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As members of the neurodivergent community we often struggle to express our emotions, whether that’s because society tells us we have to do it in ways we can’t process, or through lived experience of trauma. But emo culture, in particular the music, provides a much-needed safe space to express such emotions without judgement.
Emo music, despite having a distinct sound, is primiarily focused on the words. It’s about how you feel and what you think, not so much about your appearance. This means that emo music is accessible to anyone who feels like they don’t fit into the “normal” world.
Emo culture, like most alternative cultures, embraces the desire to be different. In particular, that comes out in visual creativity. Even if you buy into the myth that emo clothing is all black, you’d be amazed how much customization you can get by mixing styles, textures and more even with one color!
What’s more, so many of us struggle to find clothes that we feel comfortable in as many neurodivergent people have sensory processing issues. In fact, there’s a high probability the emo fashion itself derived from a desire to wear clothing that stimulates our senses.
Most in the emo community embrace the vibrancy of color however by dying hair and wearing bold, accented clothing. By mixing all this together you get a truly unique combination of styles that means no one person looks the same as someone else. Embrace the attitude – People will stare, make it worth their while.
Many people use piercings and tattoos as an expressive outlet of emotion through tactile sensory stimulation, as well as the permanent embodiment of visual creativity and design. Links between tattooing and psychological distress have been well-documented.
That’s not to say everyone with tattoos has unresolved trauma – Far from it! In fact, many use the emotional connection and bond that comes with a permanent work of art to celebrate closure and peace with even the most positive life experiences.
But in the case of neurodivergence and emo culture, piercings and tattoos provide a sense of belonging and a visual collection of memories that, unlike our internal memories, will never disappear.
Emo culture is known for its close-knit safe spaces and shared communities. And, especially for those of us who are autistic, we often struggle to find like-minded people who share our experiences and ways of looking at the world.
Being part of a community that embraces the value of identity, being different, and shared emotional experiences can provide many neurodivergent people with a much-needed confidence boost in life.
As you’d expect, anyone who can relate to emo and scene culture often shares mutual interests in other areas too. Video games and anime are two examples of hobbies and interests that have influenced emo culture just as much as emo culture has influenced video games and anime.
Soundtracks are a perfect example of this, where many anime theme tunes have guitar-driven theme tunes with deeply emotional lyrics that embrace the issues faced by the protagonist. Something that many of us can relate to in the neurodivergent community!
Emo culture never really faded away (even that sounds like a lyric!). In fact, it’s back more prevalent than ever thanks to the rise of social media as a creative outlet. As the emo generation of the 00s began to have their own kids, their own kids are embracing emo culture.
They’ve seen the struggles inherited from a lifetime of negativity and are now turning it into something positive that brings people together, not apart. And that should be embraced, no matter who you are.
For more inspirational reading keep checking out our blog and see what you can uncover today!
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