High school was a fresh new start, a time you could reinvent yourself, an opportunity for self-discovery. For some of us, it was the first time we saw kids that were emo, punk rockers, regular rockers (because there’s a difference), skaters, and goth. We identified with them and realized it was OK to trade in our pukka shells for a spiked choker.
Sure, looking back, some of our high school photos are a little embarrassing, but it taught us a lesson in being our own person and not always going with what’s popular. And while we may not be as drastic in our appearance today, we definitely still hold onto our inner rocker with one or ten tattoos, edgy clothing pieces, fun jewelry, an obsession with black, and a badass red lipstick.
Here’s a highlight reel of things you probably did if you were in the emo/skater/goth scene in the early 2000s.
1. Your hair was the perfect canvas on which to express your personal style.
It was all about dying your mane crazy colors with Manic Panic or Kool Aid and chunky highlights with those chunking kits from L’Oreal. The pixie cut was also all the rage. You also had an obsession with gel and hairspray or anything that could get your hair stiff as a rock.
2. You were always curating that perfect playlist.
Music was your life. Picking out a new CD at the mall was like getting a golden ticket from Willy Wonka, and you used to spend hours downloading music from Napster or Lime Wire so you could make the perfect mixed CD. When MySpace let you put a playlist on your profile page, you made it your life’s mission to choose the songs that revealed your soul.
3. You were a proud groupie.
Your car was covered in stickers and decals of your favorite bands, you bought every CD a band you loved put out, you wore a t-shirt repping them, and you had their picture on the front of your binder and all over your bedroom walls.
4. You dated a boy who was in a band or were obsessed with one.
Weekends were spent at some weird venue that allowed hormonal teens to awkwardly nod their heads along to the beat and mosh. Or you dated a skater and you spent your afternoons at the skate park pretending to be impressed by his kick flips or carrying half of his board away because he got pissed and broke it.
5. You were a little bit angsty. OK, maybe a lotta bit.
You were in love with movies and shows like 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s All That, The Craft, and Daria, because they were about your kind of people. The rebels. The non-sheep. Mean Girls and Clueless also found their way into your heart because they were about your secret fantasy (rising to popularity) or revealing that the popular girls were, actually, just like us.
6. You had such a lady boner for The Killers’ Brandon Flowers.
Oh, and speaking of Daria, you had a mega lady boner for Trent and wished you and he could make like the “Take On Me” music video and enter an alternate animated dimension. Your other crushes were Tom DeLonge from Blink 182, Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit, Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance, and Nick Hexum from 311. You may have also had a thing for Marilyn Manson.
7. All your clothing was either from Hot Topic, Pac Sun, Zumies, or the thrift shop (before it was a cool thing to do).
You absolutely refused to set foot in a GAP or American Eagle, and unlike LFO, you did not like girls that wore Abercrombie & Fitch.
Your ensemble probably included: giant skater shoes with skinny jeans or flares, lots and lots and lots of black, a trench coat, and a way slutty version of something Victorian-esque. You wore those black and/or colored rubber bracelets before they turned into some weird code for sexual favors you were willing to do. Even when you found out, you still rocked them because fuck everyone, that’s why. You also probably had an arsenal of studded belts, spiked necklaces, and body piercing jewelry.
8. Black eyeliner has always been your #1 beauty essential.
Period. Even today, you still pair heavy eyeliner with a kick ass red lipstick when you go out.
9. You pierced yourself.
Screw mall jewelry shops, you and your friends took piercings into your own hands. Literally. Supplied with cotton balls, isopropyl alcohol, a ton of ice, a cheap earring that would most definitely turn your skin black, and a sewing needle you sterilized with a lighter, you jabbed the shit out of your ears. Who needs less than 10 seconds with a piercing gun and a trained professional when you can spend an hour with your friend blowing on your ear and squealing.
10. You crushed hard on Avril.
Also Amy Lee from Evanescence, the girls from the band Kitty, Hayley Williams from Paramore, and Gwen Stefani.
11. You begged your parents for an electric guitar you never learned to play, or gave up trying.
When Guitar Hero and Rock Band came out, you seriously felt like the rock star you always dreamed of being, and you played for hoooouuuurrssss.
12. You’ve always loved body art.
You had an early obsession with tattoos and used to draw on yourself with pens and sharpies. When Miami Ink came out, you became obsessed with Kat Von D and seriously contemplated becoming a tattoo artist.
13. Being called a “poser” was the ultimate insult.
There were times you definitely tried a little too hard to be the stereotypical outcast. You were used to being heckled by kids outside of your circle, but when someone from the crew you ran with called you out, it was a pretty sick burn. It made you question if you really were a poser? Probably because you had a Romeo and Juliet style crush on a jock.