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     And Other
 Lifestyle Choices
Awareness Program
By: Arlette Ngoubene, Karen Hansen, Marc
    St. Laurent, & Rosemary Waterman
             Lehigh University
The following presentation will
• explore the EMO lifestyle.
• present an awareness/intervention
  program that addresses the middle school
• promote the positive creative elements of
  EMO and increase awareness of potential
  risks while developing healthy life styles.
             EMO History
• Emo is short for Emotional and comes from a
  genre of music known as emotional punk
• First band was Rites of Spring, in Washington
  DC. 1984
• By mid 1990’s Emo movement became
  commercialized,mainstream, and well known
  through MTV
• 1998 article in Teen People dubbed Emo the
  hip new fashion
EMO Profile

Fashion is critical
   Emo old style — traditionally a quasi-punk look of dark
   clothes, piercings, and dyed hair
   Emo now- the indie fashion of thrift-store clothing, small t-
   shirts with random prints, horn-rimmed nerd glasses, and
   Converse sneakers.
   Hair cuts that typically cover one eye
               EMO Profile
• Music is ‘emotional punk’ also called punk
  music on estrogen (urbandictionary.com)
  – Sunny Day Real Estate and their hit album Diary
    (this is THE album)

• Characterized by teenage angst- feelings of
  despair, dark hearts, melancholy, depression

• Emo kids write poetry that expresses their
  despair and strong negative emotions

• Emo could be considered a cyber teenage cult
           Emo Gone Wrong
• Cutting
• Suicidal thoughts
• Requirement of being thin- since you are too sad to
• Self harming behavior encouraged as a means of
  building status within the group- a competition to self-
  harm through teen websites
• Quizzes to discover how EMO you are- higher points
  for attempts at suicide and scars from cutting
• Secret and encourages recruiting members
Emo-ism: if we didn’t have enough
         to worry about
• Because of the emotional and
  androgynous component to emo kids
  there is a backlash
• Emo bashing is rampant on the internet-
  particularly for males
• Album out called Fuckemos
• Considered effeminate, lacking in virility
  and gays- emo fags
                 Want more?

• http://www.peak.sfu.ca/the-peak/2006-1/issue8/fe-
• http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/ne
• http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/Spring03/Seawell/fashion
• http://www.coolnurse.com/self-injury.htm
• http://www.mrcranky.com/movies/constantine/89.html
EMO news clip
• The How Emo Are You
 Quiz based on The Emo
To educate and encourage healthy choices by empowering students,
teachers and parents with information and strategies regarding
unhealthy practices of some in the EMO community such as self-harm.

•Talking about something removes its mystery.
•Knowledge is a powerful weapon against poor decisions.
•Teens want to look and feel good.
•Young people need to learn the vocabulary and healthy ways to
express their emotions and to deal with others and to get what they
want without succumbing to peer pressure.
•Healthy relationships with adults in a child’s life are good models for
healthy relationships with others.
•Membership in a group provides the opportunities for a sense of
belonging some students need and therefore won’t look for elsewhere.
      Theoretical Orientation
• Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems
  Theory: children’s development occurs
  within the context of an environmental
1. Educate teachers and provide a middle
   school advisory curriculum to heighten
   student EMO awareness and teach healthy
   life choices. (primary prevention)
2. Hold a parent café, teaching parents about
   EMO and related unhealthy behaviors.
   (secondary prevention)
3. Develop an after school club for all students
   while specifically targeting students
   presenting “at-risk behaviors”. (tertiary
• To develop awareness and understanding
  about EMO, therefore, removing some of
  its mysterious allure and reducing the
  misconceptions about it.
• To develop confidence and skills in order
  to make good decisions without
  succumbing to negative peer pressure.
• To make healthy lifestyle choices.
          SCHOOL GOALS
• Bring EMO to the surface for the entire
  middle school community.
• Provide a means for teachers to identify
  kids at risk.
• Provide teachers with the tools to talk to
• Following teacher training to implement the
  advisory program, the whole school will follow
  the program simultaneously.
• Utilization of the Advisory Program.
• These lessons will allow teachers to identify
  students with risky beliefs and behaviors for
• Counselor will be available as an advisor to
  teachers as needed.
• Fear of isolating/alienating fringe groups.
• Advisory classes are composed of a
  maximum of 12 students with a consistent
• Establish confidentiality pacts before the
  first lesson.
• All participation is valuable. Establish rules
  for respecting divergent opinions.
• Follow-up on unanswered questions and
  unfinished dialogues.
Students who complete these 5 weeks will…
• have knowledge of EMO.
• have new strategies for dealing with
  uncomfortable situations.
• have scripts to use with teachers and peers to
  help them deal with difficult topics effectively.
• have some understanding of eating disorders
  and healthy living.
• have some knowledge of suicide, self-harm, and
  how to deal with them.
                LESSON HIGHLIGHTS
Lesson 1: Introduction to EMO
•    Brainstorming- what do we know about EMO?
•    What do we want to know about EMO?
•    Discussion of belonging to a group- is it important?
Lesson 2: Peer Pressure
•    Definition
•    Positive and negative examples
•    Coping with negative pressures via strategies and role plays
Lesson 3: Express Yourself
•    Celebration of music and creative arts
•    Explore how the different the type of music affects our emotions through poetry and drawing
•    Discuss how musical and other artistic endeavors are personal taste- is there good or bad art?
Lesson 4: Suicide/Self-harm
•    Definitions/warnings and critical signs
•    Safety plan discussion
•    How to reach out!
•    Referral resources
•    On-line goodies and support (that are moderated and pre-approved)
Lesson 5: Healthy Living
•    Discuss behaviors that promote and degrade personal health
•    Discuss a variety of guidelines for healthful living
•    Prepare guidelines for personal health and well-being
•    Define eating disorders and their effects
• Healthy Living Lesson.doc
• Purpose: To provide support/social group
  for the students who are self-harming,
  susceptible to this, or other interested
• Objectives:
  – Discussions related to themes explored
    during advisory class
  – Organize events of interest for the entire
    student body Examples: poetry night, battle of
    the bands/music appreciation, fashion show

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