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Samantha Singletary

Mr. John Teutsch


15 March 2010

The Emo Error

Tight jeans. Eyeliner. Dark hair. Somber demeanor. This is what I was from 6th until 8th

grade. I was the typical “emo” kid. I was battling issues with my past and these emotions could

best be seen in my dress, in my music, and in my apathetic tone of voice. I grew out of that stage

when I began to find a group that I could fit in to. There are still hints of my “emo” days when I

see my black-and-white checkered pants or Jack Skellington t-shirts, but all-in-all, those days are

over. The friends I had when I was “emo” were just like me, but we never would have dared to

hurt ourselves more than by total accident. Now, there seems to be a trend of a self-harm

stereotype that “emo” carries with its definition. This cannot be solely an “emo” characteristic.

Having experienced “emo,” but not the harm, I can fully agree that self-harm is in fact a false

stereotype, and like most stereotypes, it can be easily disproved when presented with facts. Self-

harm is not a characteristic, self-harm is the result of psychiatric issues that youth today face.

Recent “studies reject that music is a causal factor and suggest that music

preference is more indicative of emotional vulnerability” (Baker 284). These

false accusations have arisen from the outer society, the media, and the parents of the affected

“emo” teenage suicides.

I am use to hearing the statement that it is easy to judge a book by its cover. The hard part

is once the book is read, that dirty cover might just be a disguise to a story that is one-of-a-kind.

The same goes for judging people by looking at their outward appearance.

a no-nonsense Long Island-based 20-year-old college student who works part-time. “Most of the reasons some Emos are suicidal is because they’ve been picked on all their lives or because of past trauma” (Hohenboken par. But is the news always telling the truth? “Emo glorifies . and what I decide that I want to share with others about me. 7). Every little problem is like a gigantic deal and they are creating these devastating scenarios for themselves’” (Kirsch par. 11). and thinks emo is for losers. By this welcome from the outer society. Che said.” Emo stereotypes such as the one brought up by Samantha are indicators that an outside view is only a small glimpse into the whole dynamic person. No one can see into someone else’s past. These kids may have a depression problem or a more serious issue that cannot be resolved due to a lack of outlets or even a lack of courage to share. there may be a chance to clear up these misguided assumptions and give these kids a chance to communicate before any further ideas of suicide are formed. on television. an “emo” boy by the name of Che was interviewed by Angus Hohenboken. But what if these “littlest things” were not such easily forgettable issues? In the Sunday Tasmanian. “No one knows me better than myself. a paper which hails out of Hobart. The main culprit for many of today’s stereotypes is due to the misinformed media. Our truth in the constant hustle and bustle of today’s society can be found in the newspaper. online. or most commonly. lives at home. Singletary 2 “Samantha. but rather they should be welcomed and accepted. It is like stating the simple truth that. says: ‘They are middle-class suburban kids with all the opportunities everyone else has but they take the littlest thing and get all devastated over it in a very melodramatic way. What these outside views lack though is the knowledge of the past that these most times misunderstood kids go through. These “emo” kids should not be shunned by the outside world as misfits or losers.

