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Townie, Goth, Skater - or individual?
Typical teen 'uniform' - but Chris reckons young people shouldn't judge each other by dress alone
Last updated: 17 May 2005 0813 BST
lineTeens get fed up with adults making sweeping generalisations about them. So why, wonders 16-year-old Chris Leonard, are we so quick to judge each other by appearances?
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How wrong can adults be about teens?

What's it like to be a teenager?

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Wendy, 14, Hull
being classified isnt just about labeling people its a way of life, the clothes you wear, the music you like, the friends you hang out with and your attitude to other people. even though the groups think they are different they all have one thing in common they all have one thing in common they all have a dress code
J, 15, Hammersmith, London
I find goin into town sometimes hard cuz of the way i am. i go to quite a posh boarding skool, but that doesn't mean i think everyone else is 'common' or anything, and i never act posh, i just wish i didnt feel so threatened by other youths in town. i have been followed many times and once had a gun flashed at me, and a gang asked me to buy them fags. i dont like it, as it makes me nervous about goin around certain areas of london. so if u are a towny, or skater, or goth, i dont mind, ure choice, just u dont hav to mug or beat up anyone to look cool. let others be. as many have said on this site, nobody actually wants to hurt u, or intimidate u, its maybe just the way they look.
Emily,14, Durrington
I very much agree with everything Chris has said. I wouldn't class myself as a townie or a goth and am proud to be an individual. At school the 'chav' group and the 'goth' group are constantly shouting abuse at each other and its really irritating. I'd go with the saying 'Don't judge a book by it's cover'- get to know a person before you judge them. I think this prejudice needs to be addressed to everyone so that one day it might stop.
Tia, 15, London
lol i a townie n wot is on dis website is bare tru lol. al teens judge eachofa by wot day wear, der alot of fites now between townies n skaters coz dat so different!!!

Amy, 15, Dover
I hate people bein so mean to eachother. i am what i think is a goth and me and my boyfriend hav had so much abuse because of it. once this man came straight towards my boyfriend and shouted [abuse] right in his face - i couldnt believe how he could be so aggressive towards a person of 17 years old as this man was probably in his late 20's. WHEN DO THESE PEOPLE GROW UP?! also my boyfriend was walking along pass a group of five 35 year olds on a bench and they started trying to throw bottles at him and shouting at him for being a goth!! i just dont get it.WHY? i hav always been bullied even when i wasnt a goth, for being different or "weird" as they put it. why cant everyone be accepted? i cant believe townies or chavs or anyone make fun of us coz we apparently "slit our wrists" or "worship the devil" its NOT true. yes some people do slit their wrists as a way to handle their pain but anyone upset could do that! i can see why some goths do it though as it was probably the bulling that has brought them to do it! we dont all worship the devil, just coz some goths wear black, they immediately think we're on the darkside. im a CHRISTIAN and im a goth. WHATS THEIR PROBLEM?!

Lauren, 16, Portobello
I think this article has a point, there is enough stereotyping already so why make anymore? most people now are actually a sort of pic n mix - they like a bit of everything and dont like being told they have to choose to be one or the other, or that you have to be the same as your friends and that you cant mix with people from the other groups. If this stereotyping stopped so would the trouble between the groups and maybe we'd all be able to walk past each other without fear of verbal or physical abuse and you might see we're not really that different.
Nat, 14, Coventry
a spose i am a sk8er a dnt skate or anythin i jus luv wor dey do sorta speak lol 1 things 4 sure i ent a townie or a chav a used 2 b a goth but a cldnt stand da hurls ov abuse everyday lol
Anonymous, 12, Blackheath
Hi I find the whole issue irritating! In my skool if ur a grunger or goth or sk8rs all townies hate u and if ur townie grungers sk8rs and goths h8 u! Its so easy to lose ur popularity in my skool u hav 2 hav sum popularity or u become an outcast! Its really annoyin if u wanna not be an outcast you have to take other peoples opinions and put them into account its like if u do one thing wrong you get pushed out!!! I hate all this war between the groups!
Daniel, 13, Hendon
hello everyone. i go to a school which has a massive problem about townies and grungies. i hope i dnt ofend anyone when i say this but if i am correct, i gather that it is a majority of townies that pik on the alternative kids (grungies) just because they have long hair, like nirvana, or any typ of music, and even the clothes they wear. in my school i have never seen a grungy pick on a towny. some people practically have nothing to do with the conflict such as sk8ers . but there are some people who like nirvana AND snoop dogg or the killers AND 50 cent or wateva. i am 1 of these people, because i find bieng called a grungy or towny is rather insulting. i dont understand why some people have 2 b so narrow minded about the people they see and what they wear or listen 2. i dont belive in "bieng a a certain person in a certain group" i just like 2 b who i wud want to be and like what i like! thnx 4 reading
Victoria, 15, Birmingham (England)
Here in Birmingham there is a true mix of people, and it often causes dangerous clashes. It's a shame, i think, that a town seems to be based on judgement and stereotypes. What's worse is how, each 'group' of people seems to gang up on the other. Mainly because of music, these groups are formed. I have a varied taste in music (from R'n'B to gothic music) and yet i hang around with a whole range of people who don't necessarily like the same music, but we all get a long fine. People need to see past style and music taste, these aren't the only things in life. There are some people who refuse to see past first judgements and that's wrong, how are you ever going to move on in life if you don't get on with people? I think everyone should just learn to put up with each other and forget about what's on the outside, be yourself and have respect.
Grog, 16, Leicester
i dunno, maybe its different here where i live, but townies r not induvidual, they all like the exact same things and are generally clones of one another. i suppose im what you would call a goth, as are my friends and can i just say that neither me or my friends have ever said anything or witnessed an other 'goth' threatning, abusing or cousing trouble with a townie. however, all of us at some point have been threatened, abused and even beaten up quite badly by townies (the threats and abuse come on a regular basis). i have one or two friends who are townies and they're ok but the big gangs of them are violent and cause trouble, they seem to do nothing but sit on park swings, getting drunk on cidar and starting on anyone who looks different. they vandalise things they threaten members of the public. they steel they drink 'till they're sick and they form huge gangs and then beat the crap out of a single goth of whom is alone and has no way of defending themselves against fifty or so townies. And yet, here's the worst part, and this part absolutly kills me, Members of the public, especially middleclass middleaged people, absolutly love these townies because of how smartly dressed they are. they'll nod approvingly when thay see them in there little 'crews' pushing and swearing at each other, 'bless them, the smart, little, nike wearing angels' they think to themselves. And yet if someone like me walks past and (ok im using a past experiance) helps an old man up after he's just fallen, the same middle class middleaged people give me death stares and look at me as though im vermin. (the old man was very thankfull and went on his way) i realise im probably a bit biast but this realy is how townies behave. there's one other thing, townies, goths and skaters dont actually make up the whole teenage thing(sorry, i couldn't think of a word that fit) there's the industrial goth, the cyber goth, grunge teens who still worship Kurt Cobain and Ian Curtis (i must admit i love allot of the grunge sound) there are still one or two punks out there who are still living in the late seventies and refuse to listen to anything other than the clash, sex pistols etc, however, most 'punks' thesedays are just posers and more into pop-punk crap like Good Charlotte. there are many other groups but iv gotta go polish my fangs and iron my cape lol cuz im going out. i appologize for going off the point towards the end, i just got started on music and thats my love. im in a band, rhythm guitar and vocals. bye xx
Gemma, 12
Im a Skater but i reckon you shouldnt be judged for what you are wearing or what music you listen to, to be honest i like all music really and i like most clothes, i dont think it is fair to judge people like that. Ive got mates who are townies, goths and skaters but i respect them for who they are and i think everyone should respect people.
Andrew, 16, Doncaster
I would be classed as a "Townie". we are mainly the very cocky people in school back chat teachers and vandalise. we are like chavs only with a better dress sense, most "Townies" wear the latest slip-on trainers, lonsdale are the new best trainers. wear ny hats - none of that burberry crap.we mainly hit on goth's and skater's. mainly its territorial either get out of the area or get mugged - simple. i've been in trouble with the cops about 14 times already.
I get bullied in school a lot for being who I am, being goth and it really hurts feelings.

