This article was originally published on 24/7Mirror
The early 2000s were a wild ride for all of us. Fashion was extremely different than what it is today. Makeup styles were much heavier, and the hair... Bangs, stripes, swoops, skullets, you name it, we all had something exceptional going on our heads. So let's look back at some kindred spirits who went fully emo and how they've changed in recent years. You won't believe their transformation!
Here's a classic emo look lots of girls wore for school back in the day. This emo girl took a picture in a standard emo pose, holding up the camera to the mirror. She also wore a shirt representing her favorite band underneath her school uniform, and to be honest, we've all done this too as a form of self-expression, among other things.
Some of us wore bracelets, others died their hair all sorts of crazy colors, and some took it even further with body piercings under that big hair! More recently, this girl grew up but still stayed true to herself with a more polished, 2021 look. She kept the blonde, eased off on the makeup, and looks ever so radiant!
You can tell this woman feels a lot more confident in front of the camera compared to her younger, emo self. It's a total emo move to take a picture but pretends you weren't aware of the camera, thus resulting in an uncomfortable face. It is giving us strong 'look at me but also don't look at me' vibes. But luckily, she grew out of it.
Today, she's smiling directly at the camera, and we must say she looks stunning and radiates confidence. What a transformation she went through! It makes a big difference when your head is leaning down or facing up, and we hope she's aware of how well she's aged.
From Purple To Professional
This woman went through a few fashion phases over a short period of time. Starting from bright purple dreadlocks to a hairdo more manageable, then messy but stylish bob. Next came her back-to-black moment, until landing on a more natural look. We must say she pulled all these looks off, but we're absolutely rooting for her current-day look.
Quite a journey to go through, but that only proves, as humans, we can change our looks and test things out for as much as we'd like, and it doesn't affect who we are as people. We are simply trying our best at any given time, and that's okay. It takes time to figure things out, and no one should feel rushed to do anything.
Like Night And Day
To say this woman has changed her style over the years is an understatement. We have, on the left, someone you probably wouldn't want to mess with. An angry emo kid, through and through. Those raibow streaks in her hair, the death glare, and the raven-black eye makeup can only mean one thing.
On the right, we have someone completely different, who looks like the opposite version of the girl on the left. A bright, bubbly, radiant ray of sunshine, who's ready to tackle life. We can't believe these two polar opposites are the same person!
Emo At Heart
This teacher used her knowledge and experience as teen emo to help her students who are also trying to figure themselves out, just like her back in the day. If we had a teacher like that at school, that would make things a lot easier for us. School can be a scary place, and it's important to find friends and allies. A supportive teacher can make a world of difference!
Good on her remembering her roots and staying emo at heart, and just look at her transformation. As proven here, she's definitely more comfortable in her own skin these days. It does get better, and she's living proof.
Moody To Marvelous
Emo kids are known for being emotional and moody, and they feel they need to conceal their happiness to maintain an appearance. The girl on the left here is definitely that, giving a moody 'I don't even care' look while taking a selfie. We know you care, girl. You're not fooling anyone. Luckily, she did grow out of it, as the photo on the right shows.
On the right, she is nothing but smiles. The happiness she exudes is infectious, and although her eyes are hidden behind dark shades, we can tell she's a much happier person compared to her emo past. It is an exciting change in attitude and presumably a new outlook on life.
Pink Hair, Don't Care
This woman turned from an emo teen with bright pink hair to a living work of art with some fascinating tattoos inked on her body. She admitted the pink hair was her form of rebellion back in the day, as she felt misunderstood and needed an outlet to express it to the world. We've all been there, haven't we? She has come a long way since her pink hair days, though.
With perfect makeup and an attitude to match, she looks way more comfortable in her own skin. From a teen trying to hide away from the world to a woman who is showing the world who she is, it's a total transformation.
Artistic Emo Photoshoot
Emo kids are known for many things. One of those thngs is going on photoshoots with unique and artistic backgrounds. This teen on the left did just that, posing for the camera in what seems to be an abandoned place filled with colorful graffiti. Another signature emo look is looking at the sky as if you're unaware of the camera taking your picture.
The man on the right is someone else entirely. With much better hair and an whole new look, he definitely looks like someone who's going places. He's still doing that 'I didn't notice you were taking my picture' look, though.
Meant To Be
These two are giving us major couple goals! They started off as two confused emo kids, and made it through to adulthood together, and it warms our hearts. They look like they belong together, both in their emo days and in their more current style. We're so glad they made it through to a life of better hair and self confidence.
