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Winona Forever: The Indelible Importance of a 90s Goth

The strangest thing (did you guys catch that? Heheh) about being weird is that you are never sure whether to be proud or ashamed. You’re never certain if there is something innately wrong with you, or if you just wish there was so that you could have the excuse, the explanation for why you are the way you are.

It’s lonely being different. Because there are plenty of pop culture icons, celebrity figures and personalities who fake it, who like to play at being quirky, but there are far fewer examples out there of those who are actually weird.

That’s why The Alamo Drafthouse‘s celebration of the OG 90’s goth girl Winona Ryder is of such cult importance. For many self-proclaimed outsiders, Winona didn’t just have a moment during our formative years, she was the moment.

Prior to the screening, Drafthouse did not release which three Winona movies were to be screened on the day of. Speculating as to which would be selected is an interesting process because although each of Ryder’s roles is extremely different (vampire consort, conflicted preppie, goth tween), each maintain’s that aura of otherness that is so specific to the alien-eyed icon.

That’s because Winona was never faking it. The clothing she wore in Beetlejuice as the pale-faced Lydia Deetz was all her own. When Winona was told she wasn’t “pretty enough” to be cast as Veronica Sawyer in Heathers, she apparently threatened to kill herself if she was not given the role.

It’s interesting that a single scandal during the height of her fame became her defining headline for so long. Many celebrities are able to escape scandal with only an apology and an obsequious grin. Not Winona.

Because the fact is, that’s just not her style. Winona is nothing if not entirely authentic, so she’s not going to put on a mask of squeaky-clean falsehood just to appease a gossip-hungry public.

It’s that authenticity and unapologetic¬†imperfection that made every weirdo goth girl (and boy) of the 90s fall in love with her. It’s that vulnerability that still makes her relevant even today.

That’s why something like the Alamo Drafthouse‘s Winona Forever can still boast sold out tickets. Nobody cares what Winona Ryder film they decide to screen, as long as we get to see our goth icon doing what she does best, us weirdos will be happy.



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