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Okay, so there are two very different definitions for the label 'emo'.

First version (usually used by non-emos): Emos are attention seekers who live regular lives like every other teenager in Britain but cannot handle the strain as well as everyone else. They say that they are individuals, yet listen to ‘emo music’, hang out in ‘emo groups’ and buy ‘emo clothes’ with their pocket money. They hang out in dark rooms generally ignoring the happy things in life and talk about how depressed they are all the time. Most lie about cutting themselves in order for people to feel sorry for them without actually experiencing any pain at all. Others do it as an ‘initiation’ ceremony in order to become fully emo. ‘Cutting’ is a fad – what on earth does it help? You feel sad, so you cut yourself to make you feel… better? They don’t appreciate what they have, and do not realise how bad other peoples' lives are in comparison to their own. Emo is just an ever-increasingly popular ‘group’ which people want to be part of. It is a group for kids without an identity, looking for a bit of melodrama and ‘deeper levels of understanding’. To be honest, the kids who REALLY have a life not worth living aren’t even in the emo club – they just try to get through each day until it gets better.

Second version (usually used by TRUE emos – i.e. those who actually have a reason to be depressed): Kids who have had the misfortune to go through circumstances which are incredibly depressing. For example, parental divorce, death of a loved one, and loneliness. They listen to music which explains how they feel, enjoy hanging around with people who understand how they feel, and buy clothes that express to the world about how they feel. Only some kids cut themselves. Cutting can become addictive, and it distracts from the inner pain. It can be hard when youre labelled in the street because of what you wear, and can sometimes make depression worse. Being a ‘half-emo’ can also mean that you just like black and emo clothes and haircuts, and enjoy gigs and mosh pits. Some people that you like because theyre genuinely nice people, could be emo, and fun to hang around with.

Nearly every single teenager has wanted some form of attention or feeling of belonging at some time or other, and being emo could be the solution to some. Don’t hate people because of what they are labelled. Get to know them – they may be more like you than you think.
Person: 'Hey dude, look over there, some damn emos with their black hoodies and weird hair... jeez man theyre such attention seekers'
Friend: 'Err... you own a black hoodie, and all they've done is grown their hair long, man.'
Person:'Umm... oh be quiet, fool'

Cheerleader:'Oh my god, that girl is like, SOO weird - she is like, always DEPRESSED and shit!'
Friend:'Weren't you crying on the phone to me the other night because your boyfriend dumped you? You seemed pretty depressed then...'
Cheerleader:'Oh shuttup'
by abi_yeah April 20, 2007

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Emo = Emotional Hardcore

Contrary to popular belief,
Emo is not about being depressed or cutting,
it's not short for emotional,
it has nothing to do with teenage posers who follow the trend of pretending to be bisexual, depressed, and wearing all black.
It's not a fashion.
The fashion that's commonly referred to as "emo fashion",
is actually called "scene".
And MCR and Fallout Boy are NOT emo.

In actuality, It's a branch off of hardcore punk that started in the mid 80s with the punk band, Rites of Spring.
They hated the glorified violence and restrained music that infected the D.C. hardcore scene,
and took hardcore to a greater level of experimentation
with more emotional lyrics and more melodic instruments.

Soon after, a surge of new bands started forming and creating their own adaption of the style that Rites of Spring innovated.
The summer of 1985 became known as "revolution summer".
Good emo bands from "revolution summer" include:
Rites of Spring, Embrace, Moss Icon, Dag Nasty, Gray Matter,
Nation of Ulysses, and Fire Party.

After the disbanding of Rites of Spring,
Ian MacKaye (from Embrace) and Guy Picciotto (from Rites of Spring) formed the post-hardcore band Fugazi in the early 90s. who influenced bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate, Far, Braid, and Jimmy Eat World.
In my opinion, Sunny Day Real Estate are to mall emo, (the music that's commonly referred to as emo today)
as Rites of Spring are to emo.
They started the whole movement of mainstream "emo" bands.

