of the hottest new trend on the internet: health goth. That's an oxymoron on the level of jumbo shrimp. So what is health goth? I'm…not quite sure.
I did a little Googling and the blog for Marie Claire (!!) defines it as "a very modern mix of gothic and punk sensibilities (think dark colours, figure-hugging silhouettes and heavy statement accessories) and futuristic sport-luxe." However, the people responsible with coining the phrase, Mike Grabarek and Jeremy Scott, weren't so quick to define it. In an interview with Complex, they defined the trend as such:
It may be impossible to be a true [health goth] individual, because so much of the style is based on the combination of the setting and the subject, which a lot of times is in a hyperreality that only exists in ads, art installations, and rendered environments.
My pretension meter is off the charts here. The duo admits the idea came from the "street goth" trend, of all black street clothes. Clothes that fit the mold would be anything that's "mesh, moisture-wicking fabrics, prosthetics, fashion and performance wear brands, transparent clothing and chains."
It seems that the trend has spurned into different sects. There are the pure fashion fans and then there are the goths who like to work out. Some see health goth as a way to promote fitness to those that don't fit the typical mold of a muscle-head. According to HuffPo:
Less about wearing any particular brand or even style of clothing, Health Goth is a a subcultural movement, a new point of entry for people who'd rather pump iron to Nine Inch Nails or Type O Negative than Maroon Five or Taylor Swift — and who don't necessarily feel at home at the typical Top 40-blaring, Lululemon-dominated gym.
I'm not sure if you could really get a good workout in to Type-O, it's a little plodding. But Pete's old band Carnivore definitely works. NIN definitely fits the bill. And of course, with any trend, there are people there to sell you new clothing, like HealthGoth.com, who's product line features this incredible ensemble:
How do we know this trend is here to stay? Well, the NY Times, the paper of record, has made it official spotlighting the trend and various gyms exploiting it, include one in New York's trendy SoHo district. One passage in particular sealed the deal for me (emphasis added):
The market for health goth took root amid a demographic that previously had not shown a lot of interest in fitness, some trainers say. “Many goths have spent years drinking, staying out all night and smoking cloves,” said Ammo O’Day, a personal trainer and esoteric life coach from Brooklyn. “Lots of us work in night life. At our age, with our lifestyles, we’re not going to make it unless we take care of our bodies.”
Ms. O’Day, 42, has dreadlocks, many tattoos and self-identifies as a goth and a witch. She is also a longtime fitness devotee and used to feel out of place at the gym.