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Daily Drip

Oh My Goth: Subway Authorities “Terrified” of Subculture Makeup, Face Backlash

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On March 11th, Guangzhou subway authorities released a public apology on their official Weibo account, just one day after their security personnel barred a woman from entering the subway because of her “terrifying” goth make up.

The woman, whose identity remains anonymous, was initially stopped by a female member of the subway’s security personnel, who told her “there was a problem with her make up” before calling over the head of subway security.

Taking to Weibo to share her initial account, the woman asks “what national law or regulation” requires that she remove goth make up before entering the subway; “If there is such a law, I will comply and, at my own expense, stand at the subway entrance with a banner that states ‘wearing goth clothing or thick eye makeup is forbidden on the subway.’”

While some voices on Weibo have shown support for the subway security’s rationale, stating that this makeup could “actually frighten elderly people or young children,” a wave of people have taken to Weibo show their solidarity, posting photos of their own makeup with the now-trending hashtag #ASelfieForTheGuangzhouSubway. The photos feature women wearing a wide range of makeup styles.

Whether it’s full-face, Beijing Opera-style makeup, or a bold neon eye shadow, it’s clear that people just want freedom to express themselves without being turned away as aesthetic threats to society.

Lila Livingston
    Lila Livingston is a Beijing-based writer and environmentalist. She is the co-executive director of the Beijing Energy Network and an active member of Beijing’s climbing community. She holds a B.A. in environmental policy and East Asian studies from Barnard College and covers stories on lifestyle and the environment for RADII.