Emo: The story of a decade

| Music Editor
(MCT Campus)

(MCT Campus)

As the decade draws to a close, it’s important to look back and think about our legacy. The 20th century had it all figured out: Hippies in the ’60s, disco in the ’70s, hair metal/aerobics/keeping-the-Spandex-industry-alive in the ’80s, and, finally, grunge and boy bands in the ’90s ruled their respective eras. Each decade had a specific flavor and was immediately identifiable in preserving its individual nature. This puts us, the grand opening of the 21st century, in a bit of a predicament: We need something truly new and different, something to establish us as a decade and immortalize our triumphs and our struggles.


All right, all right, I hear you. Where’s the nobility in guyliner, skinny jeans and songs of eternal moping? I could give you pretentious answers about relaxation of gender roles in fashion, of self-expression in a neo-romantic manner, and lyrical sensitivity vis à vis Whitman-esque transcendentalist poetry. But instead, dear reader, consider this: Think of the theme parties of the future.

There’s only so much longer that we’ll be able to handle bellbottoms, neon spandex and well-choreographed dance routines. This is a new age filled with endless possibilities! The past is behind us, and the future is now! With that in mind, don your girl jeans and hoodie—perhaps with an ironic trucker hat?—and put on your best Pete Wentz impression (preferably with clothes on, but who are we to limit you? This is emo, *damn it*, so let that self-expression fly!)

Emo represents the awkward adolescence of a new century. That air of malaise and ironic self-loathing? Just trying to figure out where we stand in history. Heinously overwrought stories of not fitting in? Adapting to a new global society. Never getting attention from the object of one’s desire? The economic crisis. Clearly. Years from now, anthropologists will look back and use emo to reconstruct a depiction of our society.

Sugar, we’re going down in history.

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening as Washington University returns to campus.