Evolution of emo: Not a phase

Abbey Whittington, Columnist

What originated as a subgenre of “edgy” or “alternative” music has transformed into a way of life: being “emo.”

Between flipping perfectly straightened dark hair, translating the language of dinosaurs to show affection and constantly reminding everyone of teenage angst, the emo are reminding mom: “This is not a phase.”

This way of life must have started as the genre of music got more popular in the early 2000s.

Emo music was birthed by its parent genres, including but not limited to punk rock, alternative rock, screamo, metal and much more.

Each parent genre has its own subculture or “way of life” based on their fandoms, much like the emos.

As emo music became more popular with bands like My Chemical Romance, more people started to pair their love for music with new fads in fashion like skinny jeans, T-shirts from Hot Topic and black eyeliner.

Emo kids are typically (but not always) suburban white teenagers sitting in the corner of a room brushing up on the newest vampire lore.

But being emo goes beyond the look; to really be emo you have to match the style with your attitude and body language.

Step one: Hate any and all conformity. You are not a misunderstood emo kid if you follow the rules.

Step two: Make sure everyone knows that you are different and misunderstood. If you do not communicate that you do not have to fit in or your disdain for life, then you have failed.

Step three: Show a dislike for “preppy” classmates. Anyone who is popular, does not hate conformity or wears name brand clothing is not your friend. Count them out of your circle.

Step four: Wear black skinny jeans in all extreme weather. Emo does not change for the seasons.

Step five: Try to use body language more than words. The more you shrug your shoulders and scoff, the less likely they are to interact with you.

If you combine these steps to making yourself look like a raccoon then you will become the perfect embodiment of teenage angst.

Even though many of these trends were left long ago, the lifestyle lives on through evolution.

The youth is still listening to edgy alternative music, wearing chokers and combat boots and romanticizing being sad (not funny, but still happening.)

At the end of the day, I would say, no mom, it turns out being emo was not a phase I would abandon during my adolescence.

Instead, the angst has transformed into tweeting about being sad, wearing dark lipstick and getting wine drunk while listening to depressing music on a Tuesday night.

So really, not much has changed.

Abbey Whittington is a junior journalism major and can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].