Growing up with the person you love is an experience on its own. You grow up together and share important life experiences which make you both stronger as people and as a couple. Did we mention these two are couple goals? Yes, they are!
The Girl In Gray
This former emo girl swears she is still emo at heart, but she has changed quite a bit over the years. Now an office administrator, this woman has let go of her fishnets, black eyeliner, blue bow, and eye-covering bangs. She looks so much better as an adult, and is clearly more at ease with herself, not trying to hide behind all that hair.
Although the picture on the left is basically the ultimate Myspace picture we all tried to take back in the day, we have to admit maturity looks much better on this woman. Those Myspace days are long gone, and there's no need to be stuck in the past.
Changing It Up
This guy went from one extreme to another! During his teens years, his emo hair was all the rage. Jet black and blow-dried to perfection, it was a look a lot of guys tried to achieve. His current-day self is rocking a much different style, but one that still requires dedication, and we're feeling it.
This guy added tattoos on his arms, returned to his natural blonde hair, and wears a tank top his old teenaged self wouldn't be caught dead in. Another proof we all change, and that nothing is permanent.
This woman is still kind of emo, but a much more grown-up version. The dark clothes and bangs-over-one-eye are gone, but the attitude is there, just more relaxed and up to date. Lilac hair and cat ears arent for everyone, but she is pulling them off without a doubt.
Sometimes you know who you are from the very start, and that's awesome. Sometimes you start off trying to hide behind your hair and dark clothes, and end up blossoming like a beautiful flower.
Glow Up Alert!
Say what you want about emo kids, but it is undeniable that most of them grow up to be interesting and fashionable adults. It takes time to master the art of being who you are, and although this person had a total glow up, we have to appreciate the emo look she had back in the day. The orange hair, thick black eyeliner, and lip piercing all took dedication.
Years later, she traded the orange hair for a more modern color, the lip piercing was taken out in favore of a septum, and her makeup is drastically different. Both looks we can get behind, as they both represent different times in this woman's life.
Another classic emo move is to look down and not face the camera at all, like the person on the left here demostrates. We appreciate this woman for finally learning to face the camera over the years. She looks radiant! Going from black hair to blonde, it can also signify her approach to life. Here is a person who's grown.
We believe there's a moment in every emo kid's life when they first look up at a camera and realize how beautiful they are, and that they don't need to be so awkward anymore. It's exciting to see people claiming their space in the world because they do deserve it.
Always In Style
Make room for this future style icon! There aren't many people who can pull off these two very unique looks and still look terrific. Whatever is next for this woman, we're sure she'd look just as unique. She's making us want to dye our own hair forest green, and that's something.
Personal style is important, and she seems to have mastered her own. Bravo to her for being true to her unique self and not shying away from the hair dye aisle. She's always had the courage, but now, she doesn't look like she's trying so hard like she did when she was younger.
Once An Emo Kid, Always An Emo Kid
Thie emo kid's sense of style has definitely evolved over the years, while she transformed from a teenager to an adult woman. While we're impressed with the volume her hair had back in her teenager days, we have to say we appreciate her current-day look much more, even though there are still some emo elements in there.
We wonder what her younger self would think of this platinum-blonde person. Would she like her, or would she be intimidated by her confidence and fierce attitude?
Still Pretty In Pink
This woman is barely recognizable! when she was younger, she was clearly into pink, but not so much into self confidence as she was clearly hiding behind her brightly colored hair. She wore baggy pants and a pink shirt to match, and looked as emo as they come. She hasn't given up her love of color, but these days, she's much more relaxed about it.
The contrast between these two pictures couldn't be any more dramatic. On the left, she looks like she wants to be left alone. On the right, she looks outgoing and energetic. We're glad you found your true self, girl!
This prince of darkness did a total turnaround. He went from a moody teen to a happy adult, and it looks like he managed to find the love of his life in the process. Congratulations to the happy couple, and we wish them years and years of happiness and love. Our former emo teen looks so happy it makes us emotional!
It is interesting to see someone who at first struggled with who they were, but overcame it, and found joy in their life. The person on the left looks like the farthest thing from happiness, and look at what he's become. The image on the right proves things find a way to work out, all you need is to have some faith.
Too Emo For Pets
any parent is worried about their child's future, and when your child is a moody emo teen, things must be all the more worrying. Don't fret, though. Even the most troubled teen can find their path and become a successful adult, like this person who turned out to be a veterinarian, and that takes some hard work and dedication. Also, you need to be able to pull your hair up, as it can get messy!
