Years ago some of us had One Direction fandom phases, or plastered photos of Zac Efron all over neon pink walls. For those of you who took the path less traveled and endured an emo phase, you’re likely to have done many of the following things. Cue the Avril Lavigne.
1. You layered on the bracelets.
Oh yeah, the signature bracelet stack. If you had even a taste of an emo phase you would be sure to collect a variety of bracelets – colorful plastic beaded ones, hemp ones, leather ones. There was no such thing as too many.
2. You got side swept bangs.
Maybe it was hard to see out of one eye for 75 percent of your day but it was like, so in. Bonus points if you got blunt and choppy layers that looked like you came into close contact with Edward Scissorhands.
3. Eyeliner. Everywhere.
Bottom liner? Top liner? Liner in the water line? While looking back on middle school Facebook photos sometimes I have a hard time distinguishing myself from a well-groomed raccoon.
4. You died your hair dark – if not black.
If you thought the haircut wasn’t enough, you took the plunge and bought a $6 box of hair dye from your local grocery store. For those of us who were advanced emo – colorful stripes and skunk inspired designs signaled to everyone around you that something was deeply wrong. It’s not just a phase, mom.
5. You doodled on your hands.
Or on your shoes, jeans and essentially every markable surface at hand. The more macabre the doodles, the better.
6. You wore high-top converse.
Nothing went with your skin-tight black jeans quite like a fresh pair of converse. And none of that cheery color bulls**t. Red or black or you belonged with the One Direction crowd.
7. iPod headphones in at all times.
Whether you blasted some Avril Lavigne or Bon Iver, some soothing sad music was signature to your daily life. You felt especially emo listening to some Paramore on the bus while it was raining.
8. Black nails.
Nothing says emerging emo kid quite like stubby nails and some cracked black nail polish. If your emo phase was a significant chapter in your adolescence you probably used up at least 3 bottles of polish.
9. God forbid you typed the age old phrase… RaWr XD.
10. Your taste in music was simultaneously frightening and aggressive.
And people who didn’t love Avenged Sevenfold didn’t deserve to be your friends. Cue the blaring Pandora station from your bedroom while your parents frantically wonder where they went wrong.
11. You wrote cringey poetry.
If you didn’t allude to cigarettes, razors or darkness then your poetry was too soft. If you’re lucky the poetry was kept secret. Some of us shared it openly on Facebook and deeply concerned our uncle John.
12. Your mom/family/school/friends/life sucked.
Okay, so maybe this wasn’t entirely unique to emo kids. Our individual talent was in making our displeasure glaringly obvious to anybody within a 10 foot radius of us.
13. You cultivated a Tumblr obsessively.
Where else would you get inspired for that pitch black spiked haircut? Or the fishnets under denim shorts? The wealth of emo kids on Tumblr was (and in my opinion) still is at record levels. If you entered the Tumblr-verse without a twinge of emo in your bones you surely left with some.
14. Your family didn’t see your teeth for years.
Smiling was so pre-emo. You ditched your post braces grin for a sultry stare that chilled the souls of all onlookers.
15. Lasting shame.
If there’s one thing that all formerly emo kids share, it’s deep shame and regret. Why couldn’t we have had a Taylor Swift and Hollister phase like everyone else? Regardless, we made it out. Congrats.