Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Emo and Skater

rock-bandEmo vs Skater

Emo refers to a genre of rock music that is closely related to punk. While both emo and skater have their roots in punk music, the terms emo and skater more closely describe a particular type of fashion and lifestyle that mimics skaters, punk (rock) musicians and emotionally unstable teenagers.


The distinguishing feature of emo music is the acoustic guitar. Only melodies will feature some electric guitar riffs, with minimal distortion, instead of hard-lining power chords. It’s not your hard core, heavy metal rock. Emo music represents emotions (emo – short for emotional).

Lyrics with strong emotions and feelings are characteristic of emo rock music. Vocals are more ‘whiny’, with the lyrics focusing on ‘love gone bad’, rude or mean parents, wanting to break free and other teenage issues of angst. Emo music mostly appeals to teenagers.
This type of ’emo’ music has been blamed for some of the bizarre acts of ’emo teenagers’, for instance, watching blood flow from self-inflicted cuts on the wrists or hands is one of the most recognizable scenes in the ’emo’ world (self-harming). Another is a scene of ‘hot emo girls’ or ‘hot emo guys’ kissing. Also, emo teenagers are often feared to have suicidal tendencies.

On the other hand, skater rock is very close to your classic punk, featuring heavy electric guitar chords with a lot of drums. The lyrics here express more disgruntlement towards ‘establishments’, rather than anger for parents.

Fashion and style
Whereas emo may describe a genre of rock music, it is regarded as a way of self-expression through a style of clothes, shoes and hair.
Long hair at the front with spiky hair at the back is considered an emotional (emo) look, finished with ’emo fringes’ eyeliners. Their generic colors are considered to be black and red, with skinny jeans, band t-shirts and converse shoes. This, they feel, is a way that shows someone’s feelings without saying it in words. However, it is important to note that not every person dressing in this way is emo.

Skaters like a more casual look, wearing loose tops, baggies and cargo pants with converse or skater shoes. However, skater style has evolved into two separate distinct styles, the loose fit and the tight fit skater styles. The typical skater style is the loose fit, comprising of big t-shirts and baggy pants (relaxed look). The tight fit style comprises of tight jeans with fitting tops. This also has a comfort aspect to it, and thus it has seen a number of people following the trend.

Emo is associated with emotional rockers, while skater is associated with skate-boarders.
Music wise, emo is more for teenagers’ angst against their parents, while skater is anti-establishment.
Typical emo style is skinny jeans and band t-shirts with the generic colors of red and black, while typical skater style is casual, with loose fitting clothes and skater shoes.

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1 Comment

  1. Sorry but this is just blatantly biased. As the fans of emo have matured, the tastes have shifted back to the 90s Midwest sound, leading to bands with influences like Cap’n Jazz and Sunny Day Real Estate. These newer bands tend to have less teenage-angst lyrical content, a focus on mostly clean electric guitar tones during verses and heavier distorted tones during choruses. There is also a prominent math rock influence these days, leading to unique riffs in odd time signatures.

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