Am I Emo? Are You Emo?

The Emo Kid !

Are You Emo?

When I saw this question posted by five months ago, it went through my head that this is a simple yes or no reply and dismissed it out of hand. But, I kept seeing it, and thought that maybe there is something more to this question. In my ignorance I thought that 'Emo' was another of those characters like 'Wally' until I started to investigate.

I googled 'Emo' and boy wasn't I surprised!

I discovered that 'Emo' is not a person nor a characature but whole lifestyle, a lifestyle that seems to be enveloping our young people, where their emotions are to the fore and they are not afraid to display them nor admit that they even have them. Their whole persona takes on a change, from what they wear, how they do their hair, their hobbies, and even the music they listen to.

Characteristics of an 'emo'
Characteristics of an 'emo'

Have you seen, Emo?

The characteristics of an emo from an outward appearance is similar for both male or female. Their clothing is tightly fitted and often bought from thrift shops and altered or they go to a specialist boutique for Emo Wear. Their clothes are generally dark and highlighted with bright splashes in the form of colourful belts , brightly coloured t-shirts under a dark jacket and the girls will also wear bows and hairpins of a brightly coloured nature.

Their hair is almost always an unnatural colour , generally jet black , this is to express their feelings. If they are in a real dark mood their hair will stay jet black, though many emo's will colour their hair, such as their layers or as a streak, the most popular colours used are red, frost or purple.

The hairstyle of an emo is mot about the hair being straight or even, it is more about expressing emotions and feelings. An emo hairstyle is often uneven, shaggy and a-symmetrical. You will find that more often than not , one side is longer than the other,generally covering one eye. If you are emo, choosing a hairstyle, you should always think of your mood at the time.

So, while anything can go in an emo hairstyle, there is only one rule that you should really follow, and that is , 'Don't follow the crowd.'

Emo Make-up



There are websites full of advice on how apply make-up, and emo sites are no different, except, they are directing at children, some still in school. I found a site that teaches them how to apply eyeliner that will create the look they want, whether it be for soft every day or evening vampy look. Once they have applied the eyeliner, they then contrast with a brightly coloured eyeshadow.

I found this amazing, and also to see how they encouraged the youngsters to be themselves and not 'to follow the crowd'

Emo hobby - Their Poetry

Emo's write poetry, unusual you may think from looking at them.  My first impression was , well I cant really pinpoint the exact feelings, enough to put into words, but , Emo's , they can.  They have a gift of being able to express themselves through their poetry and their music.  They do not hold back, they are able to transfer their inner emotion , however dark , into beautiful poetry. 

The poem you are about to read comes from a website, Emo Corner.  I picked this poem because it moved me and I thought that youmight like it too.

Autumn Times

Autumn breeze frigidly touches ailing dreadful lives
Harshly darkness quietly surrounds the broken souls
Mellow serenades that once played between hearts
Pathetically have transformed into bitter sad songs

Somewhere beyond the flossy clouds
Cupid has lost his romancing arrows
Plays sad sonorous tunes on his bow
Dedicated to all weepy lonely hearts

Howling chilly wind blows through the mist
Sounds of sorrow spread allover the place
Fuzzy humid air submerges the inner lust
Lives decay slowly as the autumn leaves fall...

emo -sad song,

The Music of Emo

As Emo poetry their music and musical videos are equally emotive. Their deepest feelings are expressed through music , most commonly accompanied by the guitar.

The first video here is by Pink Floyd, Wish you were it is expressed how he feels following the death of one of his friends . The music is soulful and draws you in. It's a piece of music that stays with you long after it has finished.

The second video is from Korea - the music is also haunting but the video is a little disturbing, but unfortunately is a portrayal of what these youngsters put up with. I closed my eyes and listened to the music, before I watched the video.. I suggest that you do the same, just to see and hear what I saw, heard and felt.

Before I head off into my conclusion, just wanted to say that the stories relating to the link between the emo scene and the act of self harm is a myth.  Whilst this is true of some , it is also true of people who are not Emo. There is no medical or cultural link between the two.

Self harm stems from a borderline personality disorder and there is no reason why the wrongful claim that cutting is a fundamental part of the Emo Culture.

Are you Emo? Am I Emo?

