So Controversial

One of the things that makes the emo subculture so controversial in the first place is that androgyny and gender bending are so controversial in general. Many people are sticklers for conventional gender roles and they don’t like to see people go against them in any way. The emo boys who choose the emo style are certainly defying conventional gender roles in that way.

The mere act of participation in the emo subculture, of course, is an act of gender role defiance. Men in most cultures are expected to be tough, unemotional, and competitive. Being a sensitive guy may be popular among women these days, but lots of the men who adhere to the old system are threatened by the men who are shedding the traditional image of men. They’re trying to defend it in any way that they can, and they see all sensitive, emo men as being threats to a standard that they consider important to their identity.

Emo boys are happy to indulge in what they actually feel rather than pretending to be unemotional and competitive all the time. Men are not naturally like this, since they all have to be ordered and taught not to cry as little boys. Lots of them grow up and internalize all of those attitudes, and they respond to crying people in the same way that their parents responded to them when they were crying. The emo boys that they target in the modern era are usually going to be subject to these internalized attitudes.

Emo kids are a popular target and have been for nearly a decade, if not more. Even before the term ’emo’ was coined and before it was popularized during the 2000’s, individuals who are openly angst-ridden have raised praise in some circles and condemnation in other circles. The circles that shame them for the angst tend to want the people in question to just get over whatever it is that is causing them emotional pain. They will also frequently trivialize that emotional pain.

Emo people are often told that they’re just doing what they do for attention, and that they do not really feel what they claim that they are feeling. Many emo people will counter and say that they dress the way that they do because they’re trying to express themselves emotionally and they’re trying to attract the attention of the people who think like them. Choosing a particular manner of dress and a manner of speech is going to accomplish that more effectively than just choosing to be invisibly emo.


There is more to the emo subculture than meets the eye. It isn’t just about dramatic hair and clothing. It isn’t even just about music that is extremely emotional. Emo music is about the authenticity of the human emotional experience and that it is okay for a person to express his or her emotions, regardless of what society has to think about it. Emo people will also usually champion a man’s right to wear eyeliner and be more sensitive and androgynous, no matter what society has to say on the matter. Emo people are trying to be as expressive as possible in every way, and they are really trying to find a way to encourage other people to move in that exact same direction. Emo people are individuals who think on an individualistic level. Some of its detractors understand that and some of them do not.

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Emo Pants

Some of the emo clothes that people are going to recognize will seem somewhat similar to goth styles. However, goth styles tend to be a little more formal. Lots of goth girls will layer on the lace very heavily, and they will have a tendency to focus on dresses. The goth style is the new romanticism in many ways, which is going to change the nature of the priorities of goths in many ways. They tend to choose a more formal style in the manner of some nineteenth century people.

The emo style is significantly more casual. Emo girls might wear skirts, but they will wear them with pants or leggings in many cases. They won’t wear the sort of formal and fancy dresses that people associate with goths. Emo kids will wear lots of black, pink, light blue, and gray. They aren’t quite as monochromatic as the goths. Their color choices seem to reflect the emotional extremes that are favored in the music scene of the emo world.

Lots of emo kids will wear shirts that have black and white stripes. This dramatic color contrast also manages to speak to emotional extremes, which is partly why it is so popular. Emo kids and adult members of the subculture will also wear black shirts that have some sort of dramatic theme on them, such as skulls. Many emo people will dress in layers, which can give them a casual look while also making them seem a little more withdrawn compared to some of their peers.

Emo members are typically not going to go barefaced. Some of them might, but they are more like the goth subculture in this regard. There is a lot of emphasis on makeup, although it isn’t always the makeup that the culture at large is going to heavily endorse. A lot of emo people will wear very heavy eyeliner of the sort that is going to give them a very dramatic look. Some of them are going to pair that with black or pink lipstick. Some of them will manage to add some dramatic piercings to go with those style choices. Other people are going to add some noticeable jewelry. Emo people will wear lots of chokers and other types of black jewelry which will manage to make the upper halves of their bodies stand out much more.