An “emo” music choice would feature a rather emotional outlet. Until this is done. a motive to ultimately kill? In the article about Hannah Bond. Hannah Bond. then there needs to be well-researched reason as to why this “emo” movement is on that supposedly “glorifies self-harm”. By taking in accordance the fact that both the song lyrics were misquoted and the research was bad. then this “true” headline generated by the media is one that does not deserve the time to be argued against. was found dead in her bedroom by her mother in 2007. This is a headline that is found throughout mostly United Kingdom and Australian news due to the recent unexplained suicides of young “emo” teenagers. A fourteen year old fan that was protesting The Daily Mail stated this. according to the paper” (Boyd par. If there is to be an argument. However. there were many interesting words said by her . it was unbelievable. a thirteen year old girl from Kent. But how can music have that profound of a motive. 7). 3 self harm and romanticises death. “usually associated with relationship break-ups or other tragic events” (Baker 285). The parents of these “emo” suicidal teenagers love to play the blame game when it comes to the suicide of their own child. thought. I actually thought the story was a hoax when I found it on the internet’” (Boyd par. or background. and heavy metal is unique to the Goth culture. techno. this is not a characteristic of the “emo” subculture as stated by Baker. “Results showed that deliberate selfharm and attempted suicide were associated with those that identified with the Goth youth subculture” (286). “‘I’ve read a couple of the Daily Mail articles and they’ve actually misquoted lyrics and the research was so badly done. what can be believed to be truth from the media could possibly be nothing more than paper to pen without well conducted research. The parents immediately blamed her involvement in “emo” music as the killer. This is because of the involvement in the listening of medieval. 10).

but Mrs. her parents should have thrown up the red flag. The families much realize that the most important part of having a child is being able to listen to them. In this same article her mother talked of how Hannah was a normal girl. Upon the discovery of the cuts on Hannah Bond’s wrists. there should have been knowledge that there was more to these cuts. When considering the outer society. The most complicated part of a teenage girl’s development. and those who simply see the “emo” outer appearance. feelings. always making the easiest way out with “emo”. and ideas as with her own self. When considering the media. Singletary 4 parents. the child is either severely mentally impaired or sees that there is an outlet through this shedding of blood. is the fact that she must identify with a group of friends that share the same feelings. Mr. But Hannah told them it was part of an initiation and. and the child must not fear the judgment of their parents because of the true. ‘she promised she would never do it again’” (Fletcher par. Until this is realized. When a child forces a sharp object to their skin knowingly. When considering the parental view. one can see that their fault cannot be put on their own self. and talking to their parents about their inability to fit in is a subject that cannot always be easily talked about. even though morbid. the blame will continue to be passed around the table. This causes much stress to the teenager. beliefs. . “A few weeks before she died. 6). Even if this was an act to identify with a group of youth. one can see that there is a discrepancy between those who experience “emo” first-hand. one can see that research done poorly is research that should be taken as erroneous and flawed fallacy. Hannah’s parents raised concerns with her about cuts on her wrists. Bond must have not been vigilant of the friends Hannah Bond was around. A normal child cuts their wrists and blames the scars on an “initiation ceremony”? She also stated that her daughter had many friends. there may be a line of communication saving them from possible suicide. By welcoming these kids and allowing them to share what their problems consist of. Bond said.

I will make this final point. This self-harm epidemic is one that reaches further in complexity than a type of attire of a small percentage of teenage youth. In closing. By taking these false accusations and correcting the issues. blame. . one can see that self-harm is not a stereotype of mainly “emo” children. “The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry already recommends psychiatric assessment for adolescents who show a preoccupation with music containing destructive themes such as suicide” (Baker 287). 5 but rather thrown to “emo” in an easier method.

EBSCO. The (United Kingdom) n. Academic Search Complete. Fletcher. "Can music preference indicate mental health status in young people?. .4 (2008): 284-288. Web. 10 March 2010. Michelle. 10 March 2010. EBSCO.d. hanged herself after becoming obsessed with ‘emo’. Web. The (United Kingdom) n. “Emotionally challenged. Hohenboken. Web.” Times. 13. Boyd. EBSCO. Brian. “Self-mutilation ‘going too far’.” Irish Times 06 June 2008: Newspaper Source. EBSCO.): Newspaper Source. and William Bor.d.” Times. Hannah. EBSCO. Felicity. “Save the children from this dangerous hair-gel cult now. 10 March 2010. Web. “Girl. Web.: Newspaper Source.d." Australasian Psychiatry 16. 10 March 2010. Singletary 6 Works Cited Baker.: Newspaper Source.” Sunday Tasmanian (Hobart) (n. Kirsch. 16 Mar. 2010. Angus.