Those thick bangs needed to go, and so did the entire moody attitude. She now looks happy and accomplished, and we're sure her loved ones couldn't be more proud.
Death Glare To Glowing Smile
Next on our list is this guy who used to give intense death glares when posing for the camera. It's a common emo look, and we can't say we miss it. We know you wanted your picture taken, buddy. You probably asked for your friend to take it cause you were feeling cute that day, with your hoodie and scarf on.
As an adult, he's clearly kept the earrings but pretty much everything else has changed. Wait, not everything. He's still into plaid garments! This time, though, he's wearing them with confidence, and isn't trying to hide away. We're feeling it!
A Style Shift
This former emo traded his black attire and product-filled, flattened-out hair for a completely different look. Now this man is a lumberjack, ready to cut down some wood. It is astonishing seeing someone go through any transformation, but this is really something else.
We have a typical emo kid, doing everything according to the emo book, who at some point in their life changed everything about themselves and reemerged as this hunky woodsman. That's jumping between extremes here. We're not complaining, just asking questions out loud.
Taking Back Vests
Adam Lazzara is the frontman for one of the most well-known rock bands associated with emo culture, Taking Back Sunday. The band's distinguished style defined how emo kids would look during the early 2000s, and their music gave teens something to relate to.
Although not as emo as he used to be, Adam still melts our hearts with a more current look. He let his hair grow long, and is obviously much more confident in his own skin, which is a must-have for a frontman.
Emo To Life Saver
It is one transformation we are going to stand up for and start a round of applause. This former emo child went ahead and became a firefighter. Even the most timid teenager can end up being a hero and saving lives, as this person shows. His emo days weren't all that bad, though.
That hair though! We can't stop looking at it. It's shiny and healthy, and that length. We bet all his emo friends were envious of his long, dark locks. Sadly, it's no look for a fireman, so the mane had to go.
From Angsty Teen To Cop
Another hero came from the emo community, as this guy became a policeman. There is something strange in seeing this cop's picture from his emo days, as we usually don't get to see this part in a cop's life. We hope that emo kid still lives on inside this authority figure, and he remembers where he comes from.
We wonder how he could see straight with that hair covering his right eye. To think this cop used to be that kid. We're happy he grew out of it and finally got a decent haircut!
Finally Comfortable In His Own Skin
Another hero on our list. This time we got ourselves an enlisted soldier. This man went from being an emo heartthrob to one manly soldier, and we can't stop looking at him. We love the sideway bangs, partially covered with a hoodie, and of course, the emotional pout. This emo kid knew he was hot, and he wasn't scared of showing it.
As a soldier, we got to admit, definitely a glow-up we love. His stunning smile and short haircut are giving us everything we ever wanted. We salute this soldier and hope he is safe at home. Seriously, parents should consider themselves lucky for having emo children. They turn out quite well, aren't they?
Morticia Addams Wannabe
This woman is extraordinary. Firstly, in her teen emo days, she took her look and created a magnificent emo kid, with bee-like highlights and chunky-cut hairdo, and for an emo kid, she used a little less makeup than one would expect. Secondly, you know with her emo image, she was popular at school.
These days she, get ready for this, is studying mortuary science, meaning she is preparing for the role of her life as a mortician. Doesn't she look like a younger and more modern version of the beloved matriarch from the Addams Family, Morticia Addams? We think so.
A Portrait Of A Former Emo Kid
This woman looks nothing like in her teen days. She has changed, and of course, grown over the years, slowly letting the emo kid persona fade away. With two eyes now seeing the world, we don't think she and us recognize the people in these two pictures.
Growing up is a scary thing for anyone to go through. This emo kid looks like she figured it out. Luckily, certain things can't disappear, and those are the tattoos she still wears (hopefully) with pride. You can notice them in her upper right arm.
Emo Kid Turned Emo Dad
Wow! Now that's what we call a transformation! This emo kid, who used a lot of hair straitening product, with the ear and lip piercings and the grunge-punk face, has turned into the most adorable father, taking his daughter for a fun day at the docks.
Does this mean being emo is in that little girl's genes? Will she one day decide to dye her blond hair black? We think someone should conduct a study and get us some answers! Regardless, it's nice to see an emo kid smiling, and this is one smile that is glowing from ear to ear.
There's Still Fire Inside For Sure
Davey Havok, the lead singer of AFI, became an emo and rock icon during the early 2000s and took it to the extreme with his fashion, hair, and persona choices. When looking at the image on the right, we can see the emo energy is bursting like fire.
