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What is emo? If you polled a hundred emo kids, you would probably get a mixture of the following three answers. Emo is a style of music. Emo means emotional, someone not afraid to express their emotions. Emo is a fashion style. So, what is it? Well, to answer correctly, it’s all three in one.

Defined by Webster’s Dictionary, emo is a style of rock music influenced by punk rock and featuring introspective and emotionally fraught lyrics. Emo is a noun that’s short for emotional, and the term was established in 1993. The above information was taken from Webster.com, btw. Bands such as Panic! At the Disco, Fall Out Boy, and Hawthorne Heights are thought to be considered emo bands. Many bands that have been labeled as such do not consider themselves to be emo. However, the fans make and break the bands, and the fans are the ones to define the label.

Emo means emotional. Most emos are not afraid to express their feelings about anything. They do not think that it is shameful to cry or communicate their feelings for someone, and prefer to keep an open book mentality as far as emotional expression is concerned. This can be both good and bad. Emos, especially emo males, are often seen as weak individuals for their ability to publicly display their emotions, whether happy or sad. A large amount of non-emo people believe emos to be emotional train wrecks due to their lack of fear about crying in public, something that most people try to only do privately. On the other hand, many females see emo males as more sensitive and less of a risk to date, as they tend to lay their feelings out on the table for all to see. It’s a catch 22.

No matter how many emos say they try to go against the grain with their fashion, when you see an emo, you will know that they are emo by the way that they dress. Skin tight clothing, eye make up on boys, and flat ironed hair help to keep the emos in their own culture group. Emo is a fashion statement.

A combination of the above listed attributes guarantees that the person is emo. However, some people who are overly emotional would not consider themselves emo. Also, there are plenty of people who enjoy bands like Panic! At the Disco who are far from emo. There are also people who only subscribe to one of the three practices listed above that consider themselves to be emo. So, how do you know for sure if someone is an emo or not? Just ask them.

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