Chavs vs. Goths

When I was an obnoxious and moody teenager, there were only two ways to describe young people - chavs and goths (or goffs, as the chavs liked to call them). These groups were usually distinguished by their attire, choice of hang-out place, or who they decided to befriend...yes, welcome to the world of teenagehood..how shallow of us all! Now, although the stereotypical image of a goff is black hair, dark eye-makeup and an attraction towards music of the heavy-metal kind, this was not always the case when it came to my adolescence. I lacked most of these qualities, but because I didn't listen to Dr Dre or have a liking for Nike trainers, I and most of my friends were instantly placed in the 'goff' category. Thus, anyone who wasn't a chav was a goff, and vice versa.

(That said, there was a time in my life when I thought pale skin, panda eyes and dyed black hair was acceptable...but when my roots started showing and I ended up looking like an 89 year-old, I had a bit of a re-think.)

At the tender age of 16, I spent a lot of my free time lying around on a patch of grass that became my sanctuary. Haven Green started out as a meet-up ground where kids from the local schools would gather and chill out during the summer, and ended up providing fantastic memories of  running around highly intoxicated on Bacardi Breezers - yes, we were all incredible lightweights - and flashing kebab shop owners for a bottle of water (the shame came a lot later in life). Apart from the latter, we all stayed within our circle of friends and minded our own businesses. Others, on the other hand, didn't have the same mentality. "WTF, look at those goffs. Butterz man" was a sentence that was frequently heard from afar. There was the occasional bottle thrown, and our guy friends with hair longer than ear length got the "err man he looks like a girl" treatment. There was even a brawl once, because one of the guys thought he'd try and protect our pride and fight back - a cigarette burn and a black eye later he realised that sometimes you just have to let it go.

Anyway, this post isn't about self pity, it's about style - particularly, how style affects our perception of people. At the end of the day, the kids that threw threats and curses at us all day only hated us because of what we were wearing. Our group was very mixed - there was grunge, there was emo, which apparently I belonged to, there were even a few girls that were dressed rather 'normal', if you can define that. Yet, because a few us had purple hair, or wore pink leggings with Dr Martens, we were hated. And if I'm really honest, we hated them right back. Their baggy trousers and way of walking like they had arthritis in their left leg or a bout of constipation pissed us off, and the scowls were pretty equal from both sides. However, I now look back at it and think 'what was with all the hatred? We didn't even know each other.' True, but we knew the stereotypes, and I think that's what we all hated the most.

When I was 11, I wore flared jeans from Tammy, listened to Blue, and the world was my oyster. Suddenly, BOOM came high school, the place where you 'find yourself'. People I used to be friends with drifted away and started slicking their hair back, shortening their skirts, and swearing a lot more. The class slowly divided itself into small clusters at lunchtimes - the 'popular' kids at the front, controlling the music and scribbling over the boards, while the not so popular ones hung at the back, reading magazines and talking about Sims and Neopets. Then, I discovered skinny jeans. And hair dye. And Hello Kitty. My world turned just as much as everyone else's did. And I loved it.

You see, in our world, cliques like chavs and goths hate each other - it's just the way it is. No one knows why, even they don't know why, but they do. Chavs hate the dark hair, biker boots, and rock music, while goths can't stand Adidas shoes, gold bling and Nicki Minaj. As I grew up, I realised that you don't need to hate the person to dislike their attire or what they like to listen to. What I love about my friendship group is how different everyone is - we can all go to a heavy metal bar and have just as much fun as we would in an uptown London club. We all have different hair colours, piercings, tattoos, and dress senses, and that's what makes us friends - our diversity. Cheesy as fack, I know. But true.



  1. this is a really cute interesting blog post! i've followed you, can't wait to read more of your posts :) and i still get teased 5 years on for my wonky self-cut fringe and black dyed hair i had when i thirteen haha

    1. Awww yay!! Thanks so much :) God I know all about that...my friend cut my fringe at home when I was 15 and I almost cried!

  2. Loved this post! It really stood out to me how you said that chavs and goths hated each other simply because the "other" was a chav or a goth. It reminds me generally of how people behave well past teenhood. People just hate and segregate because "they" aren't like "them". Funny how high school never seems to really end, eh?

    1. God, you're so right. Ever heard of that Bowling for Soup song "High School Never Ends"? That's basically life, haha.


Comment as much as you like - all are appreciated! :)

Contact Form for Cazzy Bean


Email *

Message *