The Emo Subculture and Androgyny

The emo subculture has some similarities with the new wave movement of the 1980’s, at least in terms of style. For one thing, there is a lot of emphasis on androgyny in this subculture. Emo boys will dress in the same way as emo girls, and this is emphasized a lot. The boys are usually going to wear eyeliner just as surely as the girls. They will usually have the exact same layered and dramatic hair as the girls, creating a sense of sartorial commonality between the two groups.

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The Leaders in the Emo Scene

Evanescence, Coldplay, Linkin Park, and Simple Plan have all been described as emo. Some of their fans would agree and some of them would angrily disagree. Some people would disagree on a purely academic level. Others would certainly put all four of these groups in the emo category and more.

All of these groups are certainly known for expressing powerful emotions in their songs. Lots of their songs focus more on the instrumental and melodic parts than many other types of modern music, where the rhythm is going to be emphasized much more. The vocalists of these bands will typically put a lot of emotion into their voices as they sing, which is only going to heighten the overall effect of their singing in the first place. These groups and many others are certainly going to embody a lot of the principles of emo music, regardless of whether people could ever agree on whether or not they constitute real emo music.

Emo Fashion

Many people who are outside the emo music subculture are going to have a hard time separating emo fashion from a lot of the other types of fashion that are popular among young people. Many young people will try to be very clear about the alleged distinction between the emo and the scene subculture, for instance, even though plenty of people are going to have a hard time telling the difference. The emo fashion style is still very distinctive, even though there are groups that have adopted similar stylistic choices in a world in which there are really only so many options.

Emo subculture members tend to have fairly elaborate hair, for one thing. Their hair is usually going to be dyed, at least in sections. Often times, they’re going to dye their bangs something brightly colored. Hot pink and light blue are very popular emo colors. Many emo members are going to dye their hair black as well, and some of them are going to be all-black when it comes to their hair.

At any rate, the people in the emo subculture will usually favor hair that is extremely layered. They don’t go for the flat hair that characterized the grunge look twenty years ago. Their hair is usually going to be heavily treated with mousse and made to stand out, usually with a lot of attention being paid to the uppermost layer. Many people will draw comparisons between the dramatic emo hair of today and the heavy and puffy teased heads of hair that exemplified the 1980’s. Although in terms of shape, emo hair tends to look much more like the hair from the 1970’s.

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Full of Emotion

Songs that are full of people emotionally expressing themselves are often going to make people feel as if it is okay for them to express themselves in similar ways. Essentially, these sorts of emo songs are going to make people feel like their emotions are important in a culture in which many people are discouraged from ever expressing any emotions that aren’t positive or empowering.

Emo Instrumentals and Vocals

Emo music has a tendency to be more melodic than the music in many other genres, especially today. Lots of emo bands are going to use pianos and other types of classical instruments in addition to their guitars and drums, which is one of many reasons why a lot of emo groups are going to manage to create such a unique sound in the process of creating their new songs. Lots of their songs have a quality that makes them seem both modern and old-fashioned at the exact same time, which is going to appeal to a lot of people whether they are in the subculture or not.

The singers that perform music that is emo are regarded as emo are typically going to have powerful voices. They’re going to make themselves heard. A lot of modern pop artists have fairly flat voices that do not have much emotion. The emo artists are reacting against that directly. The majority of them are going to have very powerful voices, which is just going to make the angst in the songs that they’re singing sound that much more potent, for better or for worse.

Lots of the musicians in the emo music scene are going to have some classical training, and they are going to be skilled when it comes to a wide variety of different instruments. Lots of them have plenty of talent, and they have been around the block quite a few times when it comes to the music industry in general. The emo musicians are certainly going to create a lot of powerful music, and few people are going to be able to claim that most of these musicians aren’t talented or unique in their sound.

Bands that are Considered Emo

Finding out which bands are genuinely emo is going to be next to impossible. People will often deride certain bands as emo today, regardless of whether or not the subculture views them that way or whether or not the bands describe themselves that way or market themselves that way.

Emo music is going to vary a lot in terms of the genre, really, since ’emo’ is only arguably a genre in its own right. To a large extent, it represents something of a cross section of several different genres. Some pop groups, rock groups, and even groups that use a lot of classical instruments are regarded as emo. Rap, hip hop, and rhythm and blues are rarely described that way, of course. Heavy metal has almost always been free of this distinction, although symphonic metal is sometimes referred to as emo music.

