‘Everything to live for’: school student Hannah Bond hanged herself not long after showing her father the cuts on her wrists as part of her ’emo initiation’
by ANDREW LEVY
A girl of 13 killed herself after becoming obsessed with a fashion which links death with glamour, an inquest heard.
Hannah Bond hanged herself from her bunk bed with a tie after becoming an ‘Emo’.
Emo fans wear dark clothes, practise self-harm and listen to “suicide cult” rock bands.
Two weeks before her death, she started following U.S. band My Chemical Romance.
One of their songs contains the lyrics: “Although you’re dead and gone, believe me your memory will go on.”
Hannah, described as a model pupil, had started cutting her wrists but told her father it was part of an initiation into the Emo fashion.
Coroner Roger Sykes said yesterday that Hannah’s death was “not glamorous, just simply a tragic loss of a young life”.
Hannah’s mother Heather told the inquest she had researched the trend since her daughter’s death.
“There are websites that show pink teddies hanging themselves,” she said.
“She called Emo a fashion and I thought it was normal.”
She added: “Hannah was a normal girl. She had loads of friends. She could be a bit moody but I thought it was just because she was a teenager.”
Hannah’s father Ray, a karate teacher, said: “Two weeks before, I saw the cuts. I asked her about them and she said it was an Emo initiation.
“She promised me she would never do it again.”
Hannah gave her name as Living Disaster on her page on social networking website Bebo.
The page is decorated with a picture of an Emo girl with bloody wrists after slashing herself.
Another picture shows a child’s exercise book scrawled with the words: “Dear Diary, today I give up. . .”
The inquest in Maidstone, Kent, heard Hannah had been with her boyfriend at a friend’s house on the evening of September 22 last year.
She had been angry when she was told she was not allowed to sleep over and when she got home in East Peckham she went straight to her room, saying: “I want to kill myself.”
The inquest was told Hannah had not used drugs or alcohol before her death but Vanessa Everett, her head teacher at Mascalls School, said self-harm had become commonplace among other Emo fans.
Recording a verdict of suicide, Mr Sykes said: “The Emo overtones concerning death and associating it with glamour I find very disturbing.”
•The Emo phenomenon began in the U.S. in the 1980s. It is a largely teenage trend and is characterised by depression, self-injury and suicide.
Followers wear tight jeans with studded belts and wristbands. Their hair is dyed black and worn in long fringes to obscure their faces.
Emo – from the word emotional – is a reference to the angst-filled lyrics and melancholy themes of the rock music central to the culture.
One of the foremost of these “suicide cult” bands is My Chemical Romance, from New Jersey.
Their first single, Welcome to the Black Parade, from the album The Black Parade, was released in 2006 and became a huge hit, going to number one in Britain.
The concept album follows the story of a character called The Patient, who dies of cancer.
The Black Parade is a nickname for the place where Emo fans believe they will go when they die.
Gerard Way, the lead singer of My Chemical Romance stated in an interview that “emo is a pile of shit”, and that his band was never emo. Panic at the Disco also stated in an interview with NME: “emo is bullshit.”
Fans of emo are criticized for purported displays of emotion common in the scene. Complaints pointed to the histrionic manner in which the emotions were expressed.
… its woman-induced misery has gone from being descriptive…to being prescriptive.” Regarding the position of women listening to emo, the contributor went on to note that the music had become “just another forum where women were locked in a stasis of outside observation, observing ourselves through the eyes of others.”
Critics of modern emo have argued that there is a tendency toward increasingly generic and homogenized style.
Emo music has been blamed for the suicide by hanging of Hannah Bond by both the coroner at the inquest into her death and her mother, Heather Bond, after it was claimed that emo music glamorized suicide and her apparent obsession with My Chemical Romance was said to be linked to her suicide. The inquest heard that she was part of an internet “emo” cult and her Bebo page contained an image of an ‘emo girl’ with bloody wrists.It was also revealed that she had discussed “the glamour of hanging” online and had explained to her parents that her self harming was an “emo initiation ceremony”. Heather Bond criticised emo fashion, saying: “There are ‘emo’ websites that show pink teddies hanging themselves.”
In Russia, a law has been presented at the Duma to regulate emo websites and forbid emo style at schools and government buildings, for fears of emo being a “dangerous teen trend” promoting anti-social behaviour, depression, social withdrawal and even suicide.
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