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Aug 06

Why We Hate Emo Kids (Apparently)

FT410 comments • 22,386 views

hitler_emoI’ve long been a little shamefaced that this mean-spirited tirade is the most-read thing I’ve ever written (co-written to be exact): not that it wasn’t a true reflection of what I felt but I’d prefer it if one of my more, er, generous pieces was the one that hooked the punters in.

BUT the new look comments function means that the article has been given a second life with the addition of – mostly spluttering and hostile – reader feedback. And it’s turned up something interesting – a sociological fact that I had got too old and out of touch to realise. The description of indie kids in the piece was US-centric anyway, and is out of date now: we had in mind Death Cab fans conducting secret feuds on artofthemix.com, not Kaiser Chiefs-loving Brits. But the traits are clearly still recognisable to googling readers, and recognisable as “emos”. And some apparently “indies” hate “emos”, quite passionately.

“OI YOUR GETTING INDIE KIDS MIXED UP WITH EMOS IN SOME OF YOUR POINTS… 1) indie kids do NOT wear black rimmed glasses… emo DO!
2) indie kids are not all bis, emos are!”
(“Becka”)

and

“i think yu should get ur fuckin facts straight before u make urself look even worse. u dont have it right.

emo= (ex.) Where’s my mascara? and i’m a man. (or) i wear size one jeans and i have a penis. (or) hey do you want to come over so we can cut eachother’s wrists!?!? sounds like great fun!

like someone said before (and they’re one of the smart ones – a REAL indie) indie kids aren’t mainstream and dress different and in my opinion better than otyher people. they don’t do what everyone else in the world is doing and dont give a shit what other people think.

(plus they listen to the best music – all alt. and indie)” (“Wtf!?!?!?”)

Parsing the comments I can theorise that indie stands for what it always has – a defensive sense of individuality with no real fixed values. The despised emos, through an indie lens, are hateful wrist-slashers. Of course we don’t know where the commenters are coming from, or how recent this opposition is, or the relative size of the warring camps, or what they might or might not unite against (aside from me getting things wrong). But I’m finding it pretty fascinating to read.

Comments

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  1. 401
    Just-Lame on 22 Nov 2008 #

    Well i am not an Emo. But i do all the things emos do. i understand that all stereotypes are at war, but just lay off. Just because theyre emos – doesnt mean they slit there wrists. im considered as a Chave and i cut my wrists. & i bet they wouldnt do it as much if it wasnt for you lot dissing them.

  2. 402
    Amanda on 28 Jan 2009 #

    Okay, well.
    I must say, I’ve gone through my emo days I must admit.. from age 12-14 (approx)
    I agree with the emo sterotype these days although not all ’emos’ are like that.

    I think emo is something a lot of teens go through during their “no one understands me” (no emoness intended) stage and it’s often grown out of.
    I think emo has been created by that stage where a teen views things differently from most peers due to an emotional problem/experience.
    They may find emo music something they can relate to a lot since it’s emotionally expressive and expression is something that is kind of lacking in general society.
    Or they might just like the sound. Whatever

    Emo is more than emo when you’re an emo. It’s something you can kind of belong to, it’s kind of a feeling of belongment and connection to other ’emos’

    I think most teenagers reach a stage where they want someone to understand them and make them see the real them = expression.

    I don’t know. In some ways you could say it is a form of cult.

    overall emo is rather pathetic and immature. It’s a cry out to the public about who you could be or how your mind works.
    It’s revealling and gives a sense that you want someone to notice you and pay attention to you, and how you could be.
    When everyone else also has problems similar to emos but don’t express it in this way. They don’t bring attention to it.

    Which is, yes. The stereotypical part where the wrist-cutting and wearing black bit comes in.

    I think it’s mostly for kids who are going through changes and who are lost and confused and think rather morbidly.

    I think a lot of emo wannabe’s or people who try too hard to be emo (and not achieve it) also give emos an even worse name!! (the majority of emos are the ones who try too hard)
    And yes. I BLOODY HATE ‘EM EMOS.

    However, goth is a whole new story ;)

  3. 403
    Amanda on 28 Jan 2009 #

    Okay, well.
    I must say, I’ve gone through my emo days I must admit.. from age 12-14 (approx)
    I agree with the emo sterotype these days although not all ’emos’ are like that.

