Why no child is safe from the sinister cult of emo

Daily Mail (UK) 15th May 2008

Hannah was a happy 13-year-old until she became an ’emo’ – part of a sinister teenage craze that romanticises death. Three months later she hanged herself. In the unending bleakness of the weeks that have followed, the couple have fought to make sense of what happened. Why on earth did their daughter — a popular, intelligent and attractive girl — do such a thing?

They could find only one clue: Hannah was what is known as an “emo”. Some describe it as a cult or a sect, but in reality the term — derived from the word “emotional” — encapsulates a trend that is becoming hugely popular among Britain’s schoolchildren. A trans-Atlantic import, its followers dress in black, favouring tight jeans, T-shirts, studded belts and sneakers or skater shoes. Hair is all-important: often dyed black and straightened, it is worn in a long fringe brushed to one side of the face.

Music also plays a critical role. Emos like guitar-based rock with emotional lyrics. American bands such as My Chemical Romance, Good Charlotte and Blink 182 are particular favourites.

No doubt many adults would ask: “So what?” On the surface, it all sounds typically teenage — angst-ridden, over-dramatic and tribal.