Researching this topic, has really opened my eyes, I have learnt about a culture that embraces emotion, and will openly express their feelings.

The emotion can be that of love, hate, hugging, violence, happiness and depression,even suicide and they talk about it. They write poetry and make videos, paint and write short stories all to tell people how they feel, and in doing so, they help others to deal with whatever problems they have.

Ok, so they dress different, and over emphasize the makeup around their eyes, but arent the eyes , the windows to their souls. I think that all of us can learn from them.

We, all of us, have a preconceived idea when we meet a group of young people that look and dress different. We all think TROUBLE.. me, personally, I want to know more, I would like to see this generation grow and to be our future.

Thoughtful, expressive and above all independent.

Am I Emo ?  Not in every sense , but in some ways, I would like to believe I am.

Comments 57 comments

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Never heard of emo. Interesting. What will they come up with next?

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

No idea Ralph, the emo evolved from the punk era, through the goth and then emo. Time will tell, I am sure of that.

Thank you Ralph for dropping in, much appreciated.

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Iphigenia 7 years ago

Well - this opened my eyes. I've seen a lot of youngsters around dressed and styled as you describe, but thought that it was simply a fashion 'thing'. Now that I know there is more than meets the eye I shall engage with them - I'll probably learn something. The subcultures of youth are more important than the rest of society realises.

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Hi Iphy, it opened my eyes too, wasn't until I started to research the whole emo culture, that I knew what they were about. I find them totally fascinating and as you, want to know more.

Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

Great hub Hawkes! You did put a huge amount of work into this, as you said! I knew the group, didn't know the name. I gotta say, tho it is nice to not see baggy britches (but how they get them snuggies on I'll never know!)

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

I totally agree about the baggy britches, and as for getting them snuggies on, they are either ultra slim or they stitch them in place..Wot you think?

maribin profile image

maribin 7 years ago from USA

I was curious with the title, as I don't know what is emo, so i opened up your hub, still I'm thinking about myself if I'm an emo or not.????????, anyhow I like it

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Hi maribin, you and me both, thanks for reading.

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SarahMichelle 7 years ago

Good hub! I work with a youth much of the time and many kids have very bad ideas about "emo" kids. But ya know what? I have some of the same characteristics that are associated with those kids and for which they are looked down upon. Emo kids are often automatically associated with cutting. I am a cutter and do not live the emo life style. My emotions play a huge role in my life and are very important to me. There are many people that could stand to learn something from their feelings! I read something once that said "forgive me for being emotionally invested in every moment of my life." It was associated with an emo kid. But maybe we all need to think about that?

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

So often, people look askance at kids who dress a bit differently and automatically judge them as troublemakers. Thanks for the info on emo.

Alison, are you going to get your hair chopped raggedly off on one side and start to wear tight pin striped pants you got at the Good Will? And don't forget the emo glasses!

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thank you Sarah, for sharing.. and yes we do need to pay attention to our feelings.

Dolores, tut tut and me a grannie lol. Just feel that we can all learn a little from them.

Jess Killmenow profile image

Jess Killmenow 7 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

This emo thing sounds eerily familiar - like my young adulthood, but without the makeup!

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\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

oh yeah i knew i had heard of it before tooooooo

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Hi Jess, I think that we can all relate, in one way or another, don't you.

Hey Brenda, You too !!! good to see ya

Nanny J.O.A.T. profile image

Nanny J.O.A.T. 7 years ago from Somewhere over the rainbow

Well, you have certainly done an excellent job of describing something that even my daughters have a hard time explaining to me. I have a much better understanding now since reading your hub and can talk a little bit better to them about this. Thanks :)

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Hi Nanny, glad to be of help, thanks for dropping by.

I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s profile image

I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s 7 years ago

Very interesting read. I never heard of an emo before, but I can see some similarites of myself reading this. Thanks for researching this, very informitive!

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s, emo's are emo..tional and not afraid to show it, would that we could all be like it.

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Although I have never heard of them I find emo's to be intriguing. I for one advocate for being truthful in expressing one's emotions. It's one of the best ways to deal with yourself and life. :)

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

You are so right ripplemaker, bottling emotions, as so many of us have the habit of doing, is not good for anyone.