Happening at the same time,
was the the unground movement of screamo.
Screamo sounded similar to emo,
but louder and with a lot more screaming and slightly different song structures.
Screamo started with bands such as Antioch Arrow, Palatka,
Portraits of the Past, and The Swing Kids.
The music comprised of brutal yet somewhat melodic guitars, loud, fast drums, song structures that switch from quiet to loud, and obviously, screaming vocals.

One thing that's not true is when people say real emo is a dead genre.
because, while mainstream "emo" has taken over MTV and the radio, an underground emo/screamo scene still exists.
Circle Takes the Square, Raein, Daitro, Haram, 1905, and ...Who Calls So Loud, City of Caterpillar are all examples of emo (and screamo) bands from the last eight years, most of them are still existing.
It's not a dead genre, you just have to look for the real deal.
Person1: Is My Chemical Romance emo?
Person2: NO.
Person1: Then what is emo?
Person2: *points to definition*
by JetBlackMirror January 09, 2009

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There are lots of different types of emos and they dont all cut or hate everything.
Emos pretty much love music. Its a big part of their lives. Not all emos cut themselves tho some do. If they do, its usually for a good reason and not just planned out for attention (unless they are wannabe emos)They have a certain style and many people hate them but I really dont understand why because they are just kids trying to find who they really are. They probably really do have hard lives. most people dont make shit up like that ok? if you have a good life i dont see why you would. Lots of them are looking for love. I know I am. So Dont judge them.
by emo is love July 10, 2008

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A strange breed of human that can be identified by stupid haircuts, suicidal tendencies, constant whining, the wearing of tight pants, and usually no mate. Because of this, scientists believe that most males in this species lack reproductive organs.
Stop whining, you emo.
by Melbirn January 12, 2005

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Attention whores. Kids and young adults who really don't have any actual problems, and instead decide to use their creativity, or lack thereof, to craft false problems.

Emo kids are mostly seen with acoustic guitars and My Chemical Romance attire, as well as black hair that simply screams "kick me in the balls as hard as you can".

High-pitch nasally voice can often be heard uttering the words "You just don't understand", followed by the sound of slamming door, then muffled whimpering as the individual proceeds to scratch their wrist, hoping you'll take notice of their weak and futile efforts to portray suicide and/or self-mutilation.

But most notably, Emos keep records of thier so-called "problems" in diaries. These records mostly include pointless whiny rants:
"Dear Diary, those stupid jocks at school think I'm gay. Why can't they understand that heterosexual boys like me just like to kiss other heterosexual boys once in a while. They're so mean, and it depresses me... They say I'm Emo, even though I'm just misunderstood."
*sniff* *scratch*
"They just don't understand"
"And Karen dumped me today. She says I'm the perfect guy, and that I'm always there for her, just like when her Chimichangas were too cold, and she ended up cutting her wrist out of shear depression. She says it's not me, it's her. She says I'm too good for her. I love her so much... I think I'll express my undying love for her by throwing my pillows and crying... and perhaps I'll write a love song and sing it off-key..."
*sniff*

by 2phast July 18, 2006

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An easy was of describing a person who

*Listens to emotionally hardcore music
*Shops at hot topic and lovebites and bruises
*Has black hair with funky bits, long at font, short at back, with side fringe, anything too crazy is considered scene
*Has a Myspace/Livejournal
Kid 1: what did he look like?
Kid 2: He had side parted black ahir, tight trousers, glasses ...
Kid 1: You mean "emo"??
by jojofaceball May 03, 2007

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Dear Diary,
Mood; apathetic. My parents are squeezing me tighter than my little sisters jeans...which look great on me by the way...people call gay cause like make out with dudes...or four dudes sometimes...but can't a guy be in touch with his emotions and make out with a dude or like four dudes and not be gay? well, I guess you wouldn't understand..no one ever does...where the hell are my candy cigarretes?
What is emo? What is existance? you wouldn't understand.
by *sigh* March 06, 2006

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Please note that i'm referring to current emos.

