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A look into the emo subculture

Story by David Cooper and Dominique Adkins

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11/02/07There are a lot of issues that guys and girls have disagreed on throughout the years.

Some of these include whether or not the toilet seat should be left up, who pays on a date and what is “really” considered cheating.

Through a series of discussions, we have realized we don’t disagree on any of these subjects. In fact, when asked to write a he said/she said column, we discovered there are very few things we actually do not see eye to eye on.

In the uncommon event that a dispute does come up, it is generally resolved through talking about it… or a good arm wrestling match.

We both are pretty good at seeing both sides of an argument, thus making taking a particular side for any given topic proves to be damn near impossible.

That being said, we have chosen to write about something we both love: the emo subculture.

The swoopy hair, bad attitudes, sad music and descriptive poetry fills both of our hearts with such joy and we’ve decided it would be unfair to keep it all to ourselves.

Now, we understand that most of the folks on Baker’s campus are not accustomed to seeing, nor are actually aware of what emo actually is.

No need to worry, however, because we will now define it for you. Emo, as defined by us, is a fashion, an attitude and a lifestyle.

The big part of being emo is the look that an emo has and is usually the first thing that is ever noticed about our emotionally-challenged friends.

Emo kids, as most of them are, put almost as much thought into their appearance as they do about the rest of their hide-in-a-corner image.

When you can actually find an emo to look face-to-face with, you will find that you only get to view about half of them. Emos specialize in keeping all aspects of their lives in shadow, and their faces are not exempt from this rule.

A dark layer of hair, always black and sometimes intertwined with other colors such as bleach blonde or red, blots out half of an emo’s face as it falls down the forehead and in front of one eye.

The eye covered is specified only by a swoop-user’s preference, but this view of the world from only one eye could represent how only one side of emo is seen.

Apart from the hair and the half-mask it provides, the rest of an emo’s eye-catching ensemble is focused on apparel.

Tight is the word. Every single piece of clothing that an emo kid wears looks like it was made for small children who are afraid of the light and might be part of the reason that emos are seen to have such a bad attitude.

With everything being so small and looking so uncomfortable, it only makes sense that even if emos aren’t mad at the world, they are at least mad at their decision to buy clothing out of the toddler section.

This applies most specifically to the emo kid’s pants. Jeans, while traditionally used as a means to cover the buttocks and legs, are for an emo, a painful right of passage.

No emo kid would be complete without his or her jeans, running about two sizes too small and coming together tightly around the ankle.

This, we can only assume, is because an emo views clothes as an unnecessary burden that, like everything else in the world, as something they must bear.

Clothes aren’t necessary to blog and they are not necessary to cry, thus the amount of clothing worn should be minimized. And what better way to minimize clothing than wearing ridiculously small clothes.

The second most important element to the emo wardrobe is the shoes.

Whether the shoes of choice are a pair of Chucks, some Vans or maybe your dad’s old moccasins, they need to be picked with purpose and worn in a way that says “I just grabbed these off my floor and don’t care at all that they don’t match anything else I’m wearing.”

In fact, the only time shoes should match an emo outfit is when everything is just black. An emo’s appearance is not the whole of his being, but rather only a slight glimpse into what it means to be truly emo.

To understand the rest, one must know where the word emo comes from.

Emo, for those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, is short for the word emotional. With a title that is a nickname for the word emotional, you know these kids have some problems with keeping it all together.

Their emotions can stem from the egocentric view that the world watches their every move and laughs at it, or it can range to the undying confusion and hate that brews from a recent breakup with their significant other.

With so much misfortune that, in an emo’s eyes, only happens to them, there is usually only one person that understands them and offers an outlet to vent their unrelenting rage: this person is named diary.

Diary entries are not limited to pen and paper, but with the wonders of modern technology, emos have found a wonderful home of posting their feelings on the Internet for the world to see.

So, “Dear diary, my life is a living hell right now, I can’t find inner peace since she broke up with me…you’re the only one who understands me,” is put into blogs for the world to have the option of seeing, but, of course, not care an inkling about.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea.

We are not mocking what it means to be emo, nor are we mocking anyone who subscribes to this particular lifestyle.

Our only intention is to celebrate a life where, as sad as it may seem, we find ourselves a part of from time to time.

We only wish to inform those of you who may not be aware of what this glorious subculture is all about.

In fact, if we have left anything unanswered, feel free to tune in to 89.7 FM from 8-10 p.m. Sundays and listen to our emo-geared radio show, “It Hurts to be Happy” on KNBU. (That’s right. Shameless self-promotion.)

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