Hair is all-important: often dyed black and straightened, it is worn in a long fringe brushed to one side of the face. There is, though, growing concernthat there is a deeply unhealthyundertone to the emo movement.
Some time before her death, Hannah's parents, who live in Kent,noticed scarring on the inside of herwrists.
Levi insists that her mother isworrying unnecessarily."I think many of the concernsaround emos aren't true," she says."To me, emos skateboard a lot,dress in darker colours and listen toalternative rock music.
"It's also truethey probably think about feelingsmore than other people.
But asany parent will tell you,adolescent children can behighly irrational.
They are alsoeasily influenced and may be illequippedto deal with powerfulemotions that can be magnified by asense of "membership" to a sub-groupthat revels in self-pity.
It's just a music thing, they say, and anyonewho takes it further has somethinginherently wrong with them."If you listen to the lyrics, you willsee there is nothing that promotessuicide; and even if there was, noright-minded person would listen to itand think: 'Now I'm going to killmyself,' ' a self-confessed emo wrotelast week on a music website followingthe inquest into Hannah's death."I don't think anyone can say thatthere is a link between emo andsuicide — it's just a myth.
She has banned Levi from dyingher hair black, but is worried aboutclamping down further in case itcauses further rebellion.In both periods, there weremore than three times as manyadmissions of girls as of boys.Crucially, those who self-harm aremore likely to go on to attempt suicide.Why on earth did their daughter — a popular, intelligent and attractive girl — do such a thing?They could find only one clue: Hannah was what is known as an "emo".While there is a multitude of reasonsfor this epidemic (exam-related stressand bullying to name but two), it ishardly surprising that the emergenceof a sub-culture that appears toglamorise self-harm and even suicideis being regarded with alarm.Inevitably, criticisms of emo cultureare laughed off by those who considerthemselves to be at the heart of it.When they questioned herabout it, honest and open as ever, shetold them she'd inflicted the woundsherself and that it was part of an emo"initiation ceremony".Only after her death would they discoverhow she had secretly chattedonline to emo followers all over theworld, talking about death and of the"black parade" — a place where emosbelieve they go after they die.Some describe it as a cult or a sect, but in reality the term — derived fromthe word "emotional" — encapsulates a trend that is becoming hugely popularamong Britain's schoolchildren.A trans-Atlantic import, its followers dress in black, favouring tight jeans, T-shirts, studded belts and sneakers or skater shoes. American bands such as My Chemical Romance, Good Charlotte and Blink 182 are particular favourites. " On the surface, it all sounds typically teenage — angst-ridden,over-dramatic and tribal. No different, in fact, to the Goth subculturethat first emerged in Britainduring the early 1980s.