Some ways to adopt an emo identity include listening to emo music, engaging in artistic pursuits and adopting emo's distinct fashion sense, including tight pants, thick glasses and Converse Chuck Taylors. Emo is an alternative youth subculture with an emphasis on creativity, emotions and individuality.
Although emo encompasses many aspects, the roots of the culture are based around music. In the 1980s, Washington, D.C., punk band Rites of Spring was the first group to fuse the aggression of punk rock with emotional lyrical content, creating the blueprint for emo. Listening to and enjoying this style of music contributes to an emo personality. Many popular emo bands followed their example during the 1990s, including Sunny Day Real Estate, At the Drive-In, Piebald and The Get Up Kids. Later emo groups, such as Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance, found mainstream success and popularized the music among a larger audience.
Finding an artistic outlet is one of the most important steps to becoming emo. Most people involved in the emo subculture engage in an artistic endeavor as a way to distinguish themselves. Many emo kids feel alienated from mainstream society and turn to art in order to express themselves, whether it's playing in a band, taking photographs or writing poetry.
The emo dress style is typically characterized as a mixture of goth and punk. Typically, emo kids wear mostly black clothes and have dark hair. The clothing often tends toward androgyny, with both genders frequently wearing tight pants, hoodies and band T-shirts.