Even if the lifestyle choice isn’t as popular in Malta as it used to be, many people still carry around the remnants of a season or two of goth. And while some people were perhaps a bit more emo and hated the confusion between the two, it was all just a sea of black to the random bystander.
Here are 13 things every Maltese person owned during their ‘goth phase’ (even though we swore to our parents it wasn’t just a phase), most of which were a bitch in Malta’s summers.
1. A choker
The ultimate mix of dark, edgy and sexy, these came in all shapes and sizes. You’d know whether a person was a simple enthusiast of the style or whether they were trying to push boundaries by how many things they had dangling from their choker. Pentagrams, of course, were always a sure winner.
Why they were a bitch in Malta: The excruciating and unbearable heat of summer made these technically unwearable.
2. Hair dye
Every household bath’s worst enemy in the 00s. Ironically, even if it was all about black clothing, goth and emo styles saw a variety of bright hair colours, from platinum white to bright pink and green. Of course, there was always that one person who took it too far with a rainbow hairstyle.
Why they were a bitch in Malta: 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and an extremely inviting (and very salty) sea always a couple of minutes away? Good luck keeping your hair colour for longer than a couple of days.
3. Skinny jeans
Ah, ye old drainpipes. Whether you barely had a waist or you technically shouldn’t have owned an unflatteringly tight pair, every wardrobe had at least one pair of skinny jeans. Some people even had that one special, extra shiny, faux-leather specimen which looked straight out of an 80s metal band.
Why they were a bitch in Malta: Taking off a pair of skinny jeans was already an achievement in of itself, so imagine how much more frustrating it was taking them off when they’ve practically managed to become a part of your skin with all the stickiness.
4. A fancy cross necklace
Or any other dubiously religious symbol. Some people paired these with Egyptian-looking glyphs, beads, skulls, and of course the odd pentagram thrown in for good measure. The braver (read: “edgier”) members of the scene wore upside down cross necklaces instead.
Why they were a bitch in Malta: Being asked three times a day whether you really are a satanist gets very tiring very fast.
5. Black DMs
Doc Martens have been around for decades, and everyone from 60s punks to millennial tumblr girls made them their own at one point or another. But until a couple of years ago, the iconic sturdy boots were a staple item in any goth and emo wardrobe. When it wasn’t just about the brand (or you just couldn’t afford a pair), any chunky platform boots which could potentially break your neck every time you wore them would do.
Why they were a bitch in Malta: It’s already tough to walk in bumpy roads and very narrow pavements, try doing that in what are practically leather stilts.
6. An Eastpak backpack
Sure, backpacks were more of an emo thing, but who are we kidding; certain items blurred the lines between the two styles. And Eastpak backpacks were definitely one of those items. Extra bonus points for adding studs, badges, pins and pieces of your old Converse shoes on that bad boy.
Why they were a bitch in Malta: Our island might be small, but if you lost something on the bus back home, you were never going to see it again. If you had something you really cherished (what did we use to carry around anyway, books of spells?), your best bet was to just keep it in your pockets or in your hands.
7. Studded belts
Super shiny, super pointy and pretty painful, these little fuckers poked you in the ass or lower back every time you sat down. But they were undeniably a vital part of every goth and emo outfit, and the pain was a small price to pay. It was probably welcomed, actually. #ThePainGivesMeLife
Why there were a bitch in Malta: Most of the stuff on this list was about style over comfort, but studded belts frequently pushed shit a tad too far.
8. Black eyeliner
Who knew such a simple addition to an outfit was this effective… and expensive? Sure, you had a couple of super cheap eyeliners running around, but as you got into the goth lifestyle even more, those just wouldn’t cut it anymore.
Why there were a bitch in Malta: Getting that perfect, cat-like eyeliner shape meant getting ready took ages. Which probably meant missing the already unpunctual bus was a frustrating routine. Oh, and fancy waterproof models for when you beach it were expensive AF.
9. Anything with skulls on it
For the Prince of Darkness / Queen of Despair inside each and every one of us. Because, no matter what anyone around you used to tell you, you could never have enough skulls.
Why they were a bitch in Malta: Much like the cross necklaces, any accessories with skulls on them somehow automatically made you possessed by an evil spirit, and the subject of many a DIY exorcism by random old people at the bus stop who promised they’d pray for you.