A sub-culture of youths struggling to find a place to hide amongst the many labels of western society. Usually consists of young people who spend a lot of time in coffee shops, spend a little too much time thinking about how their trendy clothing defines them, despite what they will definitely say to the contrary, listen to punk-oriented music with darker themes, and many of whom may spend a bit too much time writing depressing poetry/music.
While many of those defined by this broad term are in fact, probably quite interesting, they would be the first to reject the term "emo" as one of the stupidest themes or labels to emerge among western youth today.
They will see through the desperation present in sub sects of "emo kids" to conform, yet pretend to rebel, demonstrated through their sudden invention of baffling social traditions such as the term "straight-edge", and are capable of making important decisions in their life such as those involving substance use or a vegan diet for themselves, not just because they feel superior by drawing a big 'X' on their hand for all the world to see.
Non-conformism is a strong theme upon such sub-groups labelled by this term, and perhaps it would be wise for those holding such themes close to heart to grow up a little and realise that it doesnt matter if someone labels you, it just matters whether or not you're happy with who you are.
Probably the most baffling part of the whole mess is their own definition of their favoured musical genres - That their music is "emotional". This is really a meaningless statement, for all real music is purely intended as a vessel to convey emotion in the first place.
Overall, and somewhat amusingly so, the label is beginning to describe more of a blind cult than actual culture.
Those emo kids ought to expand their musical and spiritual horizons a little, and stop focusing so much on their supposed 'purity' and 'deeper emotional thinking'.