Had a discussion with someone about the difference between goth and emo, and made the following post on a forum we both are members of, explaining the difference. Here goes:
This is a typical emo guy. You can recognize them by the fact that his hair is purposefully done to cover one eye, and bits of his second, rendering him without sense of depth. He is also rather vain, shown by the fact that he takes pictures of himself. In this case in a mirror.
Emos are generally self-obsessed, and constantly complain about how their life is miserable, how everyone should feel sorry for them, about how nobody cares for them, all in an effort to draw attention to themselves, despite the fact that, when viewed objectively, they are much, much better off than most. Emos might measure their success in life by the amount of friends they have on facebook (previously myspace). A popular theory says that emos haven’t been breast fed as a baby, and so missed a lot of love a child of that age needs so badly from their mother.
Emos might also cut themselves, though they’ll rarely make themselves bleed. The main reason they do this is to have red lines on their arms that they can pretend to hide so they may draw even more attention to themselves. This is opposed to people with real emotional problems, who inflict real harm upon themselves so they can concentrate more on their physical pain, and dwell less on their emotional pain. These people aren’t usually emo, and will actually hide their self-mutilation.
This is a female example. Note how her left eye (right hand side of the picture) is almost covered, but not quite. Also note how her left arm is stretched out, out of the picture, indicating that she’s holding the camera taking this picture.
Also note that in the above examples, their clothing is more or less normal. Now, let’s compare that to the goth.
Where emo mainly revolves around attention-whoring through self-pity, the goth subculture revolves around self-expression and self-exploration. The average goth does not care what others think about them and rarely let the opinions of others affect their lives. They might ask for your opinion, but only if they agree with it will they adjust their own.
Goths are usually friendly, open-minded, artistically gifted in some way or another and rather-to-very intelligent. What separates them from, say, other sensible people is an attraction to the dark side of things. Most goths will not equate ‘dark’ with ‘evil’, but with ‘different’. Many are anti-capitalist, misanthropic and cynical in their outlook of the world. They abhor violence.
Their style is most often black clothing with black-and-white makeup and quite often hair dyed-black. They use this to accentuate contrasts: the white of your eyes with the black line around it with a pale white skin. Goths may be intrigued with death, but this does not mean that they will seek it out. Not for themselves, nor for others, as is often claimed. They will incorporate many elements relating to death, like skulls, in their styles and art.
There are many offshoots of the goth subculture. Let’s examine some.
This picture came from an advertising site, no doubt, but it serves it’s purpose. This is an example of a ‘victorian’ goth, sometimes known as a ‘vampire’ goth. This style favours elegance and grace over functionality. Note how the corset accentuates the waist while the hips seem to flare out further into the wide skirt. Most Victorian goths might save clothing like this for parties and conventions, but some might wear it in their day-to-day life.
The cybergoth might wear a lot of flashy-coloured dreads (often green or pink) in their black hair, as well as ditto-coloured elements in their otherwise black, more simple (though still extravagant) clothing. Cybergoths are unique in their style of music, as they prefer electronic music over instrumental.
Also note how the above pictures were all taken by somebody else.
There’s many more types, but I realize this post is getting quite long, and I have stuff to do.