what is Emo

Posted: March 4, 2007 in All, Blogroll, children, Controversy, Family, Health, Life, Motivation & Inspiration

I have spent many days reading blogs and websites about a group of kids who call themselves Emos, short for Emotional.  It is my opinion that these group of kids are a reinvented form of Goth and Punk from the 1980’s, but really not the same thing.  It seems as if a lot of adults are putting labels and stereotypes on this group.  The way I understand it is, there are different levels of behavior in this group as there are people.  So, when I talk about Emos, I am in no way lumping all of them into one stereotype.  What concerns me about this group of kids are the ones who take it to the extreme.  All kids need to have freedom and independence to a certain degree.  They need to find themselves and where they fit into the world.  Each young person goes about this in their own way, as it should  be.  But what I’m finding about some kids who consider themselves to be Emos are really putting themselves at risk for serious self harm or even death.  The main characteristics of Emos seems to be that they take great pride in wallowing in self pity, and self-dramatisation.  Most, not all participate in a certain form of dress, hair style, behaviors, and certain music. http://www.geocities.com/howtodressemo/   All of this, so far is harmless.  It’s a place for “out of place” kids to fit in.  That’s great and even wonderful.  The problem comes from the few kids who take it to the extreme.  These kids get so self absorbed in their self pity, they engage in cutting themselves.  There are even websites (which I will not link here) that show you how to cut.  Some of these kids have contest that earn points based on how low you can go in self pity.  The ultimate “winner”, the one who actually attempts suicide and survives to tell about it.  MySpace is crawling with these blogs and groups.  There are pics after pics of kids looking like death is just an hour away.  The more sad you look, the better.  (talk about ultimate drama kings and queens)  The contest and quizzes go on and on. This is where it gets insanely scary.  This madness gets kids caught up in the peer pressure of it all.  “How far can I push the limits?”  “How much can I get away with?”  I even stummbled onto one myspace blog where the girls were having a contest to see who could be considered the craziest by their friends, families, and schools.  They laughed and joked about the reactions they got.   They haven’t a clue what they are doing to their families.  Can you imagine having a child who is threatening suicide, suffering severe depression, acting as if they  have completely lost their minds, only to find out they were just  “acting”.  Just trying to beat their peers in some contest of who is the best at being the most insane, the most pathedic, living the worst lives.  The kids seemed to be getting a “high” from the self pity and sadness, that I’m assuming they probably begin to believe to be true after a certain period of time.  Although, a lot of these kids claim to have lived very hard childhoods.  Maybe that’s true, but many of them seem to enjoy that fact, and enjoy bragging who has had it worse.

There are many things that kids do that turn us all grey headed.  This trend is not necessarily more harmful than anything else.  But it’s a trend that a lot, if not most parents are unaware exist.  It’s something that needs to have light pointed right at it.  I’m not of the belief that if we talk about things it makes it worse, or plants seeds.  I believe that if we talk about it, we can begin to understand, and take steps to understanding our kids a little better.  Please, please, please, if your child is exhibiting any of these behaviors, you need to make sure they are not one of the ones that have taken it the extreme.  http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=emo+kid&page=3   They may not have intention of dying…but it can be a terrible result of this “game”.  Stand up and shout, be heard and unafraid to confront your child.  Sometimes, there are no second chances.

If you want even more info. you can search emo anywhere, and there is a wealth of info.  Youtube has many video’s.  go to Youtube.com, in search put in emo.  also on Youtube, I found “emo ABC’s”, which went through the entire alphabet of things you need to do to be emo.  It was odd and strange, but interesting none the less.

  1. Emo is the new fad you could say. Then again, there are different stages or something. I don’t really know, but internet is crawling with emo-ness. Either you are emo or you make fun of emo. It’s very black and white.

  2. ggwfung says:

    people need to band together, to feel part of a greater whole. Badges, music, dress – these are just outward signs of an inner need. As you say, these are just reinventions from a previous age.


  3. Manymeez says:

    yes, I agree with both of you. Although I’m not Emo, and I don’t make fun of Emo. It is, in my opinion just another example of label placing. I was a teen-ager in the 1980’s. I was no where near punk or goth. However, I wrote poetry, I cut, I was suicidal, I was a loner, my hair was dark, and in my face. These things have existed long before Emo came along. Things just evolve over the years, and become new again. The difference is, I didn’t do those things to fit in, or win a contest, or to be a part of a group. I did those things as a response to severe abuse, which resulted in a lack of self esteem. When I didn’t want to die, I thought about it, or I was planning it. Either way, anyone who engages in self destructive behaviors needs intervention, no matter what label you slap on it.

  4. CJ says:

    Just another way to feel like you belong, even when you don’t really want to belong . I agree that it is just a phase, though a potentially dangerous one if.

  5. […] is Emo? This article once again (as so many others have done) attempts to be rational, and fails by completely missing […]

  6. sarah says:

    this is so lame,emo kids dont act,they deal with pain different. DUH!!!

  7. Bianca says:

    OK! WTF? its not a dangerous phase you f***ing itdiots… im emo and i know alot of emos they are all so fun and great ppl you guys dont even understand us … my parents sure as f***ing hell dont and i think that you need to all get lives because you shouldnt even try and be like this … we are us this is our SCENE AND IF YOU HAVE A F***ING PROBLEM WITH IT YOU CAN SHUVE IT UP YOIUR F***ING A-HOLES — I HATE YOU GUYS!

