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Question Posted by TheAwesomeOne: How do you stop your brothers from freaking out because you are changing to an emo look. I have always loved emo music but in the past months the clothes style has appealed to me and my four brothers noticed and are freaking out. What do I do and say??”

Answer: Dealing with parents who are freaking out about your choice to be emo and dealing with siblings who are freaking out about your choice to be emo are two completely different things. If your parents are fine with your style then, in all honesty, what your siblings think really shouldn’t matter. Here are some things that you can say to get the point across to them.

First and foremost, taste is a matter of personal preference. Everyone has their own style. Tell your brothers that you don’t harp on them for the way that they want to dress. Every style and subculture out there has its positives and negatives. Ask them how they would feel if you freaked out because of the way that they wanted to dress. It’s just clothing. It doesn’t change the person that’s inside the clothing.

Let them know that not all emos fall into the negative stereotypes associated with being emo. You might also want to drive the point home that you’re not depressed, have no intentions of cutting, and that you’re not choosing to dress emo because you’re bombarded with negative feelings. Explain to them that you like the style and music and that you’re prepared to deal with whatever ridicule other people might place on you because of it.

And the most important thing, but probably what will cause the most argument, is that they aren’t you. They have no control over how you dress or who you choose to associate your self with. It’s your life. You don’t try to run their lives, they shouldn’t try to run yours. They aren’t your parents, they aren’t your school counselor, they’re your siblings. And while their opinion should matter to you to a certain degree, you shouldn’t allow it to hold you back from doing the things that you want (as long as those things aren’t harmful to you or others).

If they make fun of you for wanting to be emo, they’re only making themselves look bad and doing harm to their own subcultures. If they claim that they will disown you, blow them off. You’re family, and if they’re going to choose to disown you for the clothes that you want to wear . . . well, that’s just petty and immature. Give them some time to adjust to it and they’ll more than likely come back around.

The important thing is to not budge on your stance. Throughout your life you’ll encounter people who will tell you how to dress and how to act. If you let other people dictate such things then you’ll never be able to be your own person.

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