From BBC Gloucestershire:
If you're being bullied, please check out the One Life Bullying section for information about it and advice on how to stop it happening. Click here for more
Nicci, 15, Liverpool
hi i rlly dont think stereotyping is fair but, people do have a choice,they can make a decision of who they arewhat they wear and what they look like. i would pesonally like to fit into a group coz i feel like im an outsider i am not a chav- i own nothing burberry hav no tracksuits n dont wear loadsa foundation or av my ears pierced. im not a townie i do not have the latest stuff. im not a goth i dnt own loadsa black clothes just a few for when i go to funerals or somethin i do not like their music either lol. im just a misfit n dont like it !
Debbz, 16, Chatham
I think people should be left to do what they want and wear what they want. i admit that i hate chavs and living in chatham its hard to get away from them, i think people should be an indivdual and stop being a memebr of a crowd because if you do that you want stand out in the ways that you could stand out. its up to you what music you like adn what clothes and style you choose so leaves others alone adn they to will leave you alone. im an individual and i listen to everything from rock to pop.

Kate, 14, Staffordshire
I get called a goth all the time by close minded chavs. I'm not a goth and I doubt that they even know what a true goth is or what they stand for. It's stupid how I pick up a Judas Priest CD in musiczone whilst wearing black today and three chavs decide to make my life living hell. Two girls staring at me and giggling whilst their guy friend grabs the CD out of my hand and stands in front of me so I can't look at the CD's. People shouldnt be catergorised, but if chavs insist on making mine and other peoples lives hell because we dont look like them, then they are self centred people who deserve to be punished.