Today, he barely looks like his former self, turning to a more tame and suburban house father look, not that it's a bad thing. We love his current self, and we love his former. We know underneath this new persona, his emo frontman personality still lives on, rocking just as hard as two decades ago.
Reaching New Heights
We are sensing a recurring theme with lead singers of famous rock bands changing their entire style over time. Another example is JT Woodruff, lead singer for the band Hawthorne Heights. On the right, we have another example of emo attire and hair, executed perfectly.
Then JT took on a new style, a more hipster, whole organic food, and recycling type of guy. It is amazing for us to see how these rock and emo icons become these people, who are very regular looking, without their emo-ness, or the rock behavior.
Boy Becomes Dad
Quinn Allman continues our segment of rock band leads singers' transformation from emo icon to father figure. This fresh-looking young man on the right, with blonde hair, and a red plaided shirt, has completed a few rounds around the sun and turned into a father figure.
We love seeing a good transformation, and this toned-down look isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is another step in growing up and caring less about an image. In general, maintaining a persona for the world can be exhausting and time-consuming, so seeing Quinn laid back in the picture on the right is refreshing.
Not A reject Anymore
You thought we were finished? Not yet! Next, we have Tyson Ritter, the frontman for the band All American Rejects. He rose to fame in the early 2000s and made his mark as a rock icon. His style back then wasn't heavily emo, but the substance was there, and he made sure to pour out his emotion into every song.
Today, believe it or not, his style is somewhat similar to two decades ago but more modern, fresher, and you can see in the image on the right, a lot more radiant. Time has been extra kind with him. He looks better than he used to! How? What's your secret, Tyson?
Finally Seeing The World
As you probably noticed, emo teens love, and we mean love, to hide behind bangs and usually lose a bit of their eyesight in the process. As you can see for yourselves, this teen straightened out her hair and set her hair to the side, giving herself bangs that limit her vision.
We are happy to report, this woman can now see the world again and herself, and she is stunning! We love she kept the black eyeliner. Maybe it's a nod to her former self. The strange part for us is she's smiling back in her emo days, and in this photo, there's a little emo pout going on.
Code Blue means a fabulous metamorphosis! Here we have former emo, who added a tiara to her darker persona, maybe as a princess of darkness, but today she is a queen! She moved away from the darker color palate and into more fun and upbeat colors, and she is glowing!
We said it before, and we'll say it again. Emo kids grow up to be interesting people, and she is one of them. She is a baker, and she breeds aquatic snails in her free time (we don't understand what it is, but it sounds cool). She's also planning her wedding! Congratulation, Queen!
This Emo Girl Has Left The Building
This woman isn't embarrassed by her past emo days, and she shouldn't be! It was her of expressing herself when she was younger, and she does look like a fun person to hang after school. She went all out, with the darkened and chunky haircut, along with fingerless gloves, which she said she even wore during August. What a mistake!
Two decades later, this woman owns her past and loves to see herself in her past life. Almost two decades can make anyone feel they've lived a few lives. We love her emo self and her toned-down look as well. In both pictures, she looks in her element, each in its way.
A Scientific Emo
This woman went from the shy emo persona to a bad-ass scientist, ready to take on the science world. It makes such a difference having bangs, both selves of this woman look similar, but the energy they give off is entirely different, like day and night.
When we mean two different energy, one is more reserved and huddled into herself, while the other is the sun goddess who runs marathons and solves science's most pressing issues. We love to see growth, and this one is magnificent. We salute you on your journey!
Turn That Frown Upside Down
We need to take a moment and talk about the pout. Every emo kid mastered it at some point in their dark days. It's their way of showing during any chance they get, usually through a picture, that the world is hard, and it calls for a moody and a serious pout.
This man left his emo persona behind, managed to turn that frown upside down, and revealed he had a lovely smile all along. The image on the left looks like it was turned upside down, and you get the image on the right.
Dad Still Has Great Hair
This father is going to explain to his child two things, the first is what emo is, and two, this picture on the left. The answer for both of them will be the same. From a gloomy emo teen, who takes black and white photos and suffering from an inability to smile, this father sure turned things around.
The man in the picture on the right is someone else entirely. He's a father now, and life is happier, and he is has gained the ability to smile! That's important! We love a father who can smile with his kids. Could you imagine emo parents? That would be a difficult way to raise kids.
Even Winona Had An Emo Phase
Who doesn't love Winona Ryder! An actress beloved by all, who captured our hearts from watching her on the big screen in films such as Edward scissor-hands, Beetlejuice, and as of late, the hit Netflix show, Strangers Things. Winona used to wear darker clothes, dyed her hair black, and influenced many emo kids in the process.