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dantedecember 7 years ago

"Self harm stems from a borderline personality disorder" That is not true, self harm is a coping mechanism not necessarily linked to any mental illness.

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Janetta 7 years ago

no, I guess I'm not Emo. Although I do like pink Flloyd :)

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

dantedecember, I debated with myself over your comment, decided, that the best answer is to agree to disagree, and to let any future readers form their own opinions.

Thank you for commenting.

Janetta, I like pink floyd as well.

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

I could be emo, but I don't do the whole makeup thing, so I guess not. I also like Pink Flloyd :)

Bendo13 profile image

Bendo13 7 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

Pink Floyd is definitely not emo music!

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Hi Tom, so you don't use make up, huh! Pink floyd..terrific.

Bendo13, thanks for dropping by, I have it from an emo site, that this particular song, sung and played by pink floyd is definitely of the 'emo music' style and that it what I WAS TRYING TO PORTRAY.

Thank you for your input.

Godslittlechild profile image

Godslittlechild 7 years ago

I've never heard of emo. Wow! Who knew? Great hub!

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thank you Godslittlechild for reading, sometimes these youngsters certainly do surprise us.

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ralwus 7 years ago

Young people are continually evolving. They must find their own niche and do follow a crowd of their own choice. This is new to me, Emo, but I don't worry about such things. We did the same things when young. I think they may have more liberty now though to express themselves. The poetry was good and the video was another good love story and even though I know not the language, I understood. Thanks for a great hub. CC

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

I quite agree ralwus, wish that we had had the same liberties, glad you found it interesting CC, I had fun finding out about them.

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ralwus 7 years ago

I bet it was fun for you as it shows in the great hub you produced. kudos and a hug

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

I've done some research on Emo, but these are the best definitions I have seen. It cracks me up that they dress in a prescribed manner, in order not to follow the crowd. As a teen, I was definitely Emo... lacking the make up and clothing. May be I still am, just not sad. :)

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thanks for the hug CC - one back

Ivorwen, thank you sooo much, I put a lot of time in to this, I found that once I started, I had ton keep going , I needed to know more and I was really moved by the thought processes of the young.

They even have a chat room, where they tell each other what it was that first made them smile that day..they have a real community spirit.

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Never outa mine, Art, thanks for the compliment, much appreciated.

wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 7 years ago from The Land of Tractors

I've seen teens dress this way and called many different things like Goth, Punk, etc. I know when I was a teen for a time I did the whole look and even tied my hair up in bed sheets. Oh, and I wrote lots of poetry too. It's interesting though that there's a whole additional component of embracing emotions. I've become more analytical over the years and have to say that learning to control my emotions has helped me a great deal in life. So I'm not sure what to think of this. Just a different point of view.

But I do want to compliment you on a fascinating hub!

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

I agree with the controlling our emotions, but, do admire these young people for being able to express them.

There have been times in my life where controlled emotions has meant biting my tongue, and after, wishing I had said what I had thought at the time.

Think the trick must be, to find the balance.

fred hensel profile image

fred hensel 7 years ago

An Emo is all a personality constructdeveloped by Dr.John Kappas. Emotional Sexuality and Physical Sexuality.For more information please see my blog at

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thank you fred, for this additional information.

Raven King profile image

Raven King 7 years ago from Cabin Fever

Thanks for pulling me out my personal vacuum. Out of dark matter I thrust into reality and delight in your hub. :)

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Hiya Raven, how are you, glad to be of help, speak soon.

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Hey my friend, will look forward to it, how are you keeping?

Mrs. Obvious profile image

Mrs. Obvious 7 years ago from Northern California

Emo's are alive and well? at the high schools here. I have never thought of them as trouble makers. Maybe because I used to dress and think like that when I was 15. I grew up with the grunge scene, but after that went out I became very emo. That was before someone gave it a name. I think they are very unique, sensitive people and I think you wrote an excellent hub. Thanks for the in depth description.

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thank you very much Mrs Obvious, for taking the time to read and to leave such an encouraging comment.

Naomi R. Cox profile image

Naomi R. Cox 7 years ago from Elberton, Georgia

Great hub! I never knew about emo. This sure has opened my eyes though. Thanks for sharing this information.

Jessessej123 profile image

Jessessej123 7 years ago

I know I have a friend that is an emo but im not sure if I am, I hope not!!!!!!!!!