Individual mosher, 14, Scotland
At a gig i went to recently there was some conflict between moshers/goths and townies. the two groups tend to stay separated where I'm from and it doesnt really bother me.
Lindsey, 18, US
wow, let me just say that i am glad i live in Georgetown, SC. I've never seen anybody beaten up for their style, and at my high school we had preps, goths, punks,stoners, wiggas, you name it. People got along for the most part and even hung out with people with different interests, although i must admit that the goth kids looked intimidating until you talked to them. I dont think i ever heard about anyone being beaten up for the group they fit into. The closest thing we had to that was racial conflicts, but even those were rare.
Vikee & AJ, 14, Portsmouth
i think your all being rather silly because at the end of the day everybody is there own person and you should be aloud to wear what clothes you like and do what you like without being shouted at an fings!!!!!
Lauren, 13, Cyprus
people are often very sterotypical about these things and like to be seen so that if say he/she was a "skater" they would hate to be called a townie...most goths skaters and punks etc actually dislike townies and townies have friends merely because they are scared of them and do not want to be bullied by them. i dont understand why everyone cant just get along. but will townies please stop with the prostitute look?
Sammy, 13, Coventry
wat is it wiv townies? y do dey all reckon der really hard. if ya c a skater in da street da townies will always b on da other side? wots dat about? im a skater personally but i still have m8s hoo r townies n chavs
Caz, 14, Burnley
i am a goth and i think that people should repect others for what they are.
Manicpsychiatrist, 15
If you think about it, everything is discrimination of some kind. It's what makes us human, it's survival of the fittest. Everybody needs everybody else to believe that they're the best, then they are the best. They do this by putting other people down. Monopolising is the only guaranteed way to ensure the survival of their opinions, race, or anything. That is why there is discrimination, it can't be stopped, there's no point in trying to stop it. The only way to beat it is to not take it seriously. Laugh it off. You are who you are, we all discriminate, it's natural, just don't get obsessed about it, yeah?
Rhino, 14, Hemel Hempstead
Hey dudes im a sk8r (i used 2 b a townie but every1 makes mistakes) every tym i go 2 sk8 with som friends we get abause thrown at us & started on. i dnt understand y ppl start on sk8rs or goths. i love goths they rok so much & as 4 sk8rz they r so kl. townies must b reli stupid they dont seem 2 realise startin on sk8rz is a bad idea. i realise that writting this will hav no efect on townies reaction to sk8rz or goths but if if it helps people realise local opinions.
simple fact. i have never had trouble from anyone who wasnt wearing sports wear. i cannot see how im ment to keep an open mind when this is all i see. i am not a rocker, im not a punk, im not a surfer, im not a skater, im not a goth. i like punk, rock, metal i wear music and mtb tees. baggy jeans.
Karen, 15, Hastings
Sorry, its me again, but i just read something that was quite disturbing. Jc, you don't understand goths, so you don't like them? How small, closed minded is that? I don't understand you why townies go around with their trousers tucked itno their socks, but i don't go around shouting my mouth off. I'd judt like to say that the only other people who do the sock thing are OAPS!!! My advice to you is grow up, get some sellotape to keep your mouth shut, then you might learn something. Oh, and take the trousers out of the socks please, its embarrasing when i have a laughing fit in the middle of the town.
Karen, 15, Hastings
I get called goth a lot, i don't actually think of myself as goth, but wotever. I tend to get a lot of abuse for dressing the way i do, we recently had a non-uniform day at my school, and lets just say i suffered quite a lot of abuse from people, mainly "townies" i had untill then considered my friends. What annoyed me was that these people knew me, got along with me, and liked me untill they found out how i dressed. My friend and i often get comments such as "do you sacrifice babies?" (no lie, one "chav" actually asked us that!)and "do you worship the devil?" This is pointless steriotyping and for all the chavs out there, no i don't sacrifice babies, and no i don't worship satan. Thank you very much. This type of thing has been around for ages, the previous generation had the biker versus mod thing. Some things never change eh? Bikers used to get a lot of bad press, antisocial, drunk thugs, but like "goths" i've found they only disrespect people who disrespect them. Is it any wonder that us "rockers" hate "townies"? If somebody came up to you and started shouting "Freak", "satanist" and worse at you, would you just smile politly at them? No. I personally don't go up to a gang of burberry clad chavs and hurl abuse back. But I like my face the way it is!
Becky, 14, South Devon
I am kinda a sk8r but d music i listen to is roack and punk(green day,blink.nirvana,yellow card,sum 41 etc) but ppl call me stuff lyk scab n tramp but that is not true i chose how i dress because i feel comftable in it it annoyys me when certain people judge you before they even know you e.g. townies they all think they are hard witch they are not they are people who pic on other people and make them feel bad they judge other people because they are not townies so i say this dont judge people on how thye look becoz they can be a realy nice person.
Abi, 15
The rael meaning of a townie is : a person who wears a lot of fakes or addidas and kappa, wear lots ansd lots of gold jewlery and lives mainly on council estates (sos if that offended anyone!)
Jo, 16, Birmingham
People can never catorgarise me! I'd say how I dress is well 'unique'! One day I look like a chav,than the next a goth etc.. I like the fact that no one knows what to expect from me! It makes me individual! :)

Michelle, 14, America
Most people on here have said how thjey hate discriminating and judging people when they are doing the exact same thing. Most people have completely contradicted themselves. I hate the way people stereotype and label, just because your wear a certain time of clothing or listen to a certain type of music. It annoys me when people say 'chav', 'townie','goth','ruder','skater' or what ever else people have made up.

I dont see the point in arguing and fighting over the type of clothes you wear and what music you listen to. Most people have said how 'chavs' cause abuse to people who may look diffrent to them - this just shows that people stereotype them selfs and try and live up to what they label them selves as. Isnt it what the individual person is like depending on whether your violant or likely to cause abuse? It also annoys me the way that people have commented that they dont judge and its normal people who are classed as 'chavs' e.t.c are the ones who judge and discriminate - isnt it exactly what they are doing? no one can be completely individual and i hate the way people think tehy are by wearing labels like 'animal' or 'quicksilver' , these are trends just like 'nike' or 'reebok' are.

I think an invidual person is someone who is true to them self and wears what they want to and are not influenced by anyone.

People say tht labeling is just to identify a certain group of people , but its much more than this , people use violance over a disagreement in music. Why? its just teh same as wearing white socks one day and black the next. Why cant people come away from the stereotypes and wear what they want? If they like sport trainers but also like rock music - so what?

