Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Difference Between Goth And Emo

To truly know emo, let us first find out what is not emo.
Emo is often mistaken for goth, and vice versa, as well as for scene and punk (more on those two later). Although i
t's easier to demonstrate via pictures what's emo and what's goth, I'm going to describe the differences first.

It is a common misconception that emos wear only black; that's not true. Although they wear primarily black, they wear many different colors, pink being quite popular. Goths, on the other hand, are easily identified by their black clothing. Although goths too wear many different colors, they often wear only black. The stereotyped goth in books, movies and on TV will always wear only black, an exception being Sam from Danny Phantom, who
wears some purple as well. Also, piercings: goths te
nd towards heavier piercings that hurt just to look at, whereas emos generally stick to the ears, lips, eyebrows and nose.
Another way to identify a goth from an emo is through their make-up. While it's almost mandatory for goths to wear make-up, most emos wear only eyeliner, whereas the typical goth wears eyeliner, eyeshadow, lipstick (typically black, bright red or a bright, unnatural color such as purple, blue or white) decorative makeup and in some cases even blush. Also, goth culture tends to be very sexual, whereas emo is more romantic.
Also, hair; although gothic hair is flexible and can very well be pretty much anything, an emo is nothing without his fringe, across his face and covering his eye. This can be applied to almost anyone; if they have the fringe, they have at least an emo influence.
Here's the fun part: comparing goth pictures to emo pictures.

A German goth. Note the heavy makeup, "creative" hair cut and piercings.

An emo guy. Note the band tee, pink belt, makeup and hairstyle.

A stunningly beautiful Victorian goth girl. Hair is center-parted and not completely straight as is common with Victorian goths. Note the cat-eye makeup and and dark red lipstick, the necklaces and dress.

An emo girl. Note the blond hair, sneakers, glove, bright pink shirt that most goths would not be caught dead in, the bow, the hairstyle. Interestingly, the eye makeup and stockings she's wearing are more gothic than emo, but the fact that she's taking a picture of herself at such an angle, her lip color and most of all, her hair make her an emo rather than a goth.

Another goth girl, identifiable primarily by her corsets. Corsets are a very important piece of every goth girl's (and in some strange cases, guy's) wardrobe. If an emo were to put on a corset they would automatically become goth. No, there's no way around it.

A famous emo kid picture. Obviously emo, you can tell by the hair (the cut and style; also, goths rarely have any blond hair, and when they do, it's usually white-blond, not golden blond), the heavy eyeliner and shadow and the picture itself. Goths tend not to take pictures of themselves and this girl is clearly holding the camera.

A goth guy. Although his attitude appears more emo and some of his accessories may very well be worn by an emo, the outfit has altogether way too many studs and spikes to be emo. Also, the netting on his arms is not seen on male emos. Lastly, his hair; absolutely no fringe whatsoever.

My God, he's smiling! Emos tend to smile more than goths; even if it is a tiny half-smile or a full on grin like Kenny The Smiling Emo, the one pictured. Also, goths usually don't wear a simple t-shirt and jeans, they tend to accessorize way more than emos.

For some reason it surprises me it's even legal... anyway, goth has strong connections to the BDSM culture that emo does not have. Goth is more adult than emo; emos tend to be within the 12 - 25 year old range, while goths are usually anything from 14 - 60 years of age.

Aw, isn't that sweet... this couple is visibly younger than the goth couple. Although these two, particularly the girl, have a darker style than is common with emos, they are still technically emo, hence the boy's hoodie and slip on sneakers.


  1. You're right about most of this although saying emos are romantic and goths are sexual isn't really right, goths are mostly very romantic, theres is even a sub-subculture in goth called romantic goth! Also goths do smile, a lot. Although neither group requires you to be depressed or sad all the time, it is much much more common in emos to be 'mopey teengers'. Also putting someone in a corset does not make them goth, even putting someone is full goth hair, makeup and clothes does not make them goth, because the goth subculture is primarily made up of three things 1. music, if they don't listen to some type of gothic music, they aren't goth. 2. Personality, this doesn't mean being unhappy it means finding beauty in the darker side of things and 3. clothing.

  2. i like these pictures but i dont no why i try to impress peolpe when im ugly

  3. Pretty spot-on, actually. I'm impressed. You forgot to mention tattoos though - very rarely do I see emo kids with ink, but plenty of goths with tats. Sorta goes with the gothic subculture is more rooted into adult life - after all, showing off a neon pink lipring on Facebook is one thing, but tattoos are permanent.

    Also, goths at heart carry it in some form of fashion all their lives, usually even before they ever dress the part. I might know this... but few of us will ever admit it ;)

    1. that isn't entirely true about goths having more tattoos I know quite a few emos and many of them have quite a few tattoos, also many emos like to describe themselves as 'fallen angels' some people refer to emos as depressed teenagers who self harm and from what i know not all emos are depressed or self harm only a 5th of the emo cut

  4. i'm a goth and you are right on most things.
    i do get confused for an EMO alot cause i wear bright colors (i LOVE rainbows). i will often wear all black and then rainbow socks or a rainbow scarf.

    and TATTOOS i dont think i've ever seen a EMO with tattoos, thats not to say they don't exsist:)
    but GOTHS are more likely to get them done. and they zare always epic tattoos.

    Music, well just cause you listen to a certain type of music doesn't make you EMO or GOTH.

    Goth is a mindset, seeing the bright side of the dark side.

  5. I am tierd of being judge as this stop this SHIT!!!

  6. I'm emo but it's kinda hard to show if i feel my like parents will judge me or friends plus I'm not aloud to wear makeup and me and my mother have VERY different taste in clothes and she calls me weird when I wear alot of black ����

  7. I'm emo but it's kinda hard to show if i feel my like parents will judge me or friends plus I'm not aloud to wear makeup and me and my mother have VERY different taste in clothes and she calls me weird when I wear alot of black ����

  8. Are emos more urban influenced, whereas goths are closer to their traditional roots?

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  11. Hello, I appreciate your interest in the emo label and differentiating it from goth, however you are not describing what is "emo", but rather "emo-pop punk" (the common image among youths since its peak in the 2000s). original emo is very much dif from any of this..
    otherwise, your info is well.