An interview with Pushba, the Russian goth mama

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Pushba with her daughter Lada
Pushba with her daughter Lada

As we all know, I’m a little obsessed with Pushba, the Russian mama who is clearly not afraid to let her personality shine so bright that it’s blinded me here in Seattle, some 5000 miles away.

After stalking all her photos online (I love that the title of her gallery is dont fuck with me – i’m mother), I asked Pushba if I could do a quick interview with her about being an offbeat mama. She agreed (thankfully she speaks English better than I do Russian) and her answers and a few photos and videos are below…

What’s your daughter’s name, and how old is she?
Lada, 1 year 1 month old … born August 20, 2008.

What’s your favorite thing about being a mother?
My favorite thing is to watch my beloved man and myself to be incarnated in our child. And to feel how the little human being is returning our feelings.

What’s your biggest parenting challenge?
The biggest challenge is to bring a child to the knowledge how to lead a good life, how to respect the others, etc. The child must become well-brought-up, understanding, humane, etc.

Do you feel criticized by other parents?
Well. I’m being criticized because there is such a stereotype, when you look different [and] not like majority, many people think that you have not grown up already & you are too young to have a child.

How have you integrated your unique personality & style into your parenting?
It’s all the same for my child if I have any tattoos or piercing or not. My child loves me such as I am.

What advice would you give to other offbeat mamas?
Don’t pay any attention to the bad meanings and bad expressions of the other people — be yourself. Think for yourself and be independent.

Amen! And now, a few adorable baby videos to goo over. I love how Pushba calls Lada “Ladushka”! Baby-talk is totally the international language of love.

Comments on An interview with Pushba, the Russian goth mama

  1. "The biggest challenge is to bring a child to the knowledge how to lead a good life, how to respect the others, etc. The child must become well-brought-up, understanding, humane, etc." <—- It is amazing how the goal of motherhood crosses all language-lines, styles, whatever. We all want our children to grow up to be good, solid people who are full of love! Go Pushba!

  2. That is great that you have created a connection with this cool woman, Ariel. I also love her unique style and personality and find her comments full of grace and intelligence. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I really love Pushba's style! She's so pretty. I've spoken to so many parents that say they used to have piercings and crazy hair colours but gave it up when they had kids. I love that Pushba knows that she can be herself and still be an awesome mother! More people need to understand that.

  4. It is maddening that people judge Pushba by her appearance, because when you read her words, you can tell she is a good mother and has the same love, hopes, and feelings for her child as any good mother does. Lada will grow up to be quite independent, I'm sure, and that's a good thing. We need more Pushbas and Ladas in this world. 🙂

  5. The "shka" is sort of a diminutive added to names in Russian. There are variations. I'm loose on the details. I think it's similar to having a pet name for someone, or calling a Jonathan "Johnny!"

    • My Russian grandmother used to call me Andrushka. My parents picked up on it, too, and then shortened it, which is why I have the weirdest nickname known to man.

  6. Thank you so much for posting this. I have been so obbsessed with Pushba and her beautiful family since seeing her first photo's. I am so in love with seeing how no matter how different we look on the outside that we all cherish the beauty of family.

  7. I love how she stays true to herself. My fiance and I don't have kids yet, but we are already feeling the stereotyping. I'm in the early childhood education program at my college and we are both gothic. My fiance came to pick me up from class but got there early so he walked way around the building to the football fields and then came back, he was never technically on their property and they called the cops on him. But we aren't letting something like that stop us from being who we are although it is frustrating when people go to such extremes just because someone is in black, he wasn't even in anything outlandish.

  8. This is great, Ariel, thanks. As an American living in a heavily-Russified city (not in Russia, but part of the former Soviet Union), I'm sympathetic to the societal norms that Pushba's up against. We think it's tough to go against the grain in the US…lordy, let me tell you it's so much worse out here! That Pushba is a strong enough woman (and her husband a strong enough man!) to stand up to all of that is wonderful and heartening.
    Молодцы, Пушба (и муж)! У вас такая прекрасная семья! :о)

    • Я совсем согласна! 🙂

      I spent two of the last three summers in Russia, and anyone who finds the US constricting… revv that up a million times and you've got Russia. Conformity is very important to them culturally. I was actually really surprised to see someone who was a Russian goth on this website, because I can honestly say a saw maybe a few in St. Petersburg in 2007 but NONE in Astrakhan, Volgograd or Elista in 2008. Add to it that an instructor at the university had as a discussion question, "Why would people ever be goth?" (to get us to practice talking in Russian) because it was considered so stigmatized.

      Я тоже думаю, что у вас прекрасная семья! ))))

  9. Wow, this is awesome! Тоже согласна! Семья Пушбы очень красивая 🙂

    I've been to Russia three times (once for school and twice for work) and have never seen a Russian goth (Moscow and Ekaterinburg). I know they're out there (I've seen their websites!) but the idea of individuality on that level is not nearly as prevalent there, seems like.

    But what a great attitude she has. She's living proof that the values that make for a good parent have zero to do with what you look like on the outside.


    • And yes– Russians love their diminutives. We recently hosted four Russian engineers at our company for two months. One of them, Pavel, was always Pasha. Aleksandr was always Sasha. My Moscow counterpart, Tatyana, is always Tanya. Those are about the equivalent of Michael -> Mike. But they can be further diminutized (is that a word?) to denote greater intimacy. The -shka is usually more intimate, used with family members. It's much more like having a pet name than the standard American shortenings.

  10. Her answers are so beautiful.
    "It's all the same for my child if I have any tattoos or piercing or not. My child loves me such as I am." makes me want to cry!

  11. I can't imagine anyone judging her (or anyone else) because of her hair or tattoos or piercings. How silly. She loves her baby and that's what matters. Good for her that she doesn't care what people say or think!

  12. My parents let me get my first non-traditional piercing when I was 15, a double eye brow piercing. A face piercing in my small town community was kinda a big deal, not to mention I was "Rainbow Brite" with my hair. Before I was allowed to dye my hair or start piercing my face my mom warned me that I had to be prepared to challenge people's preconceived notions. I would be judged for my appearance and if I didn't want to constantly be educating people I shouldn't alter my appearance, lol. Well for the most part I think I handled it pretty well. I was always respectful and jovial about peoples comments and questions, so I think I changed a lot of peoples minds about what kind of kid/person has wacky hair colors and piercings. I was even an usher in my church on Easter and dyed my hair to match. The choir rubbed my hair for good luck and my minister said it was probably his favorite Easter ever, lol.

    My mom's brother was a quadriplegic from a swimming pool accident and she saw him handle stares, comments, and curiosity with grace and humor. I never got to meet him, his kidneys gave out on him before I was born, but stories of how he would patiently talk to little kids and let them touch is chair or arm braces or how he ignored rude stares has been my example of how to handle people's curiosity about being different. Especially because I chose to be different whereas he didn't.

    I just think you have to keep on being the great person you are and change one person's mind at a time.

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