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"Emo" and "Goth" - trying to make sense of it

Updated on June 6, 2013

How did she get out of the house?

Is the one house-broken?

Is it still Halloween?

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." ......and then again so is 'ugly' and 'shocking' right?

I don't know, but these days, it seems to this child of the 60's, that 'shocking' trumps it all.

Knowingly I did not try to shock anybody when I adorn my long hair, bell-bottoms, beads and flowers on my clothing, and in my chic's hair, and tried to incorporate Love and Peace in my life while there was war, hatred and racism all about me. I dare say that parents of these 'emo's and goth heads' of today would no doubt wish their kid would be more of a 'hippie.' I know I would if I had a child like this. As a parent told me, "I wish there was just pot and hippies out there instead of all the shit we have today."

But to be fare, before I wrote this hub page, I went to the nearest Mall to ask one or more of these 'followers' what it was all about. As you could imagine, they are not hard to find. On the way in the mall, here in Lancaster, PA, I saw a couple of them exiting and got my hopes up, not much for malls, thinking I wouldn't have to go in the mall at all and handle this at the door step. I was wrong.

I said, "hi" and introduced myself. "I'm writing a hub page about Emo's and Goth's and was wondering if you could shed some light on the subject for me." They looked at me as if I was a pedophile killer. (they reeked of booze) The guy, at least I think he was a guy, he didn't have black lipstick but had black nail polish, said "f--- you cock s-----" while the other one at least smiled or tried to smile without smudging her black lipstick, probably a girl, then buried her head back in her cell phone and continued texting. I knew then that this wasn't going to be an easy task for today. These kids are in an entirely different church, or rather, world. At least they try to be.

Then I got the idea to ask one who was employed by a shop at the mall, if any employer would hire them, thinking they would be more congenial to a would be customer. So I went to the map at the end of the isle and looked up where 'Spencer and Gifts' was. This shop was a hang-out for fellow hippies when I was younger and thought it merely changed hands over the years. They certainly, I noticed, had all the Emo and Goth equipment there, black nail polish and lipstick, and piercing goodies, but most of it was as I remembered the last time I set my sandals in there; black lights and posters, lava lamps, fake poop, fake vomit, fake spilled soda, money printed on toilet paper, nude puzzles, a selection of incense, and, taking me back, hemp leaves on posters and hats and mugs, but the guy at the counter was not what I was hoping for. In fact, he was more like me and my age. So I asked him the same question.

"This is my first week, they fired another one of them. Too many customers complained. She was mean and drank on the job." Then he gave me his answer, "they are the outgrowth of 'punkers' that were the outgrowth of hippies that were the outgrowth of beatniks." As to what 'emo' and 'goth' really mean, he had no clue. And when I asked him whether they still carry papers, pipes and bongs, he said, "papers and pipes and bongs oh my. We cant even say those words in here."

Still not satisfied, I went to 'Lord Google' and found definitions by people of the age group. They couldn't put their finger on it exactly, and disagreed on a few details but this is what they said:

First of all, goth was around before this "emo" stuff. (emo stands for emotional, as in, "I feel so emo now") Emos wear those Vans and clunky '80s jewelry a lot. The bands that emo's like are 'Taking Back Sunday and 'My Chemical Romance.'

Goth, short for Gothic, is a bit more extreme, but original. They don't cut for attention, and if they do cut, it's because they're really depressed. They like things that aren't popular,
or maybe looked down upon my a lot of people. So, all in all--emoism is a rip off of Gothic people.

Another wrote: emo= emotional. also a style of music and clothes. more tame than 'scene'. the stereotypical emo wears eyeliner &skinny jeans regardless of gender, inflicts pain upon themselves , writes poetry or is in a band. some 'emo's' really are depressed and cut themselves for a reason, others do it to fit in to a group.

Goth=Gothic music. i don't actually know any goth music but Voltaire counts..i think. all black clothing a bit wilder than 'emo' but not 'scene'. not to be confused w/gothic Lolita. Lolitas aim is to look sophisticated and cute, goth is sophisticated but scary. they both follow Victorian era clothing in black.

