Going Goth: Why I Changed My Look for 2014

This post from January of this year also made quite a few people angry.  It was actually the start of the trolling I received across 2014.

Since this post, I have abandoned most of the changes I made at the time, especially the makeup and the dominance of black clothing choices.  But I am still happy I did this and really do enjoy having a nice black dress to wear — the classics never go out of style.


author Laurel A. Rockefeller in 2012

author Laurel A. Rockefeller in 2012

Self portrait taken January 24, 2014 showing new haircut, new hair style, and black eye makeup.

Self portrait taken January 24, 2014 showing new haircut, new hair style, and black eye makeup.

Going Goth: Why I Changed My Look for 2014

January 9th, 2014

Everyone loves a makeover — except me — or so I thought. That is, until my best friend staged an intervention to bring me into the 21st century from the 16th century in December, 2013 and with that, a shift of attitude and paradigm designed to help me relate much better to others.

The plan: start with small cosmetic changes in hair color, hair style, clothing, and makeup. External changes do not seem to matter much, until you realize how much your perspective changes with each little tweak you make to your external person.

Academically speaking, I knew intellectually this approach works. When someone tells you to “fake it until you make it,” they are speaking from documented social scientific research which shows that simply offering smiles, even when you do not feel like smiling, creates a physiological and attitude change that, when repeated long enough, readily becomes permanent.

The changes then started with my clothing. With his successful Gothic look he proposed several clothing shifts I worked hard to implement. Initially I balked — no surprise — until a mutual Googlesearch showed me something I never expected: many Gothic looks are genuinely PRETTY and romantic with lace, soft feminine fabrics, and both regency and Victorian lines and influences. My inner Jane Austen responded.

Next he suggested a piercing or tattoo. I balked again — then relented after realizing a piercing did not have to be in some exotic place — just another ear piercing. Researching my choices, I went to the mall to Piercing Pagoda and had a new piercing done on the upper edge of my earlobe — not into the cartilage but close to it — far enough away from my regular ear piercing to be able to wear a wide variety of earrings on either hole.

Last, my hair needed a new style and color. Following his lead, I chopped off my long auburn hair to shoulder length and dyed it black, something I had not done since my university days. I bought a tulle ballerina skirt from Good Goth and a sleeveless drape blouse from Metrostyle.com.

The transformation was remarkable and dramatic. But what surprised me was how it made me feel inside. Suddenly I felt sensual, desirable, flirtatious, pretty. I also felt much less academic and much more trendy.

This is only the beginning, the start of the journey of self transformation and self actualization. But then, is that not what we celebrate upon the turning over of a new year? Armed with this new look, I aim to pursue kindness, humility, love, and light in 2014. I aim to listen, not judge, and accept people as they are, not by some ideal standard I was taught to comply with.

I hope you will take the journey with me.

Happy 2014!


One thought on “Going Goth: Why I Changed My Look for 2014

  1. Pingback: Sexism, Bullying, and Devaluation of Women by Women | The Peers of Beinan series on Word Press

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