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Question Posted by G’Jacckie Rodriguez: “How would you explain this to your parents without them freaking out or doing something completely unnecessary and stupid?”

Answer: Many parents have a hard time coping when their children choose to dress the style of an alternative culture, especially parents of a more traditional background that grew up as preppies or jocks. A lot of parents think that the way that their child dresses reflects on how they are as a parent, which is one reason why so many parents reject the emo and gothic style of dressing.

Needless to say, there are a lot of hardheaded parents out there who think that the darker styles of emo and gothic are just plain wrong or represent that of mental instability or emotional distress. This isn’t always the case, but it’s sometimes hard to sway their minds otherwise.

So, how do you explain being emo to your parents without them freaking out? Well, the best way to go about doing this is to put yourself on their level. While I don’t usually promote lying, this is one case where stretching the truth will give your parents peace of mind and you the ability to express yourself without them being worried.

Explain the Bright Side of Emo

Probably the best way to educate your parents about what emo is would be to explain all of the positive aspects of being emo. You do not want to mention any of the negative stereotypes associated with the emo culture when you have this talk with your parents. I’m sure that if they have any knowledge of the emo culture then they will probably bring them up to you. When they do, simply tell them that those stereotypes are typically not true of emos in most cases, but that people took the problems of a few and blew them up to encompass the whole culture.

Try to convince your parents of the positive aspect of the emo culture instead of allowing them to focus on the negative. Explain to them that emo is a style of music that you enjoy and can relate to. Tell them that emos are people who are in tune with their emotions, both the negative and the positive and that there is nothing bad that comes from understanding your feelings. You could also tell them that the emo culture is one of creativity. Many emos enjoy writing poetry and playing musical instruments, which are positively constructive activities.

It’s a Phase

One of the easiest ways to gain your parents tolerance is to meet them in the middle ground. Tell them, whether you believe it or not, that being emo is just a phase for you. In 99.9% of cases, this is actually true. By the time you’re 25 (and more realistically long before that), you’ll likely shed any type of high school style classification.

You’re Not Depressed

If you are depressed, then you might not want to approach this angle of the argument. One of the biggest stereotypes that parents recognize in association to emo culture is that all emos are depressed. This is simply not true, and if you help your parents to understand that then they may be more tolerant of the way that you choose to represent yourself. Let them know that you are happy, and that your choice to be emo has nothing to do with you being unhappy. The more you can pitch this and make your parents believe it, the less they’ll be concerned with the way that you dress.

Explaining your choice to be emo to your parents can sometimes be difficult. After all, the culture has been well painted as something negative. Educating your parents, being patient with them as they learn to except your freedom of expression, and finding a common ground is the best way to ensure that your parents don’t completely flip out over your lifestyle choice. You may even want to remind them that they were young once too, and despite what they might think, your choice to be emo isn’t a form of rebellion, but rather a form of self expression. They should be happy that you’re choosing to express yourself via your fashion  style as opposed to doing something that may be harmful to yourself or other people. After all, it’s just clothes, and hair. and music. How harmful to anyone can that possibly be?

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