My style is goth/punk, and my appearance affects most aspects of my life

I’ve been physically and verbally attacked for how I look - but to highlight goths, emos and punks would actually deepen the subculture

Share
Related Topics

I’ve been into alternative fashion and culture from around the age of 11.

My way in was through listening to heavy metal. My style is very goth/punk. I’ve worked in the Affleck’s building in Manchester’s Northern Quarter for nine years. In the past I’ve had very straight jobs where you have to wear a uniform.

How would I describe my appearance? I’m 5 ft 1” and I have a very prominent tattoo on my head. I’m considered heavily tattooed for a woman. I don’t dress provocatively, in the sense that I’m not showing lots of my body but it’s not very mainstream at all. I’ve had very mixed reactions to the way that I look.

People have spat at me on the street. I’ve been physically and verbally attacked by both men and women. On these occasions I’ve been intimidated, pushed to the floor, hit in the face, kicked, sworn at. My clothing and jewellery has even been pulled off.

My appearance affects most aspects of my life. I’ve been reprimanded by my children’s primary school for the way that I look. They’ve asked me to cover my tattoo up in case I was scaring the children. There were also comments from some of the other parents.

I’ve faced challenges within my work life as well. I’ve been spoken to in a derogatory manner and told that I wasn’t promoted because of my appearance. Luckily I now work in an environment where subcultures are celebrated.

I have been in situations where people have been massively aggressive towards me and the police have been around and I have felt at times that they haven’t been very interested. The idea that I’m being attacked because of the way that I look has been dismissed. I even spoke to one police officer who said I brought it on myself because of the way I dress.

The case of what happened to Sophie Lancaster was absolutely horrendous. There has been an increase in media scrutiny of attacks in the North West.  

I think this move will encourage people who have been attacked because of the way they look to report these crimes to the police. It will make it easier for the police to catch the perpetrators and bring them to prosecution. But I am slightly dubious about the labelling that’s involved. I believe the rule brought in by Greater Manchester Police shouldn’t differentiate between subcultures and genres. It should be a rule for everybody.

Regardless of the way that you look, sexual orientation or your cultural and religious beliefs we should all be treated the same. To penalise someone for any one of those things is abhorrent and you should be prosecuted. To highlight goths, emos and punks is actually deepening the subculture.  I think a lot of people from alternative cultures don’t categorise themselves. That’s a more prevalent ideal among younger people.

Having said this GMP are due a massive amount of credit for being so forward-thinking and open minded enough to be one of the only forces to take this on. We also need to congratulate Sophie Lancaster’s mum Sylvia who’s worked relentlessly towards this.

In my shop we often get young girls especially who have been attacked, who are looking to somebody older who they can identify with and can perhaps give them guidance when they’ve been treated in this manner.

It’s hugely important for these young people to know that the law is on their side and that someone is looking out for them. These people are trying to explore their own identity and get their independence. To know that they’re protected and can express themselves in a safe way is brilliant. After all, the only thing they’re doing is dying their hair and changing their clothes.

Miki Christi spoke to Nick Renaud-Komiya. Miki is a 35 year-old mother of two and Retail Manager in Manchester

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Reprographics Operator

£12500 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest independent Reprogr...

Recruitment Genius: Web Design Apprentice

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well established websit...

Tradewind Recruitment: French & German Teacher

£120 - £145 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: French & German Teacher X2 Materni...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer / Systems Administrator

£25000 - £32500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in SW London, this compan...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: I would tackle our looming dementia crisis

Susan Greenfield
 

Letters: NHS data-sharing is good for patients

Independent Voices
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee