Saturday, December 29, 2012

Goth and Emo: The Huge Difference

One can tell the obvious difference between these two subcultures even just by looking at pictures.
(DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of these pictures. I fished them all from Google)

I'm so pissed I made a post for all the regrettably ignorant blockheads out there..


..and I'm so kind it's even intended just for them.



Rites of Spring
From Wikipedia: 
 It originated in the mid-1980s hardcore punk movement of Washington, D.C., where it was known as "emotional hardcore" or "emocore" and pioneered by bands such as Rites of Spring and Embrace. As the style was echoed by contemporary American punk rock bands, its sound and meaning shifted and changed, blending with pop punk and indie rock and encapsulated in the early 1990s by groups such as Jawbreaker and Sunny Day Real Estate. By the mid 1990s numerous emo acts emerged from the Midwestern and Central United States, and several independent record labels began to specialize in the style.

Emo broke into mainstream culture in the early 2000s with the platinum-selling success of Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional and the emergence of the subgenre "screamo". In recent years the term "emo" has been applied by critics and journalists to a variety of artists, including multiplatinum acts and groups with disparate styles and sounds.



From Wikipedia:
It began in England during the early 1980s in the gothic rock scene, an offshoot of the post-punk genre.

The date of origin is usually placed in 1979 when Bauhaus released the song "Bela Lugosi's Dead." The band originally intended the song to be tongue-in-cheek; however, many young fans latched onto this mysterious, eerie sound as inspiration for the budding gothic subculture. The first generation of the gothic movement emerged mostly in the UK in the late seventies and early eighties as a splinter from the punk movement. Punk music was breathing its last breath as this gloomy, introspective mutation gained momentum. Bands like The Damned, Bauhaus, and Siouxsie and the Banshees characterize the first generation. These bands were called Gothic later on, but most did not consider themselves Gothic at the time. There is a great deal of uncertainty about who coined the term "gothic" and how it got attached to this dark music. The British music press seems to be most responsible for making the label stick.



From Wikipedia:
Emo emerged from the hardcore punk scene of early-1980s Washington, D.C., both as a reaction to the increased violence within the scene and as an extension of the personal politics espoused by Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat, who had turned the focus of the music from the community back towards the individual. Minor Threat fan Guy Picciotto formed Rites of Spring in 1984, breaking free of hardcore's self-imposed boundaries in favor of melodic guitars, varied rhythms, and deeply personal, impassioned lyrics. Many of the band's themes would become familiar tropes in later generations of emo music, including nostalgia, romantic bitterness, and poetic desperation.Their performances became public emotional purges where audience members would sometimes weep.

From Emo Corner:
Lyrics that talk about crying in despair after a death in the family are Emo. The second lyrics do not leave the listener to wonder what is being expressed. The desert could be a reference to drying out from alcohol abuse or it could be a metaphor for death or bareness.

Loosely defined, Emo music is music that is highly emotional and very straightforward in the expression of that emotion. However, Emo music could be as potent and raging as something like what we hear from Suicidal Tendencies. The screaming anger and aggression that comes from Suicidal Tendencies is emotional just like Cat Power, but the delivery is much different. The important overarching theme here is in potent Emotions. Some of the contributions to the Emo scene in the last ten years have come from such artists as: Further Seems Forever, the Promise Ring, Benton Falls, or Army of Ponch.


From PlatypusArt:
There are many genres and sub-genres of Gothic music. All of which have a dark feel to them. Like Gothic clothing, Gothic music comes in many varieties. In fact the clothing and music sort of reflect each other. One doesn’t have to listen to only Goth music in order to be Goth.
Many Goth bands fall within multiple categories.Goth music comes in about every genre there is: Goth Pop, Goth Neo-Classical, Goth Folk, Goth Industrial, Goth Metal, Goth Rock etc etc.

From GothicEra:
Gothic music translates internal sadness. It translates also sensitiveness. It is a sensual and mysterious music, sometimes gruesome but also very melodious. Since the end of the seventies, these kinds of music showed themselves successively. Groups as Bauhaus, Dead Can Dance, and Sisters of Mercy have left an important spot that does not stop influencing recent groups.



The term "slim fitted" is key to dressing emo. By almost all current definitions, Emo clothing is characterised by tight emo jeans (aka drainpipes or skinnies) on males and females alike. Males also sometimes where girls jeans as they "fit better". Dresses and skirts can be worn by girls if properly paired with converse and leg warmers.

Tight emo t shirts which often bear the name of rock bands such as "As I Lay Dying" or "Cute is What We Aim For" with common iconic symbols of emo such as the broken heart, the bleeding heart, stars and the every so popular skull. Vintage shirts are also still popular including vintage-looking printed tees with random things like robots, dinosaurs, or any random icon that makes people think. Originality (at least the illusion of originality) is the key.

A dark coloured zip-hoodie is a classic must have. Like the shirts, the emo hoodies these can be plain or covered in strange ghoulish and self deprecating designs with bleeding hearts, ribs, etc.

Black is probably the most popular colour for all the emo clothing, but certainly not the only colour. Emo's generally wear less black than Goths for example.

Emo Accessories

  • Studded belts and large belt buckles. Wearing two belts is cool..
  • Canvas sneakers or skate shoes, or other black emo shoes (often old and beaten up).
    Shoes can be Converse, Vans, or any random shoe that is either plaid or just looks emo. The best option, although very common within every group nowadays, are Converse low tops or high tops, in black
  • If they wear glasses, they will often be nerdy thick, black horn-rimmed emo glasses.
  • Backpacks or messenger bags littered with pins from assorted emo bands or bearing anti-establishment, pro-underground slogans.
  • Fingerless gloves
  • Odd-coloured stripy socks on girls
  • Various multicoloured hair clips on girls and even guys
  • Lots of emo wristbands, bangles, etc
  • Tattoos especially the common emo stars
  • Piercings especially a ring on either side of the lips or snakebites
  • Stretched ears


From Wikipedia:
 Gothic fashion is a clothing style worn by members of the Goth subculture; a dark, sometimes morbid fashion and style of dress. Typical Gothic fashion includes a pale complexion with colored black hair, black lips and black clothes. Both male and female goths wear dark eyeliner and dark fingernails. Styles are often borrowed from the Punks, Victorians and Elizabethans.

 From Gothic Portal:
Goth is a subculture usually identified by the fact that its members wear mostly black, and often dress "differently", for example, in long, ornate dresses, or skintight PVC or accessorizing with punk jewellery such as spiked collars. Other popular items of clothing among goths include fishnet (stockings, gloves, tops, etc), long black coats, lace, silver jewellery, black band t-shirts, and large buckle or lace-up boots.

There are many variations in how different goths dress, and no "correct" way to do it. It is common for Caucasian goths to strive to have pale skin, sometimes wearing pale makeup, or avoiding the sun, but once again, there's always exceptions. Most goths wear a lot of dark eye makeup, such as eyeliner, and lipstick in shades of red, purple and black are popular.

Piercings are often popular among goths, and perhaps tattoos to a lesser extent. Gothic hair, like clothing, varies considerably in length and style, but is often dyed black, sometimes with brightly colored streaks in it. Goths pride themselves on being different to the mainstream and nonconforming, and sometimes even being unique from other goths. They might see choosing clothing, accessories and hairstyles as artistic, and an great way to express themselves.




  • Heartbreak 
  • Breakups 
  • Depression 
  • Anger 
  • Self-loathing 
  • Suicide 
  • Emotions 
  • Love
  • Relationships
  • Martyrdom for love
  • Sadness


  • Death
  • Horror
  • Romanticism
  • Beauty
  • Art
  • Insanity
  • Morbid imagery
  • Mystery
  • Grief
  • Religion
  • Theater
  • Nature

Get it yet (ignorant losers with ZERO subcultural knowledge!)? :)
(Next time you classify someone under a certain subculture, make sure you're correct or you've done some research first!)

These past few weeks, I've been called "Emo" a lot which kind of annoyed and offended me badly.
I hope you guys learned the difference between the two subcultures by now. ^w^

Have a batty day! :D


  1. Some people really need to read this

  2. Not sure if my previous long comment has ended up eaten, but.
    I premise I like gothic themes and style, though i would miss the colors shortly if i try (joking, the styles shouldn't have strict rules right?), but why would you feel offended if mistaken for emo?
    Wouldn't they be labels if applied too tightly to the personality? as they are mainly styles, associated to some themes which one might find as resembling some personal traits.
    What do you think of emos, so? I know some of them kinda act in order to conform and somehow force their personality in the themes and stereotypes described by their song, but wouldn't this be a risk of all subcultures (as most groups and religions)?


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