What is an Emo, Anyway?
Liliya Mustafina, 14, Ufa



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Earlier this year, my friend Elvira said, I hate emos. I don't like their views on life or their type of music, or anything about their life style.

I asked, Is that fair? What is their style of music? What are their views on life?

Oh, Liliya, you know. They like punk music. They complain. They are very emotional. I especially hate their clothes. They are black and torn and out of style. They try to be different.

Well, what's wrong with that? Sometimes I wish I were a little more different. I continued, My cousin who is in the university is an emo right now. She wears her hair short with bangs; I think she dyed it black. I like her black thick glasses.

Ever since my cousin, Masha, turned an emo, I have been curious about it. I read that it started in the mid 1980s and came out of punk rock. But for some reason, many people don't like them, and hurt their feelings by saying bad things to them, like calling them freaks. Some people even fight with them, even if they dont know anything about them. My friend Elvira joined in a fight once, even hitting an emogirl on the back.

Then one day Elvira and I made friends with someone new, Diana. We liked her a lot because she was funny, interesting, clever and cool! She was dressed in normal clothes.

But a few days later, we found out that she was an emo! We saw her in a store and she was in a black short skirt, black stockings, and her hair was black, with spikes all over her head.

Diana, what are you doing dressed like that? Elvira said, with surprise, even shock in her voice.

I thought I told you that usually I dress like an emo. Is there anything wrong?

Elvira and I forced a smile and we both said, Oh, no, of course not. Everything's fine!

We now know that emos, just like anyone, can be kind and friendly. They like different music and clothes but they respect our style of life, our music, and our clothes. They just prefer their style, the emo style. We must respect them, no matter how different they seem to us.

Diana, Elvira and I are still friends.


I. Understanding
Witthe Storyh a partner, discuss and write the main idea.

II. Vocabulary
Look at the words in the story that are written in bold. Can you explain what the words mean? Use the following words in a different sentence.
1. style
2. punk music
3. emotional
4. dyed
5. curious
6. freaks
7. spikes

III. Now you Talk
1. How is the emo lifestyle different from yours?
2. Can someone change back and forth from emo to usual?
3. What would your parents do if you wanted to be an emo?

IV. Sentence Completion
Finish the sentence with the phrases on the right.

A. The emos have
1. badly about emos.
B. My cousin made me become
2. similar to punk music.
C. Elvira talked
3. a different lifestyle.
D. Diana, the new friend,
4. are still friends.
E. Emo music is
5. was dressed like an emo.
F. Elvira, Liliya, and Diana
6. curious about emos.

V. Role Play
1. Elvira and the writer: They share their views of emos.
2. Elvira and an emo: Elvira attacks her verbally.
3. Two emos: Talking about why others dislike them.
4. Elvira, the writer, Diana: They talk about Diana being an emo.
5. The writer and Mom: They talk about a neighbor being an emo.