What Is Emo

What is emo? If you've been plugged into society for the past decade, you've probably heard the term "emo" used to describe people, music or clothing. So just what does it mean? Emo is actually short for "emotional." The term first came about to describe a trend in music that saw hardcore punk transition into emotional hardcore. Thus, it was abbreviated to -emo' and the term entered our lexicon.

Emo as a music is really the younger brother to punk rock. Punk rock is loud, fast and angry. Emo is more subdued and usually more melodic, with emotional lyrics about heartbreak and loss. It started to take shape in the late 1980s and developed through the 90s, as punk music crossed over from the subculture into the mainstream. From this popular punk music came emo. Bands like My Chemical Romance helped push it to the forefront in the last 10 years.

With the increasing recognition, of course, comes increasing impact on pop culture as a whole. The fashion world has seen its fair share of emo influence. The style of dress by emo bands inevitably trickled down to their fans; now people use emo to refer not just to the tunes, but to the entire culture of people who embrace the music, fashion and lifestyle.

Skinny jeans, tight fitting t-shirts and canvas Converse sneakers are all marks of the true emo. The use of heavy eye makeup-on men and women-has become popular due through emo. Square, thick rimmed glasses are also a trend started in the emo circle.

Hair cuts popularized by emo bands are also common. Short cuts with long, straight bangs, usually brushed to one side of the face have made their ways onto runways and into magazine fashion spreads. Sometimes the hair is spiked up in the back and left flat in front. Hair is typically dyed black with or without highlights of varying colors. Nose rings, lip rings and large earrings are also typical. 

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