Let’s face it, if you want punk rock legitimacy, you and your band-mates should look (and feel) as close to death as possible. If you’re not blessed with the genetics of Joey Ramone, Sid Vicious, or GG Allin, here are a few tried and true methods to get pallid, scrawny and generally unwell in a hurry.
1. Cocaine (and cocaine alternatives): If you have enough money, you can easily achieve that walking skeleton look on cocaine alone. Obviously you can’t afford cocaine, so here are some cheap, snortable alternatives that won’t provide you with an artificial burst of energy, but may suppress your appetite with crippling gut rot: baby powder, aspartame, Drano.
2. Heroin. The gold standard in looking like death itself. The great thing about opiate addiction is that it very quickly crowds out your other interests, like sex and food. You’ll be a sweaty, staggering mess in no time! Overdose is a definite risk, but on the plus side, there’s nothing like a deceased band member to take your punk cred up a notch.
3. Alcoholism. Sorry, but a six pack a day ain’t gonna cut it. Beer can lead to bloating and weight gain. 80 proof (minimum) brown or clear alcohol. 26 ounces daily. Watch the pounds (and will to live) melt away. Tip: If you don’t like the taste, simply add 26 ounces of alcohol to your coffee every morning.
4. Poison and germs. Punk rock is for everyone, but if you’ve read this far, you’re almost certainly white. But you could be whiter! If anything you want to make your skin more translucent— let those blue, engorged veins shine through! There are common sense approaches like avoiding sunlight, which you’re likely doing already. Keeping your system in a state of mild poisoning with the odd swig of brake fluid or paint thinner keeps your eyes bloodshot and your face drained of blood. Exposing yourself to readily available viruses like the flu or hepatitis is another great way to maintain that ashen, sickly complexion. If people say you look like Bib Fortuna, you’re on the right track!
5. Grinding poverty. Not a diet tip per se, but if you swear to live only on the proceeds of your art, you and your band-mates can achieve the gaunt faces, dead eyes, and gleaming white ribcages like all of your punk heroes. Soon enough, even the skinniest of girl jeans will be sagging below your collapsed buttocks. You made it!