Emo kids and the music they listen to defined

ReAnne Utemark

I’ve been outed as a lover of Emo-kid music. Whether or not this makes me an actual Emo kid is up for debate and I have to address the actual Emo musical institution that has developed.

When most people think of an Emo kid, they think of a guy in girl pants with angled bangs, chipped nail polish in a variety of colors and a pair of earbuds constantly in his ears. However, these stereotypes should be debunked.

Some Emo kids are girls and therefore have every right to wear girl pants. Not all of them wear nail polish that has been worn away by their nervous habits because no one understands them. A lot of people understand us – I mean them – and they don’t necessarily have to resort to the nervous habit. The thing about the earbuds is pretty real, though, there’s no busting that myth. Some of them even look like normal kids who listen to Top 40 radio and shop at American Eagle rather than Hot Topic. These are few and far between. I would like to consider myself one of the few because I wear the correct pants for my gender and I don’t abuse black eyeliner.

In the movie “High Fidelity” the quintessential middle-aged Emo kid, Rob Gordon, opens the film with “Which came first? The music or the misery?” So, what is Emo music? Hawthorne Heights, Fall Out Boy and the Plain White T’s? How about Frank Sinatra, The Beatles and REO Speedwagon? Oh yeah, I said it.

Something to remember is that Emo isn’t just Emo, it’s short for emotional. Wait… What? Emotional? Most music is emotional; it’s a way of communicating emotion with something a little dressier than just a bleeding-heart speech. Frank Sinatra sang that only fools rush in, but he can’t help falling in love with you, the Beatles said that all you need was love and REO Speedwagon came right out and said they couldn’t fight this feeling anymore. Love is one of the strongest, seemingly most elusive, emotions plaguing the human mind, especially the minds of musicians.

Emo-kid music isn’t just a bunch of sad bastards whining about how hard their life is. Emotion is in nearly every song on the radio. So, maybe I am Emo, I like Panic! at the Disco, but if you don’t get up and dance when they play “There’s a Reason These Tables are Numbered, Honey, You Just Haven’t Thought of it Yet,” then you should probably get your groove examined. BUT! Anyone who has listened to pop music for the last 50 years could also probably be considered emo. This includes everything from the Beach Boys to 80s power ballads. Maybe I’ve been outed, but I’ll keep your secret. Now, go listen to some Death Cab for Cutie and cry a little without worry.