In Loving Memory of Sophie Lancaster: Murder of a Young Goth
The thought of being beaten to death because of what we’ve chosen to wear doesn’t seem like something that can happen to us in this day and age, or in this part of the world. Fashion is a way for you to express yourself, and you should be able to do that without being harmed in any way. However, on 11th August 2007, this is what happened to Sophie Lancaster in Lancashire. She and her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, were part of the goth subculture, and it is thought that because of how they dressed, a group of people chased them down that night and attacked them. Sophie died as a result of severe head and facial injuries inflicted from the assault.
It is absolutely horrifying that this could have happened in England only two years ago. Sophie’s family set up a charity, The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which aims to educate young people about tolerance. If you visit the website, you will see a very moving animated film about Sophie’s death. This was commissioned by UK cosmetics brand Illamasqua, who have a S.O.P.H.I.E. campaign, which stands for Stamp OutÂ Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere. As part of this campaign, Illamasqua are selling S.O.P.H.I.E. wristbands for Â£2 and a black eyeliner also called S.O.P.H.I.E, Â£12, proceeds of which go towards the foundation. You may also donate directly to the foundation through the Illamasqua site.
There is no such thing as ‘normal’. The people who killed Sophie were certainly in no position to judge whatÂ ‘normal’ was. Hopefully The Sophie Lancaster Foundation will succeed in educating young people that it is never acceptable to treat people badly simply because of how they look or dress.
Rest in peace Sophie.