Isa, 17, Weymouth
I have been a goth, townie etc. Just about every steereotype there is but i like it. Ifind it well fun to play round with stereotypes and find i fit in with the crowds of sterotypes I like hanging out with different kinds of people and changing my identity.
Hannah, 14, London
I go to a school where you are labeled as 'townie' or 'chav' or 'grunger' or whatever, if you dont conform with the ideas of people you are imedeatly an outcast and if you dont fit in to one of these groups you are a loner. I dont understand why people must be labeled... it upsets me to see so many people who could just be themselves instead of going around pretending to be who they think people want them to be. I hang around with a big group of people, boys and girls, some of us like r'n'b, i like rock, clasis rock, some metal bands and indie rock. I also listen to jazz, bues and soul music. I love so many different styles of music, and all my friends like different ones too, we all get on dispite our styles, some of you might call us chavs some of you might call us grungers, skaters or even goths, but we are ourselves and if everyone thought like that then the world would be a much happier place :)
Carl , 14
I am a Punk, i'm a Goth and i'm a Rocker. I may be classed all these things but if you'd ask me about my musical interest i could tell you i like blues, jazz, punk, goth, soul, classic rock and i even like hip-hop and r&b. I am a skater because i skate not because i wear baggy jeans and a hoody!! I wear that cos it's comfy!!!! Plus i call people chavs if they are anoying or being a pain!!!!
Amelia, 13, Redditch
My mum and dad are both bikers i have an off road motorbike and we go to rallies and gigs but im so fed up of people calling me a skater and stuff like that. whats that all about??? i mean i dont even skate!!!!!!!
Stairway_2_Heaven, 12, Birmingham
I don't think i actually fit into a character- but i have to admit that the music i listen to influences the way i dress. i have 2 goth and 2 punk- rocker mates. they class me as a "grunger" which is kinda right as my fav band is nirvana. but we do geta lot of stick at skool, which doesnt bother me dat much cos im just gonna be myself, and if it means been called a greebo- than so be it!!!
Kelda, 15, Somerset
i hate townies, no offence but they annoy me and beat up a friend, fracturing her neck! for no reason!
Me :)
Dont judge a book by its cover! Or dont judge a person by what cloths they wear. I suppose ppl cant stop judgeing ppl but dont discriminate them etc... just cos you might think ppl with long hair n wearing hoodies n chains n stuff, nick stuff n beat ppl up - not all do. Some1 u may know for ages might suddenly dress up just like that - get to know ppl as individuals. It is not the cloths that ppl wear that shows what there actions are. pff - This is all taken too far - totaly ott. tbh it should just be kept as a style not a total way of life. Media has influence in this and im sure not the only one to think so.
Sian & Ashlie, both 15, Cirencester
I'm a goth. i hate everything that is not gothic. i dye my hair and have many piercings plus tattoos. i want to die when im older I'AM A VAMPIRE! that was your steriotypical goth im a goth and im not like that so why tell me im like that. dont put me into a group it sucks. Me and my "chav" friend here think that you are steriotypical way of thinking is rubbish so i shall leave you to dwell on that... muhahahahaha oooo look an evil GOTH laugh!
Tina, 13, Surrey
I try to be a townie and i dont know where im going wrong because peopl call me a wannabe. PLZ HELP
Kim, 17, Cardiff
I personally am more of a rock chick myself, but at the same time, listen to all other types of music too, but rock is what i prefer. So this is where i think i have to stick up for "chavs". Why be so ashamed? its been given a bad name, but i think its something to be proud of, if thats what you are. Never be ashamed of what you are. I admit, i dress more like a baggy skater, but i prefer it. Not because i'm trying to shy away form being a "chav". i was at the Tsunami concert and these groups of girls, similar to my style of clothiong, were shouting out "townies should die" and told bands like libertyX and Lemar to get off and kept screaming out "We wanna see Feeder!" and that was totally disrespectful, where the "townies/chavs" of the crowd enjoyed every band there! I hated the fact they so obviously thought that they were "different" to the "townies" and that "townies" were all the same, and hated the fact they were into different clothing, but isn't that exactly what "moshers" used to fight for? I remember when the music scene was all about the urban, and rock was unheard of commercially, the "moshers" would say, "why hate us because we're different, we are of no less superior" but isnt that exactly what a lot of them are doin nowadays because it is seen as cool being a "mosher" and not a "chav"? Its more likely nowadays to see a "mosher" than it is to see a "chav"! I'm not sayin "townies" are perfect, and that they are not "yobs" because some are, but so are the other types out there. Its all down to the individual. Its the personality, not the clothing.
Anonymous, 15
Why have these comments not been put on the news yet, look to summarize alot of the messages, every group seems to get along, sk8s get along with goths and even what you could call a "geek", etc, eveyoen gets along, teh groups mix. or chosoe to not mix. these groups dont resort to violence etc... then u hav chavs they r abusive, have to assert there postion useing violence, pick on every group. ive been with a group of friends (of various groups) who have been followed by chavs twice our age and threatend, my sister and her friends had all there stuff knicked (theses are year 7s haveing there stuff knicked). they have no morales, and even fight amoungest thereselfs. and yet adults seem to assume taht these are the good children, tehy assume that sk8s and goths cause the problems, ban skateing boarding and choose to walk on the other side of the road when we go past, because they chavs confrm teh teh normal dress and hair styles people assume there kind! When will people realise that just because somones hair is longer than 5 inchs, they are not out to get you! and for christ sake stop banning sk8ing because it is "intimidating" and protect people from being harrased , you may be correct alot of sk8ers drink, or take cannibis even, but they are not hurting anyone else and althougth i'm not trying to defend underage drinking and drug taking, i'm sure they could be doign much worse. now i'm not saying eveyone who is not a sk8 etc is like this, if your not like this i wouldnt describe u as a chav, and i'm not saying all sk8ers are perfect you get [idiots] eveywhere, but peope should realise who the real crimminals are.

