All About Emo: An Insider’s Look at the Ageless Trend [Teen Article]

Joanna is an almost-fifteen-year-old residing in Chicago, IL. If she’s not reading, writing, listening to her iPod, hanging out with her friends or cooking, something may be wrong.

“I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed”-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Day 290 / 265 - In search of a title ( emo background ) by JasonRogersFooDogGiraffeBee

When I walk down the street, I see the flourishing trend of dark clothes, pale makeup, scars from razor-blades and other identifying factors of the modern adaption of an age-old style. Many people who claim this style dispute the way some teens interpret the style.

Throughout history there are many figures who have qualities now attributed to emos. It is thought that the beginning of the trend originated during the Romantic Era through the artists, many of whom thought that suffering inspired great art. In this article I would like to give an account from one self-proclaimed emo who wishes to set the record straight. The interviewe will remain anonymous and shall be known as Int.

JNO: Would you explain the differences between the trends emo, scene and Goth?

INT.: Well, first of all, Goth is more punk than emo and Goths tend to dress differently. Mostly Goths have paler faces, more dramatic jewelry and try to be something you really look twice at. Scene is more of a trend than emo and goth. They like to combine lots of black with really bright colors and are obsessed with Hello Kitty. They have lots of bright colorful hair and favor the teased style.

JNO: What do you think people misunderstand most about emos?

INT.: I think the thing I hate most is the emo stereotype. It seems like everyone assumes emos [are people who] cry a lot, write bad poetry and are cutters. It’s definitely not about all those things.

JNO: Who do you see as a role model for emos?

INT.: I’m not sure who, where I live there aren’t many emos at all. The ideal role model for an emo would be someone who dresses how they want, isn’t afraid of culture and doesn’t care about what’s trendy. To me, emo is all about being myself, because everyone is unique.

JNO: What do you gain most from being emo?

INT.: It’s great to see people so open with themselves and not worrying about what others think. I’m happier and less self-conscious. I think being myself will make me happier socially. Being emo is generally associated with being very emotional and it has really raised my self-esteem and improved the way I see myself.

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One Response to “All About Emo: An Insider’s Look at the Ageless Trend [Teen Article]”

  1. Erika
    July 28, 2009 at 3:59 am #

    I hate that word, ’emo’. Really, I do.

    I’m an eighth grader that dresses in black, listens to My Chemical Romance, and is rather shy most of the time (due to a case of social anxiety disorder). Do I consider myself ’emo’? Absolutely not. The problem is, everyone else does.

    When most people today hear the word ’emo’, they think of dark clothing, self-injury, suicide, and Hawthorne Heights. They imagine a group of kids that whine in a corner, holding razors to their wrists, and writing suicide-themed poetry as they do. While these types of kids do exist, this has nothing to do with what emo really is! Nothing at all!

    See, the word ’emo’ originally meant ’emotional hardcore’ – it was a music genre. Bands such as Rites of Springs lead this movement of sorts, playing a brand of hardcore that focused more on emotion than politics. (See more: Now it’s morphed into something entirely different, something that even the media can make lies about. The worst case of this being The Daily Mail, who blamed My Chemical Romance (who are not ’emo’!), and ’emo’ for multiple suicides: . Here’s what that music really does to kids:

    The other problem with the misunderstanding is the self-injury thing. As somebody who struggles with chronic depression, and used to cut as a coping mechanism, the idea these things are ’emo’ is ridiculous. All types of people struggle from mental health issues – kids (I started before age 6), teenagers, young adults, adults, etc – and not one person’s story is the same. I actually refused to get help for years, in fear of being labeled as an ’emo’. I’ve had multiple friends do the same. This ’emo’ stereotype is just horribly dangerous.

    On a closing note, I have nothing against those who label themselves ’emo’ – just make sure you read up on what you’re actually saying. Listen to stiff like Rites of Springs, Moss Icon, Indian Summer, Swing Kids, Portraits of Past, Saetia, Union of Uranus, Orchid, Jerome’s Dream, Pg.99, Envy, City of Caterpillar, and Circle Takes The Square – if you like it, then you like emo. (mp3s can be found here: If not, you’ve been misinformed.

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