Cringy Things I Wore in Middle School

Middle school me was a whirlpool of emotions, hormones, insecurities, and emo fashion. I wanted to be that kid with the thick eyeliner, big, messy, black hair, and lip piercings galore. Looking back on the fashion I idolized, I’m thankful I wasn’t bold enough to ask my mom for anything that cost actual money. I would have been an internet meme before the age of 16 if I would’ve had my way as a young teen. At the time, however, I really thought the early 2000’s scene was the epitome of fashion. I did my best to follow the trends on a budget as I walked the halls of my junior high in all black and High Top Sneakers.

Fingerless Gloves

These were my most common accessory back in middle school. To this very day, my roommate, who wasn’t even friends with me at the time, brings up the fingerless gloves to new people we meet. Truthfully, I never actually stopped wearing these, but I did stop wearing them inside as part of my outfit. That’s right, I was the kid in middle school who wore fingerless gloves, sometimes elbow length, too, inside the building and regardless of the weather. I would waltz right into school with my black jacket, black shirt, and warm gloves. They only came off for P.E. And I had quite the collection, too: long, short, black, Nightmare Before Christmas themed, neon fishnet.

Fake Feathers

I know I was not the only one to do this - at least not in my little midwestern town - but I did clip brightly colored feathers into my hair. I did not do this everyday, but it made it into my outfit pretty often. I mostly did this because I did not think I could ask my mother for the whole emo kid hairdo. The feathers, along with  some sick razor cut side bangs, were a compromise for me. I wanted to go the whole ten yards, but the feather was outlandish enough to satisfy my need to be different.


So when my gloves did take a break and stay home, I would pull out my edgiest bracelets. I had the standard jelly bracelets that originated in the 90s as well as some sushi-themed silly bands, but I also had a few bracelets that would place into rotation these. My absolute favorite was the plastic stud bracelet I owned. It was technically against dress code, as all studs were, which is exactly why I loved it so much. It was still breaking the rules even if that particular rule was never enforced. Aside from the studded bracelet, I had one made of seven different chains, each with their own neon bright color. This one I loved almost as much as the studded one. Personally, I wanted the chains to be metallic, but the emotional symbolism of the chains that both the bracelet and school put on me were to good for my little emo heart to pass up on.

These weren’t the only embarssingly emo things I did in middle school, but they are some of the first things I bring up when I tell people about how I used to be. In the recent past, I would avoid the subject of who I used to be. However, I have a lot about embracing who I am by embracing who I once was as well as being vulnerable during my first two years of college. Some of the best conversations and jokes have sprung out of my emo past. When I tell people about all the cringy things I used to do I allow them to know me beyond what they see right now. Besides, I may not dress the same as I used to, but I can’t say I don’t listen to that old music still that that emo mindset doesn’t still shape my taste today.


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