Six years ago, a video from seemingly out of nowhere took the Latinternet by storm. In it, a character who identifies herself as Verónica Rodríguez De la Luz Del Topo appears in black, wearing tons of eyeliner and sporting a hairdo that would put Robert Smith to shame. Verónica – or La Elvira, as she calls herself in the clip – explains what it means to be part of the “darks” subculture, using now legendary one-liners. La Elvira is so darks she shits bats. Not every one can be darks. For many of us, those were the most epic three minutes and 23 seconds the depths of YouTube had ever produced, so of course we replayed it thousands of times and shared it everywhere.
Part of why La Elvira became so popular is because it’s really easy to make fun of goths. It’s a culture that seems to take itself dead serious (pun intended), and it’s both over-the-top and oblivious to all of this. The ubiquity of goth in Latin American culture helped transform La Elvira into more than just a niche joke, since nary a country or community in Latin America, the U.S. or Spain seems to be devoid of a goth scene. And of course there’s also deeply rooted customs around the proximity of death in pre-Hispanic cultures and in Catholicism, whose iconography remains central to the movement’s aesthetics.
Turns out that the genius behind La Elvira is Mauricio Diamante, a non-binary stylist and makeup artist from Monterrey, Mexico who now lives in Dallas, Texas. They created the character to parody icons like Morticia Addams, but also to challenge the elitism of goth culture in Mexico. Ever since, they have been using their YouTube channel for everything from Sia satire to conversations on depression. In 2016, La Elvira posted a video update to celebrate the original clip’s fifth anniversary.
Of course, the most famous catchphrase spawned by the original video is “tú no eres darks,” a playful and mockingly elitist statement. In an interview with Noisey en Español in 2016, La Elvira expanded on one of the points of the video, when she says that certain unfortunate experiences made her become “darks.” Surprisingly, Diamante’s response was quite insightful. “All jokes aside, you could say it was anything that other people go through in life: rejection and sudden changes, deaths in the family… the absence of [certain] people, questions we didn’t think we’d have to ask ourselves that sometimes consume us, even though we don’t want them to consume us.” It’s a statement that clearly captures what makes goth so universal, even if we poke fun at it ourselves sometimes.
To honor the legendary meme, we’ve assembled a truly spooky playlist, featuring everything from sinister club music to shadowy death rock. Get into the gloom and stream the playlist via Apple Music below.