Started in the deep corners of Tumblr, raised to prominence by collections like Alexander Wang For H&M, and soundtracked by ’80s/’90s industrial and electro, health goth (or #healthgoth, as creator Johnny Love calls it) may be the first post-ironic fitness trend to actually be born, bred, and championed by the Internet. (Oh, and the New York Times. And Diplo.) The whole thing—or movement, if you will—makes a tremendous amount of sense: Everyone needs to stay healthy and care about fitness and exercise, even those who are covered in tattoos and have a penchant for Rick Owens. (Related thought: Is Rick Owens the original health goth? Possibly.)
Yet, mainstream fitness culture is at least perceived to be one imbued with some serious G/T/L mentalities, and tends to be not-so-welcoming to those of us who are interested in getting ripped and ripping the system. This is, in many ways, the idea behind #healthgoth, which, as Love says, ”...is a movement designed to take back physical fitness from bro culture.” Not a bad idea.
Yet, up until now, #healthgoth has been just an aesthetic and a clothing line, tapping into fitness and infusing it with darkness, and the Chicago-based Johnny Love understands that, without real direction, it might go the way of the fallen internet craze (but perhaps not normcore...). Which is why he has released a manifesto—recorded from what appears to be some underground bunker—as the first of a series of videos that explain a kind of “gym culture 101” for fitness n00bs of any gender, complete with plenty of tongue-in-cheek commentary. Step one: Eat right, especially if you spend all day playing video games/sitting at the computer reading NYLON.com. Check out the rest of Johnny’s recommendations below.