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Thanks for writing such an informative Hub. I admit to knowing almost nothing about Emo. As a result of reading your words, I've gone on an information quest to learn more.

One thing that strikes me is that time goes on but kids don't really change in this respect: the need to belong. Greasers, Hippies, Jocks, Punks, now Emos. What will we be hearing 20 years from now?

Everyone's heard of aging Hippies; soon it will be aging Punks and aging Emos. Gotta love it all.

katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Don't be surprised if you see me swanning around here in my emo make-up, I really learnt something to-day, now what emotion goes with that.


Dakota 6 years ago

you should here this song its what kids like me lisen to in our town... i love these songs because they are really just emotinal songs but beautful, i don't write poetry but i do sing, write songs, and draw, i think the reasion people don't get us is because they don't care to lisen... ='[

Yours Truly,

Dakota aka

Dark Rose...

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 6 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thankyou Dakota for reading. I have included the video below for all other readers to listen.

There is a comment section below the video, Please continue with comments there. I would like the video to remain in this position. Thank you.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

O-Wow.....O-kay....I-mo-U-mo...emo. I thank the Lord-O that my child-rearing days are long gone!! Every generation goes through their fads and "identity" scenarios. Seems to be a rite of passage and that's FINE. It's fine because 1. There's not much you can do to deter this sort of thing and 2. It's ALWAYS a "temporary" in a passing fancy. THERE IS A GOD AFTER ALL!

IF I were still the mother hen hovering over a brood of young ones, searching for themselves, so to speak or attempting to make their individual mark to impress the masses....I'd have to use my best HUMOR.

I'm sure I would look at my son, who has just "come out" as an EMO....and lovingly tell him, "O-kay, Bob-O, my precious whatever you feel the need-O to be O-so-happy-O. As your Mom-O, I want nothing more than for you to express your Own personO. If you are EMO, I will not say, O-no, O-god, O-sOs! But for now, eat your Cheeri-Os...put your bowl in the sink-O...and don't miss the school bus-O...You're growing up, my dear EMO-Bob-O. Just yesterday it was "ElmO"...and now it's EMO. What's a Mom-O to do??"

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 5 years ago from Cornwall Author

Brilliant response. You made me laugh. What a terrific attitude to have. Thanks for coming and making my day!

Cosmic Bus profile image

Cosmic Bus 4 years ago from Maryland

Very interesting and informative! The Korean video is so sad.

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 4 years ago from Cornwall Author

Hi Cosmic, I am glad that you found the hub interesting. Thank you for coming by,reading, and taking the time to comment.

Jeff 4 years ago

I guess i can consider myself Emo since i was curious to see the real meaning of it. yeah. Thinking everyone else is better than you i can relate to that alot. don't ask me why i think this way. why i am the way i am is a complete mystery to me. i don't express all this emo dark stuff to well. i think its ridiculous to do so. i also self harm and i don't even know why i do that. my life is a complete mystery to me. The song "The Enemy" by Papa Roach explains this very well. i express what i feel and all that stuff with music that i listen to since i can't think of music to make up or anything else.

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 4 years ago from Cornwall Author

Jeff, thank you for reading and commenting. I have given a further comment below. Please go and have a read.

fuckuall 2 years ago

wtf is wrong with you people

Nate 15 months ago

Thanks for this man. I have been conflicted with who I am I guess idk. I always felt emo but truth be told because how society protrays emos I always feared I might be one. I have searched so many sites and the results are the same I am emo. However, I did not want to believe it but just reflecting on everything that emos do. I write poems, short stories, even comic books( I draw) expressing how I feel. The main character is suppos to be me and I express myself through my art I guess however I have to write all my stuff in French because my family feel that those like emos are weird and need psychological help. Anyway though I still am afraid of being emo I think I should just accept it. Thanks.

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    Hawkesdream profile image

    Hawkesdream 6 years ago from Cornwall Author

    I have listened intently to the words of evanescence and wonder if 'we' as parents over the generations have, in the preparation for the 'real' world, failed to notice that we have inadvertantly dismissed the need for expressing emotion.

