Remember when news of normcore, the homogenized, bland fashion trend hit the Internet, and everyone was like, "What?" Well, there's a new micro trend in town, and it's a bit more in your face.
For the past few months, the fashion and fitness trend called Health Goth has gained steam on the Internet, culminating in a recent New York Times story on the trend. The New York Times is actually a bit late to the game. This way of life has been around since the spring and maybe even earlier. But in case you somehow missed all of this going on, you might be thinking to yourself, "What exactly is Health Goth?"
Health Goth is pretty much what it sounds like. Instead of the stereotypical image of a well-tanned athlete running in the sun in a pink sports bra, those living the Health Goth lifestyle head to the gym in black sneakers, ADIDAS trainer pants and choker necklaces. Search for #HealthGoth on Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram, and you'll be met with countless photos of those participating in the trend.
— Metal Injection (@metalinjection) December 11, 2014
#healthgoth (cc: @DEATHFACE) pic.twitter.com/qZFPu0V0Vj — ☺TROLLITA☺ (@Melizards) November 18, 2014
— Gangsta Fashun (@GangstaFashun) October 24, 2014
But this isn't just about aesthetics. AM Discs has a deeper explanation of the trend writing, "Health Goth relies on an anti-nostalgic dystopian present, refracting the Other by means of an exaggerated profile and tribal-aesthetics." The article goes on to explain that Health Goth mocks self-awareness, embraces mortality and rejects capitalism, all while seeking an active lifestyle.
Mike Grabarek and Jeremy Scott of the Portland-based music duo Magic Fades are widely credited for popularizing Health Goth with their Facebook page of the same name launched in October 2013. They post photos online, many of which are of black athletic wear that looks like it could double as battle armor. Chicago-based DJ Johnny Love, whose real name is John Dal Santo and who also makes music under the name Deathface, claims to have popularized the trend. After he found #HealthGoth on Twitter, he and his friends started to promote it all over the Internet. Since then, Love has written a satirical "10 Commandments of #HealthGoth" for VICE, which includes rules like, "North Face is not healthgoth. North Face is for yuppies." If you're looking to start dressing in the Health Goth style, Love also sells clothing on Etsy, some of which put a subversive spin on classic athletic company logos. Ironically, that actually seems to go against the main tenets of Health Goth.
Now how do the proponents of Health Goth feel about all of this attention? As you might expect, most of them are not too happy about it. In response to The New York Times' recent article on the trend, the admins of the Health Goth Facebook page wrote, "If the first image isn't enough 2 deter you from reading this awful article, the fact that they interviewed us for an hour and then barely used anything we said and instead wrote a bunch of complete shit will."
Caitlin Mary Cunningham, a musician and Health Goth, had this to say on HealthGoth.com's Tumblr in response to media coverage of the lifestyle in October:
"Healthgoth for us IS NOT A TREND! It's not high fashion, skinny photo shopped models wearing sports gear, runway attire, tumblr pictures of pretty boys and girls wearing black & white branded gear. No. I personally do appreciate and admire and love the imagery/art of all of the above, but NO! This isn't the core of Healthgoth.
Think about the satanic bible for a second!? It talks about creating your own destiny, being your own God - pretty much taking control of your life. That's healthgoth. At the end of the day you get one body & one shot at living. Taking care of oneself is key. Staying healthy, keeping in shape while being true to yourself is HEALTHGOTH."
And now that The New York Times, possibly the most mainstream of mainstream publications, has gotten its hands on Health Goth, those inside and outside of the movement are calling this trend dead. But that's probably exactly what those in the Health Goth community wanted anyway.