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The Struggles Of Having An Inner Emo-Girl

IT'S NOT A PHASE, MOM, IT'S MY LIFE.

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It's been a long time since you considered yourself Emo.

Maybe your Emo arc was in middle school; maybe it was as late as college. But now your hair isn't saturated with cheap hair dye, you rock bright colors and neutral makeup, and by looking at you, no one would ever suspect that you were once decked out in Vans wristbands and at least two studbelts.

But still. Beneath the veneer of (relative) normalcy, an emo kid is trying her best to come out. Here's how she generally manifests:

Every hair appointment is a secret struggle.

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You say you just want a trim. Maybe some highlights, or maybe you're adventurous and want to try out a cute pastel color.

But inwardly, you're fighting yourself. Dye your hair black, your inner-emo says. You'll look so cool and Mom will flip. (It doesn't matter if you don't live at home. Your inner Emo will always want to make your mom flip.)

You're always successful at saying "No" to her, but that won't stop her from telling you that black, straightener-fried hair is so cool.

You have to actively restrain yourself while doing your makeup.

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You can get through most of your makeup routine without too much fuss. Until, of course, you get to the eyeliner. You just want to a little bit, just to accentuate your eyes.

Come on, your inner-emo says. Remember how cool you looked with all that eyeliner? Your eyes totally changed color when you wore it.

You tell yourself that your eyes didn't change color, it was just contrast. If you're lucky, you shoo her away with a bold winged eye. If not...well, your eyes do look kinda cool when you do a smoky eye. It's a fair enough bargain.

You're still haunted by your MySpace.

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You haven't logged on in years. No one has. As far as you're aware, your life as xXS4D-P4ND4Xx is long over.

But sometimes, you still do long questionnaires with 100 SO RANDOM questions, writing it up in a Word Document before deleting it, or you take dumb personality quizzes, being careful not to post the results. This appeases your inner-emo, and it's actually not a bad way to kill some time.

You have to force yourself to not buy that gothic-looking dress.

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It won't suit you. You have enough black clothes as it is. It's way too expensive and doesn't look all that well-made.

But you'll look so cool, your inner-emo whispers. Like a vampire.

You tell her vampires aren't really cool anymore. Strangely, you now have a desire to slam your bedroom door in protest.

You still have a compulsion to go into Hot Topic.

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Granted, Hot Topic is primarily a pop-culture store now, rather than the emo haven it was back in the day. Which is cool by you, because--when you're unable to resist the call--it's kinda fun looking at the Disney and Harry Potter merch.

But deep inside, your inner-emo screams in torment. They're playing pop music, she screams. "It's pop-punk," you assure her.

Where are the pentagrams and the black nail polish? she cries out. "You never wanted a pentagram," you tell her. "You used to come in here for My Chemical Romance shirts and GIR plushies."

Even with your rationalizing, you still kind of want to write about this in your Livejournal (which is just as dead as your MySpace).

You still have all of your old Emo music on your iPod/smart phone.

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You don't tell anyone you have it on there. You don't listen to it a majority of the time. But every now and again your inner-emo takes control, because sometimes you just need to scream along to "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)".

It's therapeutic, honestly.

No one you knew during your emo phase has forgotten you were emo.

Everyone will remind you that you were emo. You laugh it off and say "Oh, golly, yeah, what a phase that was."

But deep down, your inner-emo smiles in triumph. Because both she and you know there's one fundamental lie in that statement.

It's not just a phase.

It's your life.

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