How to Be Emo in Elementary School: 14 Steps

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How to Be Emo in Elementary School: 14 Steps
How to Be Emo in Elementary School: 14 Steps

Although it emerged around the 1980s as a subgenre of punk music, the emo culture is still very much alive, even if it's a bit misunderstood. The style is centered on bands that write songs with emotional lyrics, but it has also evolved to include a certain look and feel. Becoming fully emo in elementary school can be difficult because our parents often don't allow us to change our appearance the way we'd like. However, behaving like an emo is much more important than putting on a certain look, and you just need to learn to express yourself the right way.


Part 1 of 4: Understanding the emo world

Be Emo in Middle School Step 1

Step 1. Learn what it means to be emo

Before becoming emo, you need to understand what it means. The word is an abbreviation for emotional and generally people who consider themselves emo are in touch with their emotions and don't have the need to hide what they feel, even when they are sad or angry.

  • Although music, clothing, hair and makeup all play an important role in emo culture, feeling comfortable with one's feelings and being able to express them freely is still the main element.
  • An emo never believes that he has to pretend to feel something he doesn't really feel. For example, he won't try to convince everyone he's happy when he really isn't. These people always express their true emotions.
Be Emo in Middle School Step 2

Step 2. Listen to music

Music is very important to emos, so you must know the right bands if you want to fit in. The style emerged as a subgenre of punk and the name "emo" is an abbreviation for "emotive punk" or, in Portuguese, "emotive punk". Originally, the songs featured fast, screaming vocals, although they later evolved into a softer, more melodic sound. The common thread of the genre, however, is and has always been emotional lyrics.

  • Some of the first bands that helped establish the genre in the mid-1980s include Rites of Spring and Embrace.
  • In the 1990s, the style was resurrected by bands such as Texas Is The Reason, Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbreaker, American Football and Braid.
  • Then, in the 2000s, emo took on a more pop facet with bands like Paramore, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco. While some people describe the sound of these bands as "emo-pop", others label it "pop punk". As emo music grew out of punk, an overlap of the two styles makes a lot of sense.
  • Some newer bands include Balance and Composure, The Hotelier, Moose Blood, Can’t Swim and Pentimento.
Be Emo in Middle School Step 3

Step 3. Decide if the style suits your personality

Don't decide to be emo just because all your friends are. Instead, consider whether this subculture really fits your interests and personality. If you are not comfortable accepting and expressing your own emotions, including negative feelings such as anger and depression, this style is probably not right for you. Don't force yourself to be something just because you believe others will think you're cool.

  • Also, if you prefer lighter and happier songs, this genre is also not the most suitable. You shouldn't force yourself to like the darker aspects of emo music.
  • If emo culture seems to be tailor-made for you, don't worry if your friends have a different style. Be true to yourself and they will respect your choices and interests.

Part 2 of 4: Dressing up as an emo

Be Emo in Middle School Step 4

Step 1. Wear dark clothes

Although it can include colorful details, the emo look is usually made up mostly of darker tones. Black is an obvious choice, but maybe your parents aren't too happy if you decide to wear black head-to-toe. Instead, add other dark colors to the wardrobe, such as navy, purple, and dark green, and match them with black clothes.

  • Try to come to terms with your parents if they refuse to buy you dark clothes and want to convince you to wear bright, light tones. Ask if you can buy black and other dark shades if you use your own money. You could take care of children, run errands for your neighbors, or do some extra household chores to earn the money you need.
  • While dark tones make up the main color palette of the emo look, you can also add colorful accents to clothes. For example, wear a black t-shirt emblazoned with red and white accents, or complement a completely dark look with a blue studded bracelet.
Be Emo in Middle School Step 5

Step 2. Opt for skinny jeans

Baggy clothes aren't part of emo fashion, so forget about loose-fitting pants and sweatpants if you want to dress accordingly. Instead, both girls and boys should opt for skinny pants that fit their body well. Girls can also wear tight skirts, paired with tights or dark leggings.

  • Jeans in black or dark blue tones are the best option.
  • Torn pants with holes or studs are perfect for an emo look.
  • If you are not comfortable wearing very tight clothes, opt for a straight cut pants that are a little looser, but avoid baggy pants that fall below the waist all the time, they have nothing to do with this style.
Be Emo in Middle School Step 6

Step 3. Dress up in layers

Another common emo fashion trend is layered clothing. In most cases, this means putting on a t-shirt over a hooded sweatshirt, but remember that both should be a tight fit so you don't look misshapen. Another option is to swap out your sweatshirt for a denim or leather jacket, or put a short-sleeved shirt over a fitted long-sleeve shirt.

  • Vintage band t-shirts are great pieces to go with jackets or sweatpants.
  • Dark sweatshirts go well with the emo look, but you can also opt for printed jackets. Skulls, stripes, stars and plaid prints are all great options.
Be Emo in Middle School Step 7

Step 4. Wear flat shoes

For a more authentic look, forget about high-heeled shoes. Opt for sneakers, flat boots or comfortable sneakers. However, the most common shoes in emo fashion are "Converse" or "Vans" brand sneakers.

