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July 3, 2007

What is EMO?

Emo (IPA: pronounced [iːmo], "EE-moh") is a somewhat ambiguous slang term most frequently used to describe a fashion or subculture linked to hardcore punk fashion and its subculture. The slang term emo is best known for referring to fashion style and attitude. Emo may describe this fashion or music, or a general emotional state (as in to "feel emo"). It is also, sometimes pejoratively, used to identify someone fitting a particular emo stereotype or category.

The term emo originated in the 1980s to describe a genre of music stemming from the emotional punk scene in Washington, D.C. Early bands labeled emo (or sometimes emocore) in this scene included Rites of Spring, Embrace, and Raein.[2][3][4] The term emo as a music genre has become broader and broader with time, and now is loosely understood to mean "rock music with emotionally-based lyrics or effect." It is used to describe a broad, poorly defined group of bands that might include nearly any popular (or unpopular) rock band. The term's definition is the subject of debate. Emo is now often used to refer to a person's fashion, personality, or both, as well as a musical category.

By almost all current definitions, emo clothing is characterized by tight jeans on males and females alike, long fringe (bangs) often brushed to one side of the face, dyed black, straightened hair, tight t-shirts which often bear the names of rock bands (or other designed shirts), studded belts, belt buckles, Chuck Taylor All-Stars, skate shoes, or other black shoes—often old and beaten up—and thick, black horn-rimmed glasses.Emo fashion has changed with time; early trends included haircuts similar to those worn by the Romulans and Vulcans in Star Trek, tightly fitting sweaters, button-down shirts, and work jackets (often called gas station jackets).

When referring to a person's personality and attitude, most definitions of emo hold that an emo person is emotionally candid, sensitive, shy, introverted, glum, and quiet. Depression and broken-heartedness are sometimes used to describe the emo personality. The factuality of broken-heartedness as a personality trait stems from the opinion that emo music contains multiple references to unrequited love and emotional and relationship problems.

Emo personality is also often connected with writing poetry that addresses confusion, depression, loneliness, the futility of life, and anger, all resulting from the world's inability to understand the author. Emo poetry usually combines a highly emotional tone, stream of consciousness writing, a simple (ABAB) or nonexistent rhyme scheme, references to the flesh, especially the heart, heavy use of dark or depressing adjectives, and concern over the mutability of time, love, or both. A common theme is the authors feeling that life is pain, or how misunderstood the author feels.

In the years since emo music's rise in popularity, it has attracted criticism, often severe. The term emo itself is sometimes used pejoratively, to suggest that the target is overly emotional. Emo has been characterized as a fad that will be discarded and forgotten in the near future. Recent trends in music has also been compared to the teen pop of 1990s boy bands. Critics cast the music as lacking any artistic merit, the fashion as "embarrassing," and the people as imagining or pretending that they lead harsh, painful lives when they actually live in comfortable, middle- to upper-class homes.

Members of the emo subculture are portrayed as melodramatic, self-pitying teenagers who pour their efforts into writing bad poetry and spending a great amount of time on MySpace. The current emo subculture has been called a "sad caricature" of what it once was. Some have accused emo of celebrating self-harm. Some assert that within some emo circles it is cool to pretend to be suicidal and self-harming. Critics have gone so far as to contend that the emo's influence is likely to cause youth to commit suicide.

Posted by emomixtape at July 3, 2007 5:21 PM
Posted to general
Tagged: emo