What happened during the Mexican Emo Wars as told by Hen Evia
As you guys know we're fascinated, sometimes obsessed with the idea of style and identity- especially the idea of style wars. I mean, just the sound of it. Style. War. A fight...over clothes. Sounds pretty ridiculous right? Well on the surface yea but when you take the style away you can see it's like any other battle about beliefs. In issue º6 we touched on the idea with our editorial of opposing style tribes against each other. But now I want to reveal the actually nitty gritty of it all. So here we have Hen Evia, a super stylin' fashion blogger of Hen Evia from Mexico City who actually grew up during the Emo Wars. Around 2009 when emo fashion was at its peak in popularity globally, violence broke out in Mexico with these somber, hot topic adorned, girl jeans wearing kids as the targets. We wanted to find out a first hand account of what it was like and what the media fattened up for a good headline.
Reflekt: So could you tell me about when and what the Emo Wars were about?
Hen: Well, at first (and I'm talking 2006-07) the emo kids started to show up at high school and became very, very popular. Everybody had a crush on them and they were like high school royalty. It was funny because the summer before, those guys were regular guys and weren't even in the same clique. I think their interest in the same things brought them together. In my school, there was a group of 6-8 members of the junior class who became extremely popular and well known.
That was at school (I must mention that I attended a snob-ish high school). On the streets it was a different story. I didn't have any emo friends but I wore skinny jeans and some guys liked to make fun of that or they'd ask: "Are you emo?" I ignored them.
By 2009, the popular emo kids were over all that and became hipster-ish normal people. The emo-mania spread over the less privileged high school and middle school students. They used to get-together at a place called "Glorieta de Insurgentes" (or Insurgents roundabout), that was near a subway station. They skated there.
People generally disliked them and insulted them. One day it was reported that some guys started a fight and, since the number of emo kids was large, it was massive. After that, it sort of became common to hear that emo kids had been beaten up. I think that one of the main reasons has to do with the Mexican macho stereotype, in which being sensitive is wrong. They usually called the emo kids 'fags' and stuff like that. And most conservative Mexicans don't cope well with gay guys. So, being emo was related with being gay, and they had like another excuse to be mean to them. For most of those kids, being emo was a temporary phase. They eventually grew out of it and the tribe disappeared in, roughly, a year. Since then, I've only seen one or two on the street and nobody pays them attention. They were low-economic class people.
Reflekt: So those first 'famous' emo people in your high school. How were they famous? Was it through myspace, cause from my memory myspace was the emo kid haven.
Hen: They weren't fans of MySpace, cause it wasn't that big in Mexico. Hi5 was their preferred platform. I don't actually know how they became popular, since it was my first year in high school. They just sort of were there, and everyone loved them.
Reflekt: How did you feel about them?
Hen: I was sort of envious of the attention they received from the girls, haha. But the funny thing was that, when you talked to them, they were normal people. Just played with their side bangs a lot and wore female skinny jeans. Other than that, pretty normal people. They were nice.
Reflekt: Ha thats funny because here in America all the emo people, especially the internet famous ones, were bitches!
Hen: Like that's one of the reasons people didn't like emo kids was their arrogant attitude.
Reflekt: How bad were the riots really?
Hen: Pretty bad. I remember seeing footage on the news and there was a lot of blood and bruises. And, I'm not sure about this though, I think they usually posted the riots on youtube. I didn't like to watch footage, because I'm not a fan of violence.
Reflekt: Did you ever see any first hand? Over here in america, they said it was pretty bad. They had to have security protect the emo kids and someone even died! Is this true?
Hen: No, I tried to avoid the place, because I didn't want someone to beat me up for my skinny jeans and my hairstyle. I do not know of any deaths. But it certainly wouldn't surprise me.
Reflekt: Ok so that must have been media hype for the U.S.
Reflekt: Why do you think they stopped dressing emo? Does anyone bother the remaining emos now?
Hen: I honestly think it was a phase, I don't think they even knew the emo philosophy. I think most of them thought it looked cool and they really embraced the look but when it started getting dangerous they stopped dressing like that and added some colours to their wardrobe.
Reflekt: Do you think it will ever come back again? Do you think the riots were something political?
Hen: I don't think it will come back soon. And I also don't think the riots had anything to do with politics, they were close-minded people reacting to something they didn't approve.
Reflekt: How did emo even come about in Mexico?
Hen: Well, there was this Chilean band called Kudai who became emo in their second or third album (their music was still pop, though). But I think it was mostly via internet. That band was popular in Mexico.
Thank you so much for chatting with us Hen and check out Issue º6 to see the gorgeous spread of our version of Style Wars!
Check out Hen Evia's blog here