No one can go wrong with a pair of black sneakers, but you can also opt for shoes in other colors like purple or red. Printed sneakers work well too - try a striped or checkered pattern

Part 3 of 4: Showing off an emo look

Be Emo in Middle School Step 8

Step 1. Paint your nails with dark nail polish

You should also avoid light or vivid colors when choosing a shade of nail polish. Black is the obvious choice, but if the color is too extreme for you, dark red or navy is also a good choice. Guys should feel free to paint their nails black if they feel like it.

  • Complement the nail polish keeping the nails short and sanded in a square shape.
  • Don't worry if the nail polish gets a little chipped, it just complements the emo look.
Be Emo in Middle School Step 9

Step 2. Abuse of mascara and eyeliner

Another basic element of this style is dark and heavy makeup. Apply lots of black eyeliner - use an eyeliner to outline your upper and lower lashes, then a cotton swab to lightly smudge makeup. Finish with a few coats of mascara to make your eyes look more striking.

  • Remember to ask your parents for permission before starting to use eyeliner, mascara or any other cosmetics.
  • Even if you are allowed to wear makeup, be sure to check the school's dress code to make sure it allows you to use mascara and eyeliner during class.
Be Emo in Middle School Step 10

Step 3. Cut a fringe

Although there is no specific emo hairstyle, thick bangs are a very popular detail. Most fans of the style wear a fringe on the side, covering one eye. The strands should also look disheveled, moving easily when you dance to your favorite emo band.

  • In addition to bangs, most emo hairstyles have layered cuts.
  • When you're getting a haircut, show the hairdresser some pictures of emo hairstyles so he'll understand exactly what you want.
Be Emo in Middle School Step 11

Step 4. Use a temporary hair dye

Although clothes, accessories and makeup are always dark, hair is a place where colors often appear in the emo look. Pink, purple, blue and green highlights can create the perfect look. Your parents probably won't want you to dye your hair permanently, so ask if you can use a temporary coloring on some strands. These dyes fade over time, but the specific duration varies with each product.

  • If your parents aren't too happy with the idea of ​​letting you dye your hair temporarily during the school year, ask if you can do it during summer vacation or some other extended break.
  • If they're still reluctant, buy colored appliqués so you can show off colored streaks whenever you feel like it.

Part 4 of 4: Behaving like an emo

Be Emo in Middle School Step 12

Step 1. Get in touch with your emotions

To become emo, you will need to become aware of your emotions and learn to identify them. Throughout the day, ask yourself how you are feeling. For example, you could say "I'm angry" after a fight with a friend, or "I'm sad" after failing an exam. Name all the emotions you experience, and allow yourself to feel them fully.

  • Also, it is important to pay attention to the intensity of each emotion. For example, you may be angry when a friend is late to meet you, angry when a brother offends you, and enraged when someone spreads a false rumor about you. Try to identify the full range of emotions you experience during the day.
  • If you have difficulty getting in touch with your feelings, try writing in a journal. At the end of each day, write down all the emotions you experience and the cause of each one so you can begin to understand them better.
Be Emo in Middle School Step 13

Step 2. Express your emotions

Accepting your feelings doesn't just mean crying when you're sad or screaming when you're angry. Try to find a creative way to express how you feel. Depending on your interests and talents, this could mean writing, drawing, painting, singing or dancing. Find the most satisfying way to express your emotions, and do it regularly.

  • When you want to express yourself through writing, try creating short stories, poems or even songs.
  • If you want to express yourself through art, draw or paint a scene that reflects your emotions.
  • Use songs from your favorite bands if you want to dance and sing.
Be Emo in Middle School Step 14

Step 3. Make time for yourself

Emo teens tend to be introverted, meaning they feel drained after interacting socially with other people. If you feel that way, it's important to spend some time alone to get your energy back. Spending time with yourself also provides a time to stay in touch with your emotions and engage in creative activities that express your feelings, such as writing and drawing. Don't be afraid to tell friends you don't feel like going out, or ask your parents if you can skip family movie night to spend time alone in your room.

While solitude is beneficial, don't assume that you should spend all of your time alone just because you're emo or introverted. Enjoy the company of friends and family with whom you feel comfortable to share your feelings whenever you feel like it


  • Always be yourself. If any part of emo culture doesn't seem right to you, don't follow it blindly.
  • An honest conversation with your parents, friends or teachers can be beneficial if they are concerned about your transition to emo style. Explain that this is a lifestyle that pleases you and allows you to be yourself. For example: "I like being emo because I feel my emotions are important and worthwhile", or simply say, "I like the music a lot".
  • If you are bullied at school because of your style, don't keep it to yourself, but don't be vindictive either. Explain the situation to a trusted adult who can help you think of a way to resolve the conflict.
  • Just because you're emo doesn't mean you should start getting red marks or rebelling against your parents. They are not your enemies, even when they forbid you to do something you would like to do.
  • Don't make fun or ridicule people of different styles. They are not uninteresting just because they are not part of the emo culture. Be open-minded and treat everyone with respect and kindness.
  • Be yourself and be confident in everything you do.


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