    'Be Strong' 'Don't show how you feel' 'The first one that raises their voice loses' 'Crying is a sign of weakness'

    All of these phrases have been said to me over the years and I do suppress my feelings.

    Food for thought isn't it?

    Jeff 4 years ago

    i am 15 years old. and thanks for your little characteristic thing. im trying to find a reason for myself and i just wander across these sites to see if i can relate to them

    Hawkesdream profile image

    Hawkesdream 4 years ago from Cornwall Author

    Jeff, I hope you come back to read this.

    Please do not feel that I am patronizing you, I really do feel for you.

    At 15, you should not be worrying about the reason you are here. Your life is just beginning, there is so much out there to enjoy and look forward to.

    I can hear you tut and think 'What the hell does anyone know?' You are right, of course. Unless we walk in your shoes for a day, how could we know?

    Speaking from one who has been around a long time, I know from experience that there is so much more than the bubble we live in as teenagers.

    Be happy with yourself, if you are happy with yourself everything else will fall into place.

    Good Luck and stay safe.

    Jeff 4 years ago

    You are very good. yes your words did heal a bit of me. but there are still questions that float in my mind, that won't go away until they are solved or found. i am very very glad that i found this site..... Yes i know this world is amazing besides the bad sides of it. My problems are mostly in my mind and my physical self. my family isn't much of a problem. but this body i am and the brain that is in it is a mess of crappy questions and they just make me go crazy. It always has been. nothing could change this or stop it cause its memory and it can't just be erased unless you melt my brain or something but death is a hard thing to think of too so that's not a good thing. But please and thanks for the info. I truly wish i could be like everyone else. but please don't worry too much. and feel free to keep chatting cause i have this page bookmarked so i will check it once in a while.

    Hawkesdream profile image

    Hawkesdream 4 years ago from Cornwall Author

    I am so pleased that you came back,Jeff. If I can help in anyway, feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer.

    Answering your own questions, when you have so many is very difficult. Might I suggest that you get yourself a little notebook. Then write down every question on a separate page, as it pops into your head, leave for a day or two and then return to it.

    Sometimes, when a load of questions rattle around in your mind, they get distorted and become as one major headache. Seeing them one at a time in black and white, lessons their impact on your life and are easier to solve.

    Any you can't answer, post here if you like and I will try to help.

    Speak soon Jeff

    Jeff 4 years ago

    I absolutely love you. your words have had the biggest impact on this life of Jeff. i will try to write them down. are a god to my life. I love people like you that just know how to handle things like what i am going through. "i am shivering" with excitement. And yesterday i have found out about 2 words. "angst" "and Anxiety" this word i just was to lazy to look up since i thought i knew what it means. but these 2 words placed a big chunk of me into this life. Every impact or relations puts a little piece of my puzzle together. And i thank you sooo much for your words and your time to actually help. Thank you

    Hawkesdream profile image

    Hawkesdream 4 years ago from Cornwall Author

    You are so welcome, Jeff. One step at a time is the best way. You have already learned something today, the meaning of words that you thought you already knew ... you see, sometimes what we think, determines who we are.

    Focus on the good things in the life, dream of where you want to be in 10 years. It's a long way off for you at this moment in time, but believe me it will be here sooner than you think.

    Have dreams and goals then aim for them. Your life will take on a new spin. I guarantee it.

    Speak soon

    Jeff 4 years ago

    Yes but the biggest challenge i think ill ever face is what to do in my life. Like what am i really good at and what do i want to spend my life doing. am i going to be comfortable with what i do. that's one of those questions that will be there until i actually find something. I always focus on the good things about life but its the body and mind that i am that are in the way of what i do. like "do i really see myself doing that." Those get in my way too. insecure, and all that ridiculous stuff. I truly believe your the one who is gona change my life forever. even though ill still have these questions and thoughts but you you really help my mind handle somethings... i will always have this site. there for me if i need some help. Thank you.

    Jeff 3 years ago

    Idk why I had to word the above that way but really you can forget about the above. Idk why I had to say things like that above but yeah the whole self harm thing is decreasing just cause of some reason. There are very little questions and I understand more of myself. Raising a whole other problem I will not speak of. 16 now and everything that I'm going through isn't just domething I am experiencing but whatever I'm doing better from the last time we have chatted. I do appreciate your work above. And cya.

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