Today, she is more laid back, her hair color is natural, her clothes aren't dark anymore and a bit looser and comfortable. Winona will always stay in our hearts, and she deserves all the love from her fans and non-fans. A queen is always a queen, and Winona remains emo royalty.
Christina Ricci Was An Emo Kid's Dream Girl
Another queen in her own right! The wickedly talented Christina Ricci stole our hearts decades ago as the original emo teen, Wednesday Addams in the hit film, The Addams Family. Wednesday was the broody teen who wants to find joy in life through other and darker means.
Today, Christina showed us Wednesday Addams was just a character, and she is more radiant than her morbid counterpart. Christina has been a blonde for quite some time, moving into other roles with more comedic essence, and yet we still regard her as an emo queen, who we adore.
So we wrote Wednesday Addams is just a character and is nothing like the actress who plays her. That doesn't mean Wednesday didn't leave her mark on entire generations, both back then and now. As you can see for yourself, she has inspired these modern looks for Prada.
Wednesday was and remains an emo icon, and her view on the world inspired others to look at it the same. When a fictional character creates such a strong following after her, you know this is something else. It is immortality. It is Wednesday's legacy.
The Craft Of Being Emo
Fairuza Balk is an actress who kept us glued to the screen in each of her performances in films like The Craft, Master of Horror, and The Island of Dr. Moreau. It was her role in The Craft as Nancy, a teen who learns to use magic and becomes corrupt with power, that made us want to be like her.
Emo kids can relate to Nancy, having built up a lot of rage against the world and the people in it. Fairuza played her so well, it almost felt natural, and she cemented herself as emo queen, and we are her simple followers.
A Black Rose
Rose McGowen is a brilliant actress. Her impressive resumer includes Charmed, Grindhouse, Deathproof, The Black Dahlia, and more. Rose has occupied our hearts for nearly three decades, and we don't mind one bit. Rose is not only an icon but a hero and a champion for women.
These days, Rose is an activist for women's rights, a supporter of the MeToo movement, and has bravely shared her ordeal in the entertainment industry. We support, love, and appreciate this woman beyond anything else. She is a queen, and we bow to her.
Hair Down, Hair Up
We love seeing people change and grow. We think we have made it clear enough by now. This man went to a whole new style. He departed from the emo and angsty teen to a modern-day hipster. No more blonde dyed front, no more hair product to raise the hair in the back of his head, and no more cartoonish shirts for this guy.
The guy on the right is someone else, in our opinion. He looks a lot more updated to the times and has boatloads of style coming off from him. We can appreciate both men, and we do. We're just wondering how long this transformation took to reach this next stage.
Always In Style
This woman has proved she always has style. From the emo teen, she used to be, wearing black eyeliner and black and white striped shirt, and taking pictures from extreme heights, to a more toned down, but still a very fashionable individual. She knows what's up.
She did transform herself from head to toe. There's no doubt about it. Hey! She also learned to take pictures from a better angle. It is a lot more natural than before. She went from emo teen to sensible fashion queen. Two thumbs up from us!
From blood On The Dance Floor To Taylor Swift
This woman made a complete turnaround on her style! The emo teen she used to be disappeared and was replaced with this bubbly, smiling person who looks like she might be going to a Taylor Swift concert. The picture on the right looks like it was taken straight from her MySpace account.
While the picture on the left is giving us more Instagram vibes. People change, we know that it's a fact of life, and to get to one point, one needs to go through others before. Like here, she needed to be first an emo teen before becoming the young lady sitting on those steps.
Hair Makes All The Difference
This guy proved all you need sometimes is a good haircut. The emo teen on the left grown his bangs out and set to the side, and again, losing an eye in the process. Classic emo move. Next, we have the same guy, years later, after he got a haircut, and a great one we must add.
They look nothing alike! What a difference a hairstyle can do! From an angsty emo teen taking a picture in his mirror to this green-eyed prince charming. Can we add we love he kept the piercings? Something about lip piercings makes life better.
We love beards! We said it! Now that we got that out of our system, let's take a look at our last former emo teen. This guy used to be a more upbeat version of an emo teen (An oxymoron?), but the main ingredients are still there, the black dyed hair, plaid shirt, and how could he not, missing an eye due to the bangs.
We are happy to see not only, he got himself a pair of glasses, but he also grew a beard and virtually became someone else entirely. Emo culture will always have a place in our hearts, and you never know it might come back in style.