Mandi, 15, Gardner, Kansas
I think the media plays a huge role in stereotyping. Like at my school every 'group' has its own table it sits with at lunch. So I'm constantly changing places where I sit because I am friends with many types of people. I'm friends with people who listen to country music, hard rock, rock n' roll... etc. the point I'm trying to make is, I don't care how people see me, all I'm trying to do is get through high school so I can go to college. That is my main goal and I don't care if someone wants to go and call me a total bitch, cause thats their view of me not mine. So people need to get past what people think of them and be themsleves instead of trying to be someone else.
Molly, 13, Vernon NJ
I am young and i have gone to the mall dessed as what you would call a goth (black clothes, black lipstick etc.) and some kid who was about seventeen years old pints right at me up in my face and says loudly "what the **** is that". its a really bad thing to treat me like a dirty object but its even worse since im so young and he is like able to drive a car when i cant even go out on my own yet people are always constantly judging me thinking i only listen to heavy metal and i praise the devil. ok i do like heavy metal but i love almost everyhitng out there i dont fall in to one category and i hate it when poeple label me i wish they would just stop.
Heather, 16, Tilbury
Well i have read all of the comments made so far and i would say to everyone to be your self but that has allready been said too many times people need to hear something different. i am a goth/grunger and i love all of the clothes, the music and everything. i get wierd looks all the time alot of people laugh at me especially the townies. they do this because they havent got nothing better to do and they live such a boring life that they get joy out of beating other people up just because they dont like what they are wearing or there makeup is differnent to theres. but then they will also have a go at you if you wore the same as them and looked like them so us goth/grungers cant win. i can say this though 'they laugh at us because we are different we laugh at them because they are all the same. why do townies think that they are better than us? i got beaten up by a large gang of chavs once and i nearly ended up in hospital. while the chavs were beating me up a group of townies walked past they couldnt see me but when they saw what i was wearing wham i was catagorsed straight away and they walked away. why townies? what have i ever done to you?
Paige,13, London
ur so right about that at the minute i have no idea what i am im gonna say im the undecided but because of the way i dress i have people hurling abuse at me and throwing things at me it can be very depressin and sum people like me react to it in self harm. it really needs to stop i meen me and my brother are always fighting bcoz hes a "townie" he listens to garage rnb and all dat and me i listen to metal, punk, rock. y cant we just be normal dont judge someone bcoz of how they dress or look or what music they listen to judge them by the people they are.
Tom, 16, Luton
I am a greebo,when ever I go into town I all ways get beaten up by townies. why??
Sian, 15, South Cerney
I'm a goth and i hate townies,but you cant split us teens into only 3 groups if you actually opened you eyes and looked at all the differet types of people theres chav preps cybers. theres not just goths but many types of them. im annoyed at the fact you put us into sad little groups which is perfetic and immature.. yours totally in darkness
Lex, 14, Lewisham
I am a Goth, and I have never been happier since I became one. We do not stereotype ourselves, in fact, there are so many different types of Goth, we are the only "scene", as some call it who are actually a sub-culture. Goth has been around since 1981, and will continue to be for many years to come. We are not a trend, and any real Goth will tell you that many things we are associated with - devil-worship, Marilyn Manson, Columbine, etc - is completely false. Unfortunately, there are those who believe themselves to be Goths who are only labelling us with bands and styles that are not in the least Gothic - I read an article of yours about teenage "Goths", they were merely three children in bland halloween make-up and hoodies of mainstream bands. People believe themselves to be individual, but what is individualistc about millions of ordinary members of the public driving to their 9am-5pm office jobs, having 1.5 children with two cars in their garage? Gothic is about turning away from that society - we are a minority, but we are more individual than many others. I do listen to Marilyn Manson, and I am a Luciferian. However, I stand by my comment that neither of those interests are Gothic. I enjoy The Cure, Bauhaus and Nosferatu just as much as the next person I bump into in Camden. Maybe I take myself too seriously, but I feel that I have reason.
Ollie, 14, Oxford
im am know as a "skater" i dont call myself it but i like everythink so i dont no y every1 calls me a "skater" y do people hav 2 label thereselfs???
Woody, 14
I'm a 14 year old boy and i wear what i want i dont give my self a name like "townie, mosher, skater, goth" or whatever but just cos im like a skater/goth/punk townie always wanna "beat me up" i dont c whats the point.
Anah, 14, Preston
I get a lot of dirty looks from townies b-coz I'm a Goth,who and where i hang out. And it's not fair coz they treat us with no respect when we never did anything to hurt them and even if we did they were the ones who started it, they also beat us up and the police never does anything about it.
Chris Thomas, 16, Cleckheaton
As a few people have said there is a lot of violence between the cultures but the majority is between townies and other cultures as they hang in large groups and tend to start violence with other cultures. i have been jumped a few times by these townies (or individuals as you put it) and once me and my friends were followed by about 20 of them who were hurling abuse at us and hitting us because we were "moshers" when we eventually stopped outside someones house to stand upto them they stopped and threw rocks at the car of the house and threatened to smash the windows of the house.Me and my friends are all "moshers and goths" but i also skate, and we have not once had a problem with any skaters or any other group. just the "townies" who seem to think that picking on other groups make them look good and hard. As for this survey, its trying to say we are all individuals which is true but some groups of individuals aren't as nice as others. and this survey doesnt show this.
Li$a, 15
The only way things can be sorted,is if we accepted each other,no matter who they are,next we'll be on our way to world peace. I personally am a goth, but I appreciate people,regardless of whether they are a townie,mosher,skater,grunger,Greebo etc etc.
Georgia, 13, Cheltenham
I think everyones so stupid does it matter whats someone wears or looks like and also people who are always going on about how people always steryotpye they probably do too so they can shut up as well i mean everyone naturlly steryotypes you cant help it everyone didnt even mention what they thought about and shut up whenever you think you have soething to say because you a probably being a hypocrite anyway what is the point in this message board anyway yes iand i know i am making a comment but thid is only to put you right.
Stephanie, 13, Balloch/Scotland
I think Goths should not be judged by looks, i am a goth and am very frightend to go out in public dressing in fishnets,black skirts and black gothic tops. I usually like to where my big DMs but people Draw me horrible looks and make nasty comments,this has lowered my confidence to be a goth.
Twig, 14, Crete, Il USA
I live in old America and here we don't refer to them as townies (did i spell that right?) we refer to them as Gheto faublous.Sorry about my spelling you rock bbc. Sorry i don't really know if you guys rock because i'm not that interested in british comedy sorry.
Stevo-d, 14, Abbots Langley (village)
Why is everyone going on at other 'groups'? so what if we don't like the same music as you, or wear the same clothes? we're all humans, and i don't see why what we like and are interested in should separate us.
Riahna, 16, Gloucester
I dnt like the terms, 'Townie, Goths and Sk8ers'.