    I think emo is something a lot of teens go through during their “no one understands me” (no emoness intended) stage and it’s often grown out of.
    I think emo has been created by that stage where a teen views things differently from most peers due to an emotional problem/experience.
    They may find emo music something they can relate to a lot since it’s emotionally expressive and expression is something that is kind of lacking in general society.
    Or they might just like the sound. Whatever

    Emo is more than emo when you’re an emo. It’s something you can kind of belong to, it’s kind of a feeling of belongment and connection to other ’emos’

    I think most teenagers reach a stage where they want someone to understand them and make them see the real them = expression.

    I don’t know. In some ways you could say it is a form of cult.

    overall emo is rather pathetic and immature. It’s a cry out to the public about who you could be or how your mind works.
    It’s revealling and gives a sense that you want someone to notice you and pay attention to you, and how you could be.
    When everyone else also has problems similar to emos but don’t express it in this way. They don’t bring attention to it.

    Which is, yes. The stereotypical part where the wrist-cutting and wearing black bit comes in.

    I think it’s mostly for kids who are going through changes and who are lost and confused and think rather morbidly.

    I think a lot of emo wannabe’s or people who try too hard to be emo (and not achieve it) also give emos an even worse name!! (the majority of emos are the ones who try too hard)
    And yes. I BLOODY HATE ‘EM EMOS.

    However, goth is a whole new story ;) ..

  4. 404
    indie on 9 Jul 2009 #

    Balder (A Concerned DAD) † on November 23 rd 2007
    What give you EMO’s the right to destroy?
    I am a dad to 5 kids and we are now close to lose them all, becourse 1 did turn self-harm emo!!
    My youngest is 1 and the oldest is 15 years.
    How do i and my wife stop this?
    We did never do things wrong, also we are not even the mittle class, we can’t afford a card becourse all of his stealing and destroying things!!
    Tell me the good part of being a selfharm EMO? please i would like to know how they/you think! as i want to keep the fam!!

    omg, did know one notice that comment??
    poor guy. Goodluck, hope your kid has grown out of it..

  5. 405
    MattPotato on 1 Sep 2009 #

    Are these comments satire or “real people?” Consider my mind blown.

  6. 406
    Brooksie on 7 Feb 2010 #

    @ MattPotato # 405:

    “Are these comments satire or “real people?” Consider my mind blown.”

    They aren’t satire. They’re real people completely failing to grasp the criticisms of the piece, and just reinforcing what the article says about them. They’re primarily ‘young’ people, and primarily teenage girls, which is why so many of them have this level of reasoning; “get a life!” They don’t say what that means, since the writer is married with kids and so clearly has a life. I’m sure they’d say in order to “get a life” he’d have to “stop being sad” which would underscore their reasoning abilities.

    I have no issue with ‘Indie’ or ‘Emo’ or whatever else in general. But those things just remind me of when I was a teenager and felt like I was surrounded by people who would copy each other in order to be different, and who would wear the shirts of anti-establishment bands without getting the irony of doing so. When I was asked why I was dressed the way I was as a teen, I’d always say, “I’m a teenager – it’s a phase. I’ll grown out of it.” Nobody else seemed self-aware enough to get this, and would announce things like “I’ll never cut my hair” etc. At one point I had a bet going with about a dozen friends about how they’d all end up conforming in the end. Technically, they *all* owe me money.

    The problem is, teenagers exist in that awkward time between childhood and adulthood in which they’re trying to reconcile the fact that they can now see the world *does not* revolve around them with the remaining controls of parenthood that restrict their lives. They want to be free, but they need their parents money; they want to be individuals, but they have to copy someone else to do it; they want space, but they also want attention; they criticise everyone who isn’t like them, but they demand to not be criticised themselves. They’re teenagers. They need to grow up. If they all came back here in 10 years, they would feel shame at how dumb it was that the labels they chose to associate themselves with meant anything to them at all. Like Amanda # 403 showed, all that will happen to these people is they’ll grow up and feel a mild sense of embarrassment at who they *thought* they were.

  7. 407
    treuemax on 23 Feb 2010 #

    hey is this right

  8. 408
    Fermat on 30 Nov 2010 #
  9. 409
    MarleyBVB on 10 Oct 2012 #

    Wtf. Selfharm like cutting and shit. Is kinda more like the scene types. I mean if cutting was ’emo” yea. I cut. So what? U got a problem with that? I mean who do i. Hurt with cutting? Besides my self? So u Need tO stop talking shit about emo’s/scene and self harm. I choose to do self harm so just let me be who i am.

  10. 410
    Adam on 30 Mar 2015 #

    This is a Master’s Thesis waiting to happen.

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