This post is about my experience with an emo phase and my cautions about emo phases to parents of teens and pre teens.
Lets face it, my emo phase never really ended. Now the look is more "scene," but since scene came out of emo, I'm basically still in my emo phase.
I think a lot of junior highers go through an emo phase, whatever that might look like. Maybe it's because it feels original, it feels different, it feels rebellious, it feel individualized. Junior high is the time for such things. Or at least it ends up being. This can be harmless as fashion can be a healthy outlet for trying new things, finding one's self, kind of "rebelling" in a controllable harmless way... But it can be a dangerous rout. I think parents should start to pay close attention if their kid is going through an emo phase as it could be more than just a fashion statement.
I think my reasons for getting into "emo" stuff varied. One reason was that my big brother started listening to hardcore music and liked his long swishy hair and anime shows. I kind of tagged along in these ventures because I looked up to my big bro. Also, junior high was really hard for me in a lot of ways, so I wanted to express my feelings and struggles in a way that I could get it out but not necessarily tell anyone about it, because I didn't know how to do that yet. The occasional dark clothes and some eyeliner helped me say "life is hard, but it's ok." It helped me say "I'm unique, and my unique problems and feelings matter." It helped me to feel a little tougher when I knew I was so vulnerable. It made my other differences less different because my look was so weird (I thought. My look really wasn't that weird). It gave me a sence of security (accept for the fact that I was always worried my look would scare or offend someone).
Though these were more or less good reasons for being a little "emo" or whatever, I didn't consciously know of them at the time. My big brother is not as easily influenced as me either, so his little emo phase was pretty harmless. I however didn't know what my intentions or boundaries were. I caught on to the fact that people in this music scene and subculture really tend to romanticized depression, self loathing, suffering, death, etc.... That rubbed off on me and I started cutting myself to cope with the hard things going on around me that I didn't have any idea how to deal with at the time. I thought cutting was romantic and "deep" and "profound." I glorified tragedy. (* I don't cut anymore)
There are dark things associated with "emo." I do NOT like that aspect of it anymore, but I admit that in my weakness I once did. Evil and sin looks enticing to everyone in a certain form at certain times, and Satan knows how to target different people differently. Where you might fall into lust or arrogance or apathy, I was lured to dabble in the blatantly evil and demonic. It's all in you're heart, though, when it comes down to it. I listened to certain music because I knew it was bad but because it interested me and scared me and I thought I was being "deep" or "profound" or "intense" or something. In all reality some of that music was demonic, or at least opened the door in my life for demonic activity and oppression. This is why I think parents should keep a close eye on their "emo phase" teens and pre-teens. It could be just self expression of a hard stage in life, but it could also turn dangerous if their heart is in the wrong place.
I would not like to call myself, or label myself, "emo" or "scene," because I'm really not. I'm me! But my style is derived from emo and scene, and hipster and hip hop and American and African and conservative and alternative, and the list goes on and on... There are many influences in everyones's life and for me they have all shaped part of who I am and even how I dress and do my hair and makeup.
So if "emo" was bad for me why do I not cut myself off from it entirely? Well, it didn't start out bad or demonic. I've liked black since I was super young. (But also pink) I've always liked a good mix of tough and girly. I've always tried to be cool like my brothers so I like the kind of boyish aspect of emo fashion, but I embrace my inner girl a lot too (my room is PINK, and I like hair bows, and long eye lashes, etc...). I always liked "skater boys" like, for as long as I can remember, and emo has skate culture influences. Also, now, like before, dark clothes, choppy hair, eyeliner, whatever it may be, it helps me express my struggle and my past. But black is also a comforting color for me in some ways because it reminds me of my comfy bed at night time, and my bed is a safe place for me. With my style I also still try to look a little tough, confident or different, because I will always be a vulnerable and raw personality. I don't want people to see me for that and take advantage of it. A similar thing was said by Josh Dunn of Twenty One Pilots about his alternative look.
starting at 13:50 on till 15:00
I don't think my style is a bad thing for me. It may be strange and you may not like it that much, but it is a good, healthy, creative outlet for me now, and I want to honor that because I like it when I be healthy. I'm starting to do that a lot more nowadays ;)