I am neither, Townie, or Goth, OR ska8er... i am me; i dnt wear black all the tym all at once, i dnt wear adidas/nike/reebok-sporty/urban clothing, and i dnt wear really baggy sk8er clothes... i actually have a style of my own, which wouldnt fit in2 any otf those catergorys. People think... If we keep on wasting our lives annoying and hating other people, because of their clothing, colour, race, or whatever.. how the hell are we going to live and enjoy or lives?!

Trust me... U do NOT wnt 2 b, one of those people who do.


s*x pot, 15, London
Townies rule townie boys are so fit and skayters are so lst year all me mates is townies and we stik together li glu so let us !!!
Missy, 15, Manchester
I agree. People in my area are either called moshers or scallies-or townies.They r so bad that there was an organised fight between moshers and stupid.4 those who dont know scallies r townies n moshers r like goths.none of us r considered as individuals.
Heather, 14, Blackburn
Why does everyone pick on a goth mosher skater just because we are different and we dont follow your dress sense or your music its stupid and childish.
Shawn, 16, Summersville W.V.
Its not only these groups that get ation from adults. Its kids like me who have made wrong decisions and have been locked up for it. I wear baggy cloths and I have four piercings and everyone stereotypes me. I think they should just leve us alone!!
Ely, 20, Newcastle
It's just an excuse to have power over another group of people to show off. The truth is people as a whole are volatile, and if someone is going to pick a fight because of how you dress, then they're easily gonna pick on someone cos of the way they look. Most of it is just random abuse to make certain people within the group look much superior - for the most part they always pick on a single unit when they're easily outnumbered. It's just teen arrogance, which sometimes enters adulthood. Some people don't change from their teenage years and just become an adult version of their child.

If you recognise yourself as being different, if you want to just have the strength to be yerself, then go for it. At the end of day they go back to their lives, and you go back to yours.

Just remember to stay true to what you know is best fr yourself, and learn to deal with it. This kind of behaviour is in office and many workplaces too.. it's a way of life.. it's a reminder to not be like those people and be so judgemental and rash with your opinion.

Hana, 14, Cheltenham
Is a townie the same as a chav?

Fawn, 14, Southend
I spent a large part of my life at school as a goth and got nothing but trouble out of it because of people discriminating against me and the people i hung around with. after the people who were discriminating against us got to know me they decided that i wasnt mean and scary as they thought i would/should be and didnt deserve to be called a Goth and should act like one. I however thought that i was just me and i liked black alot. i didnt want to be called a Goth or be turned into something i didnt want to be. i wasnt a Goth i was just me. i didnt want to be classed as anything. Now im being changed and told how to dress what to listen to where to hang out. Just becasue they didnt agree with how i wanted to be.

I think that discrimintating is one of the worst kinds of thing to do and should never happen to anyone. a person should be judged on the person they are not on what kind of clothes they wear, what music they listen to , who and where they hang around!

Drew, Glasgow
It's the way of the world. People wil always dicrminate someone over something, whether it be gender, colour, sexual orientation, weight etc etc. No matter how bad it gets, remember that there is someone in the world probably worse off than you are being persecuted simply for being themselves. In our strugle to be individual, we will always end up being the same as someone else. In the end it's better to try and live life not playing by anyone else's rules, but to be yourself for no-one but yourself.

Max, 14, Banbury
IM wat ppl wud think is a townie cuz i really hate the whole skater thing which the way that most of them wear expensive skater labels bcoz their rich daddies can afford them. i dont dress like them bcoz that is how ppl were i live all dress and if i get any abuse i jus laff cuz they wudnt say nefin if i was wiv my m8s outa skool who i suppose yu wud call townies 2
Nadiya, 14, London
I Really hate generalisation, what is the deal? why cant people see you as you and not want to quickly categorize you into a certain category!? I dress like a skater sometimes, a punk, a Goth, IM in to all of that but when people see me down the streets they quickly make a judgement, you dont know me AND STOP STARING!!! and then the next day i wear something else and they give me a weird look as if arent you punk, (because i say you drees like that yesterday), its really easy to make a judgement, but if people werent so lazy they would get to know you before judging.
Megan Singer, 19, California
Dont' pause to think that styles and labels from high school disappear upon entrance to colleges and universities, they can linger for a few more years, even become an icon of a particular person's image. It can become an asset or a nuisance.

Sam, 14, Bolton
If you actually get out into the real world, you will realise that most Townies, if not all of them are cocky boasters, who look like prats and have the personality of a pig.

