From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Pokemón is the name of a subculture among Chile's youth that surfaced in the mid-2000s[1][2] and began to decline in late 2009.[3] By 2012, it was considered extinct.[4] They were readily identifiable by their angular and pressed hairstyles,[5] reminiscent of characters from the Japanese media franchise Pokémon.[6][7] It was one of the largest and better known urban tribes in the country.[8]

Pokemones dressed similarly to other urban tribes, such as otaku and emo, but they were not followers of anime like the former, nor shared the musical tastes of the latter.[9] Apart from borrowing aspects from the emo, like the sideswept bangs, the Pokemones also shared some aspects typical to the punk and the local "hardcore" subculture. Pokemones were livelier, more extroverted than the emo and otaku stereotypes. Most Pokemones were teens. During parties they danced to reggaeton music, while kissing and groping with as many people (male or female) as they could, which they called poncear.[5] They made extensive use of the Internet, trading photos of themselves on image-sharing site Fotolog and communicating through MSN Messenger.[5][9]

Pokemones were usually from the Chilean middle and lower class. They were frequently juxtaposed against another group, the so-called peloláis, well-to-do girls with long, straight, fairer hair from private, Catholic schools.[10]

In January 2008, Internet messages surfaced urging violence against Pokemones (mainly because of borrowing aspects from other subcultures, such as emo hair, hip-hop clothes, and for using the c-walk).[citation needed] People belonging to the subculture increasingly began to be attacked outside discos and pubs.[11] In response, a joint anti-violence campaign called "Foundation for a Better Future" was organized by the Chilean government and Santiago's main student leaders.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ashley Steinberg (2008-03-18). "Rebels Without Cause". Newsweek Web Exclusive.
  2. ^ "Pokemones Are Not Oral Sexy Obsessed, Just Kissing Crazy". Kotaku. 2008-03-20.
  3. ^ "El efímero mundo de las tribus urbanas: Ya casi no quedan "pokemones". Ahora debutaron en escena los polémicos "eroguros"". Cambio 21 (in Spanish). 2010-07-04.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Yo fui pokemón" [I was a pokemón]. El Mercurio, Revista Sábado (in Spanish). 2012-11-10.
  5. ^ a b c Alexei Barrionuevo (2008-09-12). "In Tangle of Young Lips, a Sex Rebellion in Chile". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Pokemon style gets popular in Chile". China Daily. 2008-01-18.
  7. ^ Pokemones vuelven a clases, a video report by TVN on their official YouTube channel. (in Spanish)
  8. ^ a b "Campaña busca evitar odio contra pokemones". Metro International (Santiago) (in Spanish). 2008-01-31.
  9. ^ a b "Las tribus urbanas de Santiago de Chile". El Nuevo Diario (in Spanish). 2007-11-11.
  10. ^ "Pokemones y pelolais, nuevo furor entre jóvenes chilenos". Reuters (in Spanish). 2008-01-17. Archived from the original on 2008-08-26.
  11. ^ "Imputado por asesinato de joven en Providencia fue declarado culpable". Radio Cooperativa (in Spanish). 2009-05-16.[failed verification]

Further reading[edit]