It turns out bloggers have a lot of stereotypes to live up to. Before we hit the 'publish' button, our minds are racing - have I shown off my photography skills enough? Have I kept up my internet persona or has the real 'me' slipped into this post? Have I remembered to remove that unnecessary 'lol'?
The same rules apply, perhaps even more so, for alternative bloggers. We're forever trying to justify ourselves as 'alternative' and we're not even entirely sure why. But what are we proving ourselves against? What are those darned elusive common misconceptions about alternative bloggers? Someone on Guru Gossip called me 'that goth blogger' a while ago, but what makes me fit that stereotype?
All our soft furnishings and home surfaces are black.
When it comes to finding a texture for the background of product shots, there's an instant rush of guilt that your chosen background isn't black, featuring skulls, bats, crosses or just plain goth. So what if black doesn't show up the product? It's part of your identity as a goth blogger to own not one single flowery furnishing, or even worse, actually photograph it. We like to keep these 'normal' details of our lives to a minimum.
Alternative blogs should be white text on black background.
We purposefully invert the colour scheme to give you a headache when you leave our site, didn't you know that? When I started out blogging, I got the feeling my blog should be white on black purely to make my intentions known to visitors that I'm not a girly blogger... As if my URL hadn't already warned them of that.
All selfies must be in the ancient style of Myspace.
You mean you haven't seen enough of our side-swept fringes already?
We put our makeup on every day.
Come off it, can't a vampire have a day off? I'll bump into acquaintances on the dog walk and they'll comment on my significant lack of black eyeshadow and eyeliner. I apologise I can't be a full-time weirdo, I only had ten minutes to get ready this morning. Why do you think we don't often make Get Ready With Me posts? We can't let the blogging world know we look normal underneath.
We don't go down the shops in trackies and baggy shirts.
However much I'd like to keep my average human identity a secret, my local has witnessed my presence in what I can only describe as 'flared jeans and old t-shirt'. Alas, I did feel violated afterwards, as if the entire world had seen me nipping in for a paper. Turns out nobody recognised me - I call that a result. Only problem is, Vlogmas, Vlogtober, Vloguary/*insertvlogmonthhere* can get knotted, we're not making the effort to get goth-ready every day of the month.
We don't use 'mainstream' slang.
LOL! Life without a good old 'YOLO' wouldn't be the same for us alternative ones. We like to mock the normal people for their love of embarrassing abbreviations.
Stand back! She'll convert you to Satanism! (Yes, you!)
More's the point, why does everyone assume we're satanists if we wear black? I'm a definite atheist, so the assumption that I worship Satan instead is actually quite insulting. But nevertheless, being within a 5 mile radius of an alternative kid either brings out the normals in hives or they begin worshipping the devil. It's the price you have to pay to live among us, I'm afraid.
We're not aware of popular culture.
We might not always know our Pharrells from our Daft Punks but we're not entirely ignorant of the outside world, just like you're aware of the existence of some of our favourites. I'm actually a fan of some pop music, I have a weakness for Psy. But people on Twitter seem to be floored by the fact I even know who Bastille is. See, even my coffin can't block out the intoxicating soundwaves of Radio 1.
We'll snap out of the 'goth phase' one day.
I'm sure I'm not the only one that still gets this remark even from my closest family and friends. People I've known throughout my teenage years still see me with black hair and ask why I've not grown out of it yet. We are who we are, it's not a phase, it's not just a rebellious streak that'll get boring once we hit middle age. It seems readers are also hanging on our every word in case we magically turn normal by the end of a post.
We need to justify what makes us alternative.
This is a biggie for a lot of us. We use the term 'alternative', but does anyone actually know what it means? I personally don't think it has to mean anything. If you're breaking the mould, you're alternative in my eyes, and I love you for it.
What's your idea of alternative?