Last Updated 27 Jul 2020

Emo Subculture

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The Sensitive Subculture A skinny white boy dressed with long black hair, a tight-fitting vintage t-shirt, a pair of torn black skinny jeans and checkerboard converse sneakers walks on stage, strums his skull-covered guitar and sings. Emo is a subculture that heavily relies on emotion, mostly sadness and depression, and takes the emotions to an extreme; emo is short for emotional hardcore. The people in the emo subculture focus on emotion because they do not want to conform to the laid-back popular culture.

They express their emotion through a unique music genre, fashion, and a melodramatic attitude in order to distance themselves from the common pop culture. The emo subculture originated from a style of music that mainly focuses on expressing man’s emotions through lyrics about love, anger, and hurt. The music genre conveys women as sexual muses, victimizing the man. While the music of the pop culture welcomes and encourages women sexuality, emo music has made women the origin of emotional pain for men, depicting them as “heartbreakers. ” The music also creates messages about emos feeling isolated.

For instance, the image of the album cover for the emo band, silverstein, shows a boy with long hair, wearing tight jeans, sitting alone, and weeping. In their album, Silverstein sings about, love, anger, hurt, and isolation, so the album cover reflects what the music in the album is about. Along with love, anger and hurt, emo music also sings about violence. Blood, kill, dead, hate, and pain are some common lyrics that are used in emo music and are usually directly related to women. The lyrics suggest that women cause pain for men; however, in the common pop culture, men are the ones who are inflicting pain on women.

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The emo subculture breaks away from this by reversing it. This rebellion is expressed through the emotional music and lyrics of the emo subculture. Along with music, the emo subculture expresses their emotion through a unique recessive fashion. The typical emo fashion consists of skinny jeans, tight t-shirts, zip-up hooded jackets, studded belts, converse or skate shoes, black nail polish, eye liner on both genders, and the notorious emo hairstyle. The typical hairstyle is comprised of long, straightened, black bangs brushed to one side of the face covering one or both eyes.

In the second image, the boy’s thick black hair is covering both of his eyes completely. The way his hair covers his eyes, shared with the black shirt signifies how he wants to be secluded, and concealed in the dark. He does not want to see others and does not want others to see him. While the dress of pop culture is very brand driven, baggier, and represents how the culture is open, the slim fitted clothing the emos wear shows how they keep to themselves, focus on themselves, and worry about themselves in order to remain distant from the mainstream fashion.

One cannot identify someone as being in a subculture just because of his or her fashion or musical tastes; the attitude of a person must also be considered. The attitude of the emo subculture can be described as shy, quiet, sensitive, glum, mysterious, self-pitying, and introverted. A typical emo teenager in high school usually sits alone in the corner of the class, keeps to himself, and almost always looks depressed; If he is found with other people, it will usually be with other emos. The subculture has a unique attitude towards life as well.

Emos feel that no one accepts them, so they outcast themselves, and view the world around them in a more emotional way. For example, if a common teenager was rejected by a group of people playing basketball because there was already even teams, he would pay casually accept it, and go on with his day. But, if an emo teenager was rejected, he would he would take it personally by assuming it was because they do not socially accept him. Emos tend to over exaggerate the emotions that one might usually feel.

They express these emotions through the attitude they have towards life and everyday experiences in order to break away from the pop culture. The emo subculture uses intense emotion to rebel against the common pop culture by over exaggerating the simple emotions one feels in everyday life, showing how they want to be recluse by the way they dress, and singing lyrics of strong emotion. On the stage, the vocalist cries as he sings lyrics of how the woman he loved has left him feeling heartbroken and isolated.

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Emo Subculture. (2018, Sep 05). Retrieved from

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