3. Fortunately, Hot Topic existed.
Like how Urban Outfitters became a suburban hipster haven, Hot Topic was (and is!) the go-to for all your alternative clothing needs. Instead of an eye contact showdown between you and your enemy clique in the food court, you could escape here, listen to Christian metalcore, and paint your nails black. It ruled.
I just learned that mall haul videos are a thing, and they’re destroying America. There was a reason PacSun is situated directly across the mall hallway from each Hot Topic: It’s supposed to be a face-off. You don’t shop at other stores. Get off our turf and we’ll stay off yours. Now everyone is, like, friends or something. But high school still sucks.
7. Articles like this are now void.
Alternate title: “How to Not Be Afraid at the Mall” followed by “If You Can’t Deal with Punks, How Will Your Mom Know to Go Into Hot Topic and Buy You All the Things.” They’ve made Hot Topic unintimidating, so instead of commodifying a subculture, they’ve made it more lucrative: It’s a subculture for everybody!
8. Employees have gone from looking like this…
Pretty sure facial piercings and/or spiderweb tattoos were, like, a prerequisite or something. At least they’re smiling! These guys totally would’ve been at my lunch table in high school.
What kind of hardworking individual would you be if you didn’t wear things exclusively from your place of employment?
17. Moms are totes down.
I remember my mom yelling at me when I bought a My Chemical Romance hoodie that had guns on it from Hot Topic. She called it the “weird kid store” and, more often than not, asked me why I wasn’t normal. She never wanted to go inside the store with me and the few times she did, she asked the employees why they would “choose” to “self-mutilate” (that’s mom for “have a nose piercing”).
24. …to full-on rave gear.
It probably happened at the moment Sonny Moore shed his emo exterior/flatiron and was reborn as Skrillex, but somewhere down the line, wearing black and going unseen was replaced with attention-grabbing(/seeking) neon colors.
Why this is an image of the signing of the Declaration of Independence with computers, I am not sure.
26. Even bands began being like “wtf.”
New Jersey post-hardcore outfit Thursday began making these shirts, mocking the very culture they were a part of. They had no idea that this shit would take off.
27. This is not a black T-shirt.
It looks like someone threw up on a Saved by the Bell PowerPoint presentation.
41. There’s now a “pop culture” tab on the Hot Topic website.
Which specializes in the cute stuff everyone loves.
43. Hot Topic was founded by some bro, but has been run by women since 2000.
You know, when it started to get popular. Betsy McLaughlin’s reign lasted until 2011, when she was replaced by Lisa Harper. She was dedicated to making Hot Topic accessible to everyone.
46. And the future ironic appreciation you’ll surely bestow upon tweens everywhere (America).
Is that a Celine Dion poster?
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