Okay, confession time: unlike basically my entire generation, I never had an emo phase. I never had a “chavvy” phase, a sporty phase or really an anything phase for my entire teenage life. The closest I ever got was when I convinced my Mum to buy me a pair of those chequered vans in pink and black, which I wore to death paired with jeans that didn’t fit and (probably) pink t-shirt. I never had the cool backcombed hair and sweeping emo fringe with a dyed stripe, and I have literally never owned a tracksuit or hoop earrings. My teenage style was a basically cat-lady/librarian-in-training, and I didn’t pay a great deal of attention to what I looked like.
I could say that I miss those days of not giving a damn, but the truth is that I cared a lot about how I looked but didn’t know how to figure out what I wanted to look like or how to get there. Even today, my style isn’t particularly out-there and doesn’t have a strong aesthetic. Sometimes I see goth girls dressed to the absolute nines and looking incredible; I love the intricacies of the aesthetic. Whether it’s the huge stomping boots, the tattoos peeking out from sleeves or the heavy makeup looks with black hair, I just admire anyone who pulls off a strong look. Occasionally, I want a little piece of the action.
I’m extremely pale. Pale to the point that people think I’m wearing white tights from a distance when in reality I just have my legs out. Light bounces off me and can blind drivers. So I reckon I’m halfway there for the whole gothic vibe, but I could never commit to it by dying my hair. I think black hair is gorgeous but the dye is incredibly difficult to get rid of and I’d end up spending years growing it out; I’ve considered buying a black wig just for fun, but the reality is I would never be bothered wearing it and I get pretty sweaty even without a load of extra hair. If I fancy channelling a little bit of that emo vibe I have to do it with my clothes and makeup. I wore this outfit for a friend’s birthday night out, which involved going to Manchester’s big emo club, Satan’s, and I decided that I fancied dressing the part but in a way that still felt me.
I though this dress, which I’ve talked about before, could be dressed a little differently to fit the purpose of the night, and when combined with about four times as much eyeliner as I usually wear and a lipstick so dark I think I’ve only ever worn it on Halloween, and I felt pretty prepared. I straightened my hair for the first time in about six months, and altogether I felt cool enough to convince my boyfriend to snap these photos of me before we went out.
|Sorry for the crappy photo quality on this one, I was already drunk when I took it!|
In the end, I ended up feeling like I fitted in with the group aesthetic while still retaining my fairly vanilla self. I’ll never be a full-on emo and I’ll never get back my lost days of teenage experimentation, but I feel a little more confident about incorporating a few stronger vibes into my style. Now, time to find some hoop earrings…