Emo, emotional, "emotive" (emotive is no longer a current term though). I know many current emos who describe themselve as emotional- finding "emo" to be an incorrect term (seeing as "emo" is a music genre, not a subculture).

Clothes: Normally tight shirts and jeans, hoodies/jackets at any size (I prefer a mixture of tight and baggy hoodies), and Converse or Vans (I love my Converses). A lot of black and bright/light colors such as pinks, purples, and light blues.

Makeup: Heavy dark makeup. Your eyes must show how dark of a person you are...lol, don't take it too seriously. Dark makeup around the eyes, making the eyes stand out, but sometimes with a bit of color as well (color optional). Sometimes little shapes like hearts, stars, or even tear drops can be drawn near your eyes with eyeliner as well. Nails? Black is a given, but many people like to mix it up; 10 different finger nails, 10 possible colors. Facial piercings are optional by the way. Google "emo pics" or something for a better understanding on makeup.

Hair: Big bang swooped across the face. Again, goggling "emo pics" would give you a better understanding. Possibly a few spikes, lightly teased, and a little color, I believe it ends there. Too much further and you're in the scene territory. I love scene hairstyles, but i'm not scene so I shouldn't try and steal from them...even though they are a sub-sub culture of us.

By the way, emo styles WILL very. All of those things above? You don't have to do ANY of it to be emo. The reason why most real emos would rather be called "emotional" is because it's the feeling that counts. To be honest, if you follow this kind of "emo code" to much, you'll just look like a poser...emos hate posers. Me? I mess up my hair and a little eyeshadow in a funky color, but I don't even do the heavy black eyes thing; I don't have enough time in the morning to put on that much makeup, lol. And no, black isn't mandetory. I do wear a lot of dark colors, but I don't always wear black. Two weeks ago I wore a mixture of white and tan colors, and i'm not any less emo for it.

Mood/Style: While stereotypically, we are supposedly depressed, sucidal, cut/harm ourselves, write dark poetry, and cry 24/7, not exactly true. Maybe for some of us, but my emo friends and I certainly don't. I'm often depressed, rarely suicidal anymore (thank god), I have burst out in tears for no reason a few times but not regularly, and i've only thought about cutting; i've never done it. As for poetry, I write happy and gloomy poems, but most of the ones I write are love poems.

My point of view? Emos are indeed emotional, but many...or at least some of us, aren't just "whinny babys". We tend to be quiet, passionate, loving people who are just damaged or bruised.
More Mood/Style: Some of us tend to have a thing for stuffed animals/plushies/etc etc. Could be a dinosaur, hello kitty, anime plush, or a regular stuffed animal your aunt Lue sent you, lol. I don't carry stuffed animals around 24/7, but some days I can't help but take an anime plush to school with me.

Myspace: Having a Myspace page is currently one of the latest non-fading emo fads. Get a lot of members, take a lot of photos, have an emo/depressing/dark layout, and be on often.

Emo music: *sigh* I don't even really want to mention emo music. Too much controversy. "That's a emo band!" "No it's not!" "There's no such thing as emo music!" I've heard them all. But, i'll list a few bands that i'd put in the emo category. You don't have to agree with me.

Panic! at the Disco, Taking Back Sunday, Hawthorne Heights, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Head Automatica, Cartel, Fallout Boy (before they hit it big), 30 Seconds to Mars & many more.

By the way, many emos wouldn't be caught dead without their mp3 player/music device.

Conclusion:

"So whats emo really?" A music genre. Emotional, or Emotive is the subculture. We are dark people, but not as dark as goths. We are similar to punks mainly in style, but are attitudes tend to differ. We are dark people, but loving people, full of passionate emotions. We look sad on the outside, and feel better to be able to admit our pain to the world- making us feel better on the inside. We're not all sucidal or cutters; I know quite a few emos who think it's uncool to cut. We think it's dumb, just like you, to cut for no reason especially. We are full of emotion, we are emos.
"I show my dark emotions through my clothes, poetry, attitude, and the music I listen to. I'm not a bad person, i'm just darker and more in touch with my emotions than you."
by Inuoko November 29, 2008

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