Prologue to Lady Amaranth

It’s strange to think that my generation will be the first to remember a time before the internet, before reality TV and instant celebrities. It’s strange to think that likes were something you could only get from those you knew and playground bullying remained in the playground.

The internet is a fantastic place, and one which I took to quite easily. Never being the most comfortable person with social interaction, I found the internet gave me enough pause for thought and distance, and connected me with a world without leaving the comfort of my bedroom.

Goth too became a kind of salvation for me. I was a teen late to blossom; lost in childish games for a little longer than most, and always the wallflower at school discos. It was only really when I found this mystical beautiful world that I started to come into my own. Somehow, even in my awkwardness and inevitable social fauxpas that ensued, there was some semblance of acceptance and belonging. Although even here there was a social game to play. Humans are pack animals and banded together here were the unique and beautiful, all with their own piece of darkness which manifested in so many different ways.

I can’t say I was born into goth with perfect make-up or clothing, it was most certainly learnt. And I know the sensation of being “looked down upon” because you don’t quite measure up to those defined levels of goth (which I always found interesting in a community which were supposed to be anti-establishment.) Some of those haughty glances from the dyed and beautiful may have been heartfelt, but as it now has become something I am sometimes accused of – I have come to realise what it most likely was… my own insecurity… and theirs too…

We are all jagged pieces of a similar cloth and we all bear the scars of our journeys. We clamber for a place in this world and cling to it for fear it’ll be taken at any moment. Status is such an uncaring bedfellow. Yet as humans we are slaves to it.

I loved goth from the moment I discovered its existence. I loved the men and the woman, and they were so very beautiful in my eyes. Not only externally, but the strange tortured internal twisting that bled through the skin creating the art which enveloped them. It was an aspiration to me.

I never thought I was beautiful. But I learned that by living out my fantasises and engulfing myself in this dream I could be. I never thought I could model… and even the word “model” is something I tried to shy from when I first started taking pictures. I’m far too short with incorrect proportions and a nice layer of chocolate and cheese congealing beneath my skin. But in a frozen moment I can be that beautiful witch, princess, vixen and virgin that all my childhood games were made from.

It has become my addiction, my art. And I am constantly so amazed that others appreciate what I create and the beautiful messages I receive. But this adulation also finances me like the Nouveau riche. It’s not something I was ever accustomed to and I can find myself every now and again becoming indulgent and flaunting it gaudily. I do need to pull back at times, and I feel the need to accompany the images I let loose on the world with these words.

Please know that these pictures are not real, they are my stories. Helped by wonderful photographers, beautiful clothing, great lighting, scenery and indeed photoshop – I create what I see in my head, what I wish to be. And what I share with you is only snippets of an otherwise fairly ordinary life. Do not judge me by the standards you perceive in these shards – I will never live up to them. Beneath their beauty I am just a simple girl. One who doesn’t always quite get things right, who sometimes drinks too much and whose make-up never stays put after a night on the dance floor. I’m at heart an insular person, I live inside my head and find most people bemusing. So I can be little socially inept at times, and sometimes the words I speak aren’t softened by the empathy which sometimes eludes me. Please don’t expect your dreams to exist in me. Enjoy the pictures for what they are and if you ever meet me, I hope you’ll enjoy me for what I am.

In this era where levels of fame come so easily, and infamy even easier. Understand that those that seem to have it are still human after all. Know that it is actually you who control that fame, so give it wisely and with understanding.

We are living in a world in its infancy. Where this technology will take us, is the new adventure and how we learn to grow with it will be what interests me the most. But just as it gives us so many wondrous things, I think it also makes it easier to fill our heads with the “constructed reality” of others’ lives and become dissatisfied with our own.

Photos by Ethiriel and Mooncat