And yet another wrote: Being emo doesn't necessarily mean that they cut themselves, and it doesn't necessarily mean that they're depressed either. That's the stereotypical definition of emo. An emo person can simply be someone that is in touch with their emotions and feelings.

Goths aren't exactly freaks like everyone says they are. They are actually very nice people, but just with more originality and dresses the way they want to instead of following mainstream trends.

Seems to me like these kids need to visit a 'shrink' instead of the mall. And, by all means, ya better bring the parents along! If their available.


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    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 6 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      This just in:(

      IRAQI TEENAGERS STONED TO DEATH FOR “EMO” HAIRCUTS: At least 90 Iraqi teenagers with “emo” appearances have been stoned to death by religious extremists in Baghdad in the past month after an inflammatory interior ministry statement dubbed it “devil worshiping”, activists said. Iraq’s Moral Police released a chilling statement on the interior ministry’s website condemning the “emo phenomenon” among Iraqi youth, disturbingly declaring its intent to “eliminate” the trend. “The ‘Emo phenomenon’ or devil worshiping is being followed by the Moral Police who have the approval to eliminate [the phenomenon] as soon as possible since it’s detrimentally affecting the society and becoming a danger,” the statement read.

    • profile image

      deena 6 years ago

      im so emo

    • meow48 profile image

      meow48 7 years ago from usa

      you, too. take care.

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 7 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Yep, you got it, not much new, just a different dressed repeat. Thanks for passin it by, meow48, hope you have a nice memorial day weekend.

    • meow48 profile image

      meow48 7 years ago from usa

      okay, so like the munsters were goth. and so were the adams family and it seems that beatniks were emo. garsh if we had only known back then... hee. take care, loved this hub.btw.

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 7 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Well hey dude, who isn't letting you wear them? This is your life, man, not theirs! Hope you're not married to a Gemini.....yuk!

    • chefsref profile image

      Lee Raynor 7 years ago from Citra Florida

      Every generation has its "nonconformists" and all they can muster up is to copy each other. I miss my long hair and beads from my turn as a nonconformist

      Good Hub


    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 7 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Thanks for stopping by CV. Seems we've run out of uniqueness as far as appearance goes. So this will lead to more important things to spend our time and money on, right?

    • ChristineVianello profile image

      ChristineVianello 7 years ago from Philadelphia

      When I was younger, I use to dress "emo". All I really did was follow everyone else. We all Thought we were acting different, but we all dressed the same.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I live in between ghettos: Sri Lankans to the west and to the east one hour crack-whore motels and wanna-be gangsters. I got different goofs around here lol ... trying to get them to pull their pants up ...

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 7 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      I will certainly pass by. There aren't any in your area you could enlighten?

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      It's a university history course so, yes there is a lot to read. It just bothers me when people act like sheep. That is why I put information out there - people need to learn and educate themselves (in general) and stop incorporating things in their lives, not knowing why. I wish I was close to that mall of yours - I'd go talk to those kids. After I'd be done, they would either start learning history or stop pretending to be who they are not.

      I cannot say I have read the entire texts myself although, I am working on it (and others as well) because I am trying to write something about my ancestors: the Geto-Dacian people from the Thracian tribes of North-eastern Europe. It should be interesting, pass by sometime in the next week or two if you're interested. Cheers, Sir!

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 7 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Hey thanks Mr. Happy, quite a bit to read there, and deeper than what I thought. More than just 'snot nosed kids' wearing certain cloths and shocking people and an out-growth of being depressed. I've learned so much from writing hub pages. Thanks again.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      The sad part is people are like sheep so they follow others without knowing why. Very few people sit to do research and learn about things in depth.

      The emo kids are just that: kids (most of them with issues). On the other hand the goths are very different - or they should be.

      To be a goth should have a meaning for those who claim they are goths. There is Gothic architecture, there is a Gothic way of dressing ... the word Goth has serious history behind it - more than Christianity I would say, since it precedes it.

      Here's a link on a historical account of where Goths came from (if you are really interested to know):

      All the best! (from one who has Gothic ancestry)


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