The Baby Bat

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Spooky kids, Kindergoths, Mansonites, Mallgoths… These pre-teen or teen types are known by many names, most of which are derogatory. They are often regarded with scorn and contempt by older members of the Goth community. Their crimes? Generally, not being old enough to remember the 80s. Not being rich enough to afford a “proper Goth” wardrobe. Not being wise enough to know the “right” music to listen to or the “right” amount of make-up to wear.

It is true that, while Baby Bats often consider themselves “Goth,” they show differences from members of the historical goth scene. They tend to show a preference for metal (Marylin Manson and HIM being typical “Baby Bat” music). Wear clothes that reflect metal/skater fashion. Tend to go for a “shocking” rather than “aesthetic” appearance.

Frequently, given time, Baby Bats will start to grow more “sophisticated” in their clothes and music tastes. Then, they become some of the most passionate members of the Goth community. For this reason, they are to be respected, not shunned.

Plus, negativity for new members reflects as bad as, if not worse, on the Goth seen than the attention that Baby Bats give to the scene. For Goth to grow as a community, it needs to remember one of it’s core ideas. That who you are, what you dress like, and what you listen to doesn’t matter. All that does matter, is that you are comfortable with showing to the world who you are.

Baby Bat Fashion

As they are people just getting used to the idea of being a member of the goth scene, the Baby Bat fashion tends to make use of cliché horror elements. To the Baby Bat, they have no idea that these elements are now seen to be cliché within the gothic fashion circles.

One of the most common thing you might see on the male Baby Bats are Iron Maiden or Cradle of Filth T-Shirts. Although most Goths agree that these bands aren’t that gothic. They are still common band affiliation memorabilia to see on Baby Bats.

Black Trousers, Skirts, and Kilts of all kinds are also seen on Baby Bats. By all types of trousers, this means every material; from PVC to denim. From leather to cotton. Although you may encounter Baby Bats with a love for Latex, seeing this is a lot more rare. Good latex costs a lot. New goths are less likely to want to make the investment in buying expensive clothing.

Accessory wise, Baby Bats are also the most likely to use wallet chains on the loops of their trousers. They are also the most likely to by other chain accessories. Including large chained necklaces and chained bracelets.

On all genders of Baby Bats, you may see an overabundance of white and black makeup. Usually done in a “The Crow” like style of effect. For many of the male Baby Bats, this will be their first experiments into makeup. It is something to see and behold as people start finding their own individual style.

In fact, that is the fashion thread that runs throughout the Baby Bat’s style of fashion. An exploration into what they actually do want to wear. Watching a Baby Bat evolve their own personal sense of fashion and style is one of the best things about taking a Baby Bat underneath your wing as a more experienced goth.

Baby Bat Music

The music that a Baby Bat will listen to depends on what stage they are currently at in their goth learning.

Very new Baby Bats are the most likely to be listening to whatever is regarded as gothic on MTV or other popular MTV channels at the moment. In the past, this used to be bands such as Linkin Park, Evanescence and Marilyn Manson. Some Baby Bats also arrive to the goth scene from metal. You can expect these Baby Bats to still have Cradle of Filth and Iron Maiden songs in their collections. (And of course, even Elder Goths will sometimes listen to these old guilty pleasures of goth childhood.)

Those who are in a latter stage of their learning are likely to have started listening to some of the other other staples of Goth. So, for example, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees & Bauhaus.

Those who have come to the Goth scene from a more rock or metal background may also start listening to industrial bands early on in their career. So bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Throbbing Gristle and Skinny Puppy. You might also find Baby Bats listening to some of the bands that straddle the fine line between Goth and Rock. Bands such as Nightwish, BlutEngel and Depeche Mode. Interestingly, many of those who come from the Cradle of Filth scene to Goth will turn to Theater of Tragedy. This was true even before Liv Kristine joined Cradle of Filth on their ‘Nympthetamine’ song.

From here, the music tastes of the Baby Bat tends to depend on what songs the other goths they encounter introduce them to.

Baby Bat Interests

Having just got into Goth, Baby Bats are in the interesting situation where although they may have hobbies, they are not masters yet. This is in contrast to other goths, who do tend to be masters at their chosen crafts.

Yet, this makes the Baby Bat even that more fascinating. Not being quite there yet, but striving constantly to improve their craft. Watching a baby bat expand their craft is like watching their fashion sense evolve. It is inspiring and can motivate other goths to push their own hobbies even further.

An interesting hobby that occurs with Baby Bats is the collection of gothic memorabilia. This is something that happens quite rapidly in the beginning stages of getting into Goth. This collection can be in the terms of collecting gothic clothing and decorations for around the home. Or it can be in collecting as many CDs, LPs, and band merchandise as possible.

Researching the history and the important parts of Goth is also another interest that comes out with Baby Bats a lot. After all, emerging into the goth world for the first time is finding a really interesting scene that you want to do everything to get into. A subset of this, and subset of collection, is getting as many tickets as possible. It’s not uncommon to walk into a Baby Bats home and see a pinboard somewhere of all the concert tickets and festival wristbands they have collected. Getting into the goth scene does also mean exposing yourself to as many gothic bands as possible. With a Baby Bat exploring all the various sub genres of goth, they are much more likely to travel to a variety of festivals and gigs. After all, they still need to discover which particular bands they like.

Lastly, the Baby Bat who is likely to remain a member of the goth community for years to come (if not life) are those who also make being social a hobby. Those who use every single opportunity they can to progress their knowledge and make friends. Those who discover the best thing about the gothic scene isn’t the clothing, the clubs, the bands, or the music. It’s the people.

(Header Image By Aiena Zahira Daim (Own work) [CC BY-ND 2.0], via Flickr).

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