  8. Manymeez says:

    Thanks for the comments. I’m glad this topic is grabbing some attention. That was my intention. Parents need to be aware, and kids need to know that there are adults who care about them.

    My first comment is to CJ. I agree with you, but also want to make sure I am heard when I say not all kids who are a part of the emo group participate in the self harm aspect. I like your website too, btw.

    To Too Emo for this blog, I’ve read your response several times, and I hear you. You never said if you are a part of this group, but I’m assuming by your defense of it that you are. You made some very strong, intelligent, non-judgemental points. I really enjoyed them. The point of my post in this blog was to make parents aware. Not all parents are able to talk with their kids, no matter how they try, or good of parents they are. Some kids just don’t trust any adult, and will not open up to them. In those cases, parents need to start somewhere. I have complete faith that parents are able to figure out reality and fiction of websites they look at. Adults have gone through similar circumstances, and understand more than kids will be able to understand until they are older themselves. I think that either I did a poor job at portraying my point of view by writing this post, or you misunderstood what I was saying. I am very concerned about every child/young adult. My intention for writing this post was to let adults know that this is going on, and in some cases, the results can be fatal. But again, ty for you taking the time to respond, and to help me clarify that message.

    To Sarah, I didn’t say that all kids act, I said that some of the blogs I visited, the kids were acting, in an extreme, overly dramtic way. If you are not engaging in, or planning on self harm, you’re not misleading adults into thinking you are more depressed, or uncapable than you truly are, then I’m glad you’ve found a group of people you can trust to discuss your feelings. I believe I said that in my post. Minus the extreme, it can be a good way for kids to express themselves.

    To Bianca, you are portraying a lot of anger. I am sorry you feel that no one understands you. I’m sure there is an adult somewhere who does give a damn, you just have to find the right one. I’m glad you enjoy your friends, and find them fun and great people. As I said to Sarah, the same goes for you. My only concern is with those who take it to the extreme. Other wise, I think it’s great to find a place to fit in. I really don’t give a damn how my son or the other young people in my life cut their hair, or style of dress they choose (as long as their body’s are covered appropriately), or what kind of music they choose to listen to. What I do care about is whether or not they are happy, secure, safe, and they grow to be happy, well adjusted adults. The extreme form of emo is not good for any of these things. That was the point of my post.

  9. […] was in response to a blog I had posted, which was itself in response to another blog article, and so it goes round. As usual I keep my responses as a post in itself to keep the discussion […]

  10. Anonymous says:

    u’re all so lame.



  11. Dear Lady of Sorrows says:

    A multitude, like myself, have endured utter malice. Malice based upon ‘that,’ which is non-existent, malice fueled by the media and it’s sole objective; immersing itself in a modern-day soap opera.
    Emo is an abbreviation of emotional. It is not a dangerous subculture of society.

  12. Manymeez says:

    Thank you for sharing your views. That was, in part, why I wrote this post. However, although the most dangerous aspects of emo are not seen in most cases…some kids Do take it to the extreme. But as I said in my post, if kids have this outlet as a form of self-expression that does no harm to anyone, including themselves…then I think it’s good to have a place that feels comfortable.

  13. jenny says:

    im emo. and you people dont fucking even understand
    im not goth or punk. i dress like a normal girly happy person.
    but deep down inside im a wreck. no one ever took the time to know me and understand how i felt. they all just judged. emo dosent only have to mena cutting.
    and i mean i do cut and im like addicted to it cutting is like my drug but that dosent mean im crazy. or that im trying to kill myself. or that im trying to put other people in danger. im not. and im just emo.
    and i hate when people always say “just face the fact that you need help” i dont need help im perfectly fine. and if you people would stop wasting ur life juding everyone else. and just feeling sorry for urselfs and trying to put emo,ounk.gothic, or whatever people are in a group then everything would be better. and people wouldent have to have the need to fell leftout kay thanks. so stopp! making fun of other people…and think of it this way what if you were the one in this postion and you would be the one crying and sliting ur wrists. and the rest of the world dident care, so before your gonna go and judge people or do something stupid think if you were the one in that persons place. you dont even know what half of these people go trhough and all you do is judge. does it really matter if some os emo or goth or punk. no well at least it shouldent. were all the same just people do there own things diffrently. and that dosent mean you have to judge or critize people. its not there fault they are what they are and they love it and mabye you should give them a chance. cause you dont know what thetre really lkke unless you take the time to actualyl sit dow and get to know them. and what they go trhough everyday.

    the enddd.

  14. Lovely says:

    I realize that you guys are trying to figure teenagers out so that you can ‘help’ us with our issues but I think its being taken a bit too far. Its okay if you can actually do something to help emo kids but its another to stick us into a f*cking stereotype and throw a bunch of analytical bullsh*t into our faces. Like http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=emo+kid&page=3 said, some emo kids cut themselves some don’t, some try to commit suicide others don’t. Its a label like anything else and this is one of the few that people actually seriously worry about. It makes me wonder why there’s so much worry about it if so many f*cking people are paranoid about it. You look at cutting/suicide attempts as an epidemic in emos. Seriously, just because an emo kid cuts/attempts suicide doesn’t mean that a cheerleader couldn’t do the same. But you don’t see everyone looking at cheerleaders in a different light, do you?

  15. Teacher Lady says:

    Emo is dangerous! I’ve seen it with my own eyes. When you see a group of kids that dress in a similar way, listen to the same type of music, and cut together in groups, you reach that conclusion. Anyway. Look at this site:


    You’ll get all the information you need there! I’m a teacher; I see this most every day. Get informed!

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