S, 13, Harrow
I get big problems coz in my skool every1 is classed as something and there is like an order of who can b asoc8ed wiv who and who is better than some1 else. I am classed as a Goth so i am the 1 no1 wants to be asoc8ed wiv but fortun8ly i hav friends who r outsiders like me,a punk and a smart kid which makes bing an outsider more bearable.
Stuart, 18, Lancaster
I think mabye there has been some confusion over the term Goth usually a person seen wearing clothing with band labeling would be a mosher. most goths will listen to music much heavier or darker than the average mosher which is a more aquired taste - bands like cradle of filth, burzum, cannabil corpse and danzig. where as a mosher will (this is only a broad generalisation)listen to bands like korn, chimera, offspring, murder dolls, slipknot and HIM. I think that much of the problem comes from the a "townies" lack of understanding of anything which they arnt, ask a townie to say what they think mosher lyrics are about and usually you will get a reply along the lines of "raah raaaaah rah" townies also seem to be of the general opinion think that every alternative person cuts themselves and worships the devil.
Marc, 19, Tewkesbury
Come on fellow teenagers, Lets be fair to others in the community. Teenagers complain they don't get respected by the adults, but anyone who walks past the Beer Gardens in cheltenham or numerous other locations on a saturday evening can see gangs of youths drinking and yobbish behaviour. It used to be said it was a minority that spoilt it for the rest... but there's quite alot of this behaviour and it's growing. Is it any wonder why teenagers get a bad name for yourselves?
Colin, 15, Bournemouth
Although this may seem a bit against what other people have said, i think that most social 'groups' are fine, and being pigeon holed into them isn't that bad. But, I have a problem with townies. Or should i say, townies have a problem with everyone. For some reason, townies feel the need to pick fights with and hurl abuse at everyone, with no provocation or justification. I was skating near my home, and went past some townies. They shouted at me, stupid things like ''Did your mummy buy your skates for you''. I ignored them and carried on. When i turned around and came back they did the same, but after i didn't acknowledge them they walked right up to me and pushed me off the path, and shoved my younger brother (10, with me at the time) over on to the ground. he was ok so we carried on skating. The townies chased us a bit hurling more abuse, but lost interest. I cant imagine anyone from any other 'group' assaulting anyone like this, and i've known townies to do it often to me and my friends. I do't know what their problem is, they should just leave everyone alone. There are many more things i could say but that would make me a bit like them. Thanks for listening, and i would like to ask what the people who say that skaters are bad are basing it on.
Hans, 15, Lewes
I think that townies should grow up cause wot have have Goths done excpet for be our selves, we may dress differently and .ike different music but it doesn't give u the right to discrimate us.

Emma (Pedro),14, lancashire
IM a mosher but i fit in well i have many mosher/Goth/sk8r friend and i also have a few townie ones. they respect me for who i am. must admit i hate club n r&b music but i dont go round callin it. goth music is pretty cool but ill stick 2 rock. we shouldnt be judged by the way we dress and what we listen 2! ppl that do that is stupid!

Richard, Hammersmith
If you're all individuals, why do you dress the same and listen to the same music?

Amy, 17, Aylesbury
I believe we are all individuals and shouldnt b named im called a townie or a kev whats that about we have names mines amy.

JC, 15, London
i dont understand Goths , thats why i dont like them sorry! erm , im a townie , well thats what i wud call myself cause i wear sports gear like nike adidas and reebok ALOT !

Ruby Gloom(aka Nicole), 13, Liverpool
I'm a goth and in school i get picked on for it. It's people who say goths we're to blame for the columbine shooting who force us to become cutters, so its other peoples fault we are stereotyped.
Sam, 16, Bedfordshire
I am a goth and i am fed up with people judging me for who i am, goths are people too, we laugh we cry and we hang out with friends. some people think that you have to wear black or have black hair to be a goth, but this is not the case...some people who are goths do not wear black all the time, some wear jeans and stuff like that, you don't have to wear black to be a goth! also you see people like me walking around in jeans and listening to club music, again you do not have to listen to hard rock to be a goth, it is advisable to like it but it isn't the only genre that you will like! all i am saying is that there are many different types of goth and we all like different things, people have to understand that...sure goths can be quiet but the only reason that most of us do that is because people do not give them the change, there are people who are like the description above but i am saying that some arn't mostly tennagers, but the main statement is... THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF GOTH AND WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT!!!
Kitty, 13, N. Wales
I think stereotyping is a sort of learning experience of trial and error in a sense and its natural to sterotype people in any way possible, if not their sense of fasion what else?? and i (as a goth) stereotype people iv never met before and when iv met them im usually right!!!
Don't judge people by how they look, we are all human and you wouldnt like people hating you for who you are.
Hannah, 15, Dorset
I think groups work but it's really only kids who take note of them. A lot of adults (most of my friends parents etc) don't even know what a townie or a goth is.

Goths get a lot of stick because of what we wear and the music we like, but they are nice people inside and maybe if townies (and sometimes skaters!) talked to us instead of yelling at us on the streets then we'd all get along better.

As well as townie stereotyping, there is also Goth stereotyping. You can't say you are a goth just because you pretend to like heavy metal music. Goths like a wide range of music!

Townies like Rap and R&B. A lot of the townies I know say that the music I like really crap but I don't see what talent there is in just talking fast over music. I don't see what talent there is in screaming over a mess of people who try to be rock and roll, but that's just my oppinion.

Would you stay away from a gang of 20 or more people in the road drinking and hurling abuse at you if it meant walking near one person on their own wearing black who probably wouldn't even talk to you? I know what I'd chose.

Sam Callan, 13, Stoke-on-Trent
Its true i am a goth and i get jugded by the things i wear and the sort of music i listen to like marilyn manson.
Rugas Wej, 14 - Cambs.
Bonjour!! Well can i just say this: ahem,be you,people will love you,if they don't like the way u dress,or how u talk or what u talk about or just genrally how you are,then tell 'em to **** off. Simple. Don't like sumthing? don't listen. Simple,oh yeah and listen to ATREYU. <--very good band

Amanda, 16 - Toronto
BBC makes me laugh. So do a large amount of the people who post here.

