Something to scare mommy bloggers

Say what you will about young people these days, but you have to give them credit for style.

In decades past teenagers tended to all look alike. There were usually two groups: the good students/jocks; and the rebels. Each group had a dress code, a hairstyle code and an accessory code and most kids stayed pretty much within those boundaries.  

Today, teenagers seem to be so much more creative and individualistic in their styles – or maybe it’s because they have so many more options than kids in the past. So much more music (which usually defines hair and clothing styles) and so much more stuff in general. Look at all the products and hardware that are available just for hair.

Of course, teenagers still work within some form of boundary, but there seems to be a lot more leeway for personal expression. My daughter and some of her friends are into a style called, Scene.

 Scene apparently evolved from emo.  Emo is kind of dark, self-destructive and depressing, but shouldn’t be confused with goth, which I think spawned emo, and is also dark and depressing. Anyway,  a lot of parents freak out when their kids start going goth or emo. And I can understand that.

Some parents also freak out when their kids go Scene. And I’ve heard negative things about it — mainly that Scene kids get all superior and uppity and super-self absorbed.  But that mainly just sounds like teenagehood to me and all in all, I think they look kind of cute.

I don’t really see the connection to the whole goth/emo thing because Scene is bright (very), positive, and cheerful. So, really it’s kind of anti-emo in my books, but then maybe I’m not completely hep to the Scene scene.

What I do know is that in general, Scene kids are into indie and retro music: 80’s new wave or classic rock, but there aren’t any hard and fast rules about that.  They’re very arty – into photography (love to take pictures of themselves and paste them all over Facebook or MySpace), creative writing, visual arts.  They love tattoos and piercings (no, my daughter will not be having either). And they often have a passion for animal rights and other tree-huggy stuff.

Superficially they have, choppy haircuts often dyed black or with colored stripes. They use lots of bright make-up — pinks, purples, blues and thick black eyeliner.  They wear tight, skinny pants/leggings and very bright colors, band or kids t-shirts (also very tight). Lots of bright, colourful accessories – bows, beads, belts, big, big sunglasses.

Bonus:  Though  there are mall boutiques that sell some of this stuff, a lot of the best Scene gear can be found in thrift and vintage shops.

Drawback: Scene kids spend a LOT of time on Facebook.

Bonus: I’ll have one hilarious photo album to embarass her with for the rest of her life once she grows out of this.

 Here are some photos of Scenesters. Some I pilfered from the internet and some are of my daughter.  I didn’t want  her to be too identifiable, so the selection was limited.




26 responses to “Something to scare mommy bloggers

  1. “…scene is bright, positive and cheerful”. But not in a smiling kind of way?

    And the Amy Winehouse hairstyles?

    Thanks for the style update. Love the patterned tights!!

  2. Violetsky – They smile in real life, but feel compelled to be pouty in photos for some reason. I guess pouty passes for cool or sexy for teenagers. Don’t they make you laugh, though?

  3. I think they’re a hoot. That’s the good thing about being young and beautiful. No matter what you put on, it looks great! I was talking with a friend last night about the teen years, and how they are the transition years from childhood to womanhood, and it’s fun to experiment with all sorts of bizarre things. In the 1950s it was zoot suits and that was pretty extreme. Then came hippies and then the 80s… There’s always something.

    I think these girls look cute. A little bit scary, but cute. 🙂

  4. They are quite cute. Thanks for keeping me updated, I jsut