Finding the meaning of emo in youths’ online social networking: A qualitative study of contemporary Italian emo.
One of the readings for week four was about ‘Emo Youths’, particularly originating in Italy. It begins by discussing the two types of emo followers:
Emo independents and mainstreams.
The mainstream emo’s could be identified as try-hards, they dress like emo’s and they listen to the music but they don’t know the origins or the reasons behind what they are doing. They may just like it or think it’s ‘cool’. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with dressing in a genre or liking a certain type of music and not knowing where it came from but in this discussion and this article they are called mainstream emo’s.
Independent emo’s know and follow the origins from the ‘original mid-eighties intentions’ and think of emo as being free from the ‘corporate dominated music industry’.
To me the independent emo’s wanting to be free from the corporate music industry is similar to the ‘hipsters’ and ‘indies’ in today’s age not listening to mainstream music or wearing mainstream clothes but to a more extreme degree.
The article discusses Hebdige’s book and how it describes emo’s as dressing dark and practicing in self-harm and cutting.
In my experience with the emo trend in Melbourne I think of big fringes, big hair, black skinny jeans, heavy or metal band t-shirt’s and makeup, similar to the gothic trend. They did have a fairly sad appearance and looked quite down and grumpy but once around their friends they would cheer up and have a laugh.
The term emo was also thrown around loosely in high school. If someone was having a bad day or wasn’t feeling happy it would be joked that they were an emo. I think this type of joking took the seriousness and the original intentions out of the idea of being emo.
I also remember a lot of my friends finding humor in the ‘cheer up emo kid’ t-shirts sold in Jay Jays in around 2007, 2008. This was again making a joke out of the original intentions of the emo trend.