If you are stereotyped, it's your fault. Stop being like everyone else. If you're being yourself, then go you - who really cares if someone calls you goth/punk/skater. Isn't that what you wanted?

Adz , 15 - Barnsley
hey do0ds like im a sk8er and a mosher n i get discriminated every otherday becos of the music i listen to, the way i dress and becos my hobbies r skatin and moshin out at skool there are groups the trendys the urbans the hippies and the moshers/sk8ers and all the others h8 us do0d this aint fair will some 1 do summin about this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Alison, 15
i don't think you should judge any1 by what they wear. I have alot of townie and skater friends!
Greater Horseshoe, 25 - Nodnol
"You are all individuals" "Yes, we are all individuals"
Bethan Jones ,15 - Bangor, N.Wales
I don't think its fair, who do goths get all the abuse, and why do townies always want to discriminate us against it. So what we follow a certin trend, we may not be into bramd names like addidas but we dont attack townies beacause of it. We may not like your sence of style but we wont give you crap. please townies... JUST GROW UP!!
daz,14 - london
i am not that straight forward coz being my self is boring, i actally want 2 b a goth but its hard and thats what i want to do. i think its hard just being your self.-if u get wat i mean
kayleigh ,16 - Quedgeley
i think dat everyone is individual becuase not everyone is the same.
ZS, Nottingham
The fact that these Teenagers are different from each other makes categories. Goth is a subculture, a very important one. Goths generally do not go around shouting abuse at people for the way they dress or the music they listen too. So if anyone wants to argue leave it up to someone who can be bothered to disscriminate because of someones culture or dress code- Not me.
Sapphire Meadows ,18 - Gloucestershire
Makai McCouter shouldn't have been published on this site, and I find it hard to believe she's 17, that sort of comment is immature and unconstructive.

Leanne,16 - Forest of Dean
I'd just like to comment on the whole issue with stereotypes. I class myself as me, people say I'm goth, but in reality I don't want to be classed.

I get abuse all of the time from these so-called trendy sorts because of the way I dress, whereas I don't retaliate because I want people to get along.

A friend of mine was beaten up because of the way she dresses, and if anyone knew the insider view of the conflict between these groups, they'd namely see that the alternative people hate violence and don't start fights, it's the people who have a problem with us that start.

I'm not saying everyone does, but there's a few big groups who often do start a fight with the alternative people, and we don't like violence so we don't retaliate.

I wish members of the public would turn around and help those in distress, but they just walk on by as if nothing is happening.

Also realise that many alternative people have very normal trendy friends, and everybody gets along, as long as the trendy sorts see that we're very friendly people.

There was a girl I managed to make friends with because I said I liked her hair, whereas she judged me before I spoke, yet when I explained I was ok with her, she turned around being all friendly.

This is the sort of behaviour everybody appreciates. Everyone should give everybody a chance and to get to know the person on the inside, not by how they dress or look. I also know plenty of people who fear being in Gloucester and walking the streets just in case they get mugged, beaten up, or stabbed. If everyone got along, alot of my friends would be so much happier.

There was a woman who walked past me the other day, and dragged her child to the other side of the street, just because of how I dress. I wouldn't hurt anybody so I don't know why people fear us so much.

Simon Abinett, 36 - Portsmouth
I totally disagree with the comment that a townie going to a goth gig would get abuse, i dont believe that would ever happen they maybe looked at a bit oddly by some or even cause people to be wary but goths would definetly not be the ones to give out abuse that has always been a townie trait. This comment is based on fifteen years of experience.

Ashleigh,17 - London
If I had to pidgeonhole myeslf I would say that I am a Goth however the generalisation in this report is not true at all. Most goths are not "quiet, shadow-clinging teens".

I myself am very loud and outgoing (and I have met many other outgoing goths) and I have also met many goths well over the age of 25 (I met one who was in his late 40's)

The other thing I hate is remarks like Makai McCouter saying "Skaters are just little b*****ds that don't deserve to live at all. If i was a skater, i would shoot my self twice to make sure i was dead."

Why hate someone because of the way they dress? She probably hasn't got to know many skaters because generaly I find them nice people. Makai McCouter one piece of advice: stop being closed minded.

Tiffany,16 - Neosho
I rally like goths cuz i am one and i also like this site.
Makai McCouter 17
Skaters are just little b*****ds that don't deserve to live at all. If i was a skater, i would shoot my self twice to make sure i was dead.

Kate - Age 17
Many people judge people by how they dress and ignore rasism, rape etc. Well why are you all here talking about wether it matters how we dress?

If a man was raping a goth on a street corner you stop it because it doesn't matter what u look like. You are a person and each of us deserves a level of repect so stop talking about this and get up and help the people that need helping.

Sarah - Wakefield
I agree with these so called *groups* but I chose to be a goth, not because of my friends, but as a personal choice.

One of my friends is a skater and the other a townie and the other a mosher. We are all different in our own special ways but all get on well.

We do not hang around together all the time and we do have our *other crowds* that we hang around with. But we all luv each other and respect each other for who we are.

Anonymous - Email
Moshers along with skaters,Goths and surfers are the types of people who are themselfs and not a shadow of someone else, also we do not like to fight or pick on people who are weaker than us, that is the job of the Townies.
Jo - Stroud
I am a teenager and I don't belong to any group. I don't want to be stereotyped I just want to live my life.

Si - Gloucester
I hate the way young poeple themselves stereotype one another by what music they listen to.

Personally I seem to be immediately stereotyped a "trendy" until people find out that I'm into rock and metal, then they tell me how much I don't seem that type of person.

Most of my friends too get the same kind of thing every day. Kids seem to want to put themselves and others in pigeonholes.

Tell us your views on this article or teen life in general and we'll publish them on BBC Gloucestershire.

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