Health Goth is a movement for those who want to stay fit while staying true to their love for darkness.
While growing up, it seemed that people who loved going to the gym and exercising were on some sort of ecstasy drug. I’m thinking about Richard Simmons and those neon print spandex leggings and leotards. Don’t get me wrong. Those outfits were cute and all, but back then being a fitness junkie was 50% sweating it out at aerobics or bench pressing, and 50% being hyper happy all the time. It meant you had to keep an appearance of being as bright, cheery, excited, and giddy as the endorphins could make you.
However, times have changed. Most of us now take care of ourselves, regardless of our mood. But what if we don’t want to wear neon when we go and sweat out the pressure of everyday life? What if we want our personality to still be our calling card, even when we’re running in the park, stretching at the Pilates studio, or lifting weights at the gym? Well, in 2013 Mike Grabarek and Jeremy Scott created a movement through the Facebook page “Health Goth.”
Health Goth was a new take on the typical fitness enthusiast we’d seen so far. While slightly inspired by actual goths, this has less to do with combat boots and death metal, and more with merging high fashion with athletic wear and a love for a sci-fi apocalyptic view of the future. Gone were the hot pink prints and spandex to make way for all black outfits that screamed catwalk, regardless of them being worn to the local weight room or boxing gym. It was about not having a peppy attitude, but being able to love your body while wearing a frown or don’t-mess-with-me eyes.
According to the creators of the movement, “It’s not just the color scheme, a lot of the stuff we post are just futuristic or healthy takes on goth style. For instance, instead of military boots, we post Nike ACG boots that are all black and really advanced looking.”
Health Goth has evolved to the point where you’ll see entire advertising campaigns for sneakers and active wear with this esthetic. It has inspired high fashion designers to create collections based on these athletes. It’s safe to say that anyone can become an HG, regardless of whether they listen to Nine Inch Nails on leg day or a playlist of One Direction.
That being said, for those who feels more comfortable at a space where they won’t be asked to smile while doing squats, a traumatizing personal experience, Health Goth now has actual gyms in cities like Chicago and New York, where you can go and take a selfie with your “I’m Dead On The Inside” shirt and black lipstick before spin class.
The HealthGoth.com website even includes a fitness bible by Johnny Love, urging its followers to follow a nutrition plan and stick to a routine. One quote that stands out as the most self-explanatory tongue-in-cheek but serious idea of what it means to be part of this movement is “Don’t check yourself out in the mirror: health goths wait to get home to put on their leather harness to see how good their lats look in it after a serious session.”
One thing about this fitness style is that it proves there’s no one-size-fits all when it comes to being healthy. Each of us can find our own path towards wellbeing. Some are happy with jamming to Top 40 while wearing a nineties nostalgia outfit, while others will gladly “Workout till they feel like the dead."
Cover picture by @nartniak