They Create an Image

Emo songs are all created in that image. This anonymous person comes alive in the song lyrics. The singer is famous and appears to be singing about his or her troubles, which may or may not be the case. The lyrics all involve an implied author expressing negative emotions about something that happened to him or her. In many cases, the angst that is being expressed in these videos is fairly generic and could apply to anyone. However, people will still listen to these songs over and over again, sharing in the generic angst of people who do not exist, demonstrating their commitment to exploring these feelings.

Personalized Songs in the Emo Subculture

Many of the lyrics in emo music are going to be highly individualized. The implied narrators of the songs are going to be talking in first person and emo songs are full of first person pronouns. This simple stylistic choice is going to make all the difference in terms of how these songs are going to be perceived.

On the one hand, the use of first person pronouns will make the song seem like it reflects the emotions of the singer in a way that feels that much more authentic. On the other hand, some detractors will say that the entire first person pronoun use is going to make the song feel much more like a bout of whining. Naturally, these individuals would usually feel the same way if the songs were in third person or the first person pronoun choice was reversed, but the personalized nature of the songs is only going to heighten the effect for them.

Of course, the lovers of emo music have a tendency to like the very things that the detractors dislike, so the personalized nature of many emo songs will draw them in from the start. Many people like songs where the singer almost seems like he or she is communicating with the audience. In the emo subculture, people pouring out their emotions on their blogs and livejournal accounts back in the day was common, to the point that the outside detractors would mock the situation. The emo subculture is one in which people are encouraged to express and to vent their feelings.

When people express and vent their feelings, it sometimes signals to other people that it is okay for them to express and to vent their own feelings, which is going to be an appealing prospect for the individuals who feel as if the way that they feel is constantly being trivialized and belittled.

Emo Music


Emo music culture is very poorly understood by the people who are not immersed in it. Lots of people today use the term ’emo’ as an insult, which should speak to just how poorly they’re going to comprehend the basic ideas behind the emo music culture. The scene subculture, to a certain extent, was formed as a reaction against the emo subculture in general. Many scene subculture members refused to be identified with the emo kids that were criticized by many other members of the culture at large. A greater, broader cultural understanding of the emo music subculture would make a huge difference when it comes to situations like these.

Emotional Expressiveness and the Emo Subculture

If emo music is anything, it is emotionally expressive. Most of the songs that are described as emo are going to be highly emotional songs that explore certain feelings. Emo songs will typically draw on emotions as the themes of their songs. They usually aren’t going to explore the more political themes that people will associate with punk, certain styles of rock, and folk music. Emo songs will try to evoke a particular emotion by singing about a particular emotion.

The emotions that emo music will explore most frequently will be negative emotions. While some of the songs from emo bands can be positive, people don’t usually turn to emo music because they are interested in elation. Pop music tends to be better at making people feel better for whatever reason. Emo songs tend to explore the darker sides of people’s emotional lives.

Many emo songs are fairly blatant about the fact that they explore the darker side of people’s emotional lives and their lives in general. This is a direct reaction to many of the broader trends in Western culture. People in the West, for the most part, are pressured to be optimistic and to avoid discussing their personal problems too much.

In the United States, people are expected to think positively all the time in accordance with the American idea that people can overcome any adversity through enough drive and determination, a belief that many Americans hold without any evidence at all. However, American children are at least socialized to believe in the importance of high self-esteem and individualism in general.

In many other cultures, individuals strongly expressing emotions of theirs is going to be discouraged because those cultures have a more collectivist approach, and no single person should be occupying anyone’s time by focusing only on their own problems. Either way, the results are the same. People are discouraged from expressing the feelings that are closest to them, or they’re going to risk coming across as either selfish or weak to a good portion of the individuals in their cultures.

One of the appeals of the emo subculture is that it is a space where people really are encouraged to voice what is troubling to them. While many emo people are seen as the sorts of people who will focus on their own problems at the exclusion of other people’s problems, this is a subculture that is actively defined by people wanting to listen to other people voice their problems. This is a subculture where people are constantly trying to keep and create a safe space for others. It is a place where people don’t feel the need to have to justify why they feel the way they do when they’re sad.