One thing I get tired of hearing is that emo and Goth are the same. They are not. Nor are they 'sub-sets' of each other, as the Daily Mail has claimed at least once. No, they are two different and separate subcultures, who happen to have some basic aesthetics and public misconceptions in common.
|A Goth. |
When it comes to the 'depressed' stereotype, the fact is that emo kids are more likely to act moody and miserable than Goths. Most - and I do mean MOST - newbie Goths learn quickly that the 'Goths are gloomy' stereotype is exactly that: a stereotype. Unfortunately, most would-be emos who are new to the scene and the music tend to believe the media hype, and think that acting sad will help them fit in with the subculture.
Goth and emo also both originated from punk. When researching this post, I first read that emo began earlier, in the early 70s, whilst Goth began in the mid-to-late 70s and reached the height of its popularity in the early 80s, but I have since been informed that emo actually began in the mid-80s, after the evolution of Goth. But either way, emo is not 'a type of Goth', it is a separate musical subculture in its own right.
To the casual observer, Goth and emo fashion are apparently interchangeable. But if you look beyond 'piercings' and 'black clothes', the two looks are actually very different. The emo look is an amalgamation of punk, Goth, and urban Japanese; whereas the appearance of Goth was originally derived purely from punk and then created its own aesthetic rather than borrowing from other subcultures (with exceptions such as the gothabilly look, which is derived from rockabilly). Goth, on the whole, is darker than emo, especially more recently when emo has become closely meshed with 'scene' fashion. Many styles of Goth are considered elegant and whimsical, whereas emo tends to be more cute and kitschy.
Music-wise, the two scenes are also very different. While both Goths and emos may listen to rock and metal, the emo subculture revolves around emo music (are you surprised?) with bands such as Dashboard Confessional, the Rites of Spring, and Hawthorne Heights, and Goths, of course, listen to Goth music. (There may also be some crossover - plenty of emos enjoy the dark, emotional music of The Cure, and I for one do like a certain song from Secondhand Serenade. But unlike the Goth/metal scenes, Goth/emo crossover is relatively uncommon.)
Whilst emos and Goths can, and often do, get on, the fact that they are lumped together by the media, the mainstream, and various wannabes from both subcultures, means that there is disdain building between them. Many Goths are becoming scornful towards emos because they are tired of being classified as 'emo' by those who don't know what they're talking about. The feeling is probably mutual - and looking on online forums has shown that both groups are surprisingly prone to believing the stereotypes that exist about the other.
Lastly, I guarantee that almost every person reading this will have met or spoken online to someone who calls themselves an 'emo/goth' (or vice versa) or, reaching new lows, a 'gemo'. Nine times out of ten, this person will dress in either Goth or emo fashion, or a mixture of both, and listen to music that belongs to neither genre - i.e. Korn, HIM, Linkin Park, Evanescence, My Chemical Romance. I've said it before and will say it again - how can you consider yourself part of ANY music-related subculture if you don’t know the first thing about the music? It’s OK to have a crossover between scenes (although this whole emo/goth or 'gemo' thing threatens to make me roll my eyes so hard there's a risk of them getting stuck), but there IS more to it than just dressing the part. Research. Learn. Get your facts straight – before you give your chosen subculture(s) a bad name.
Listening to: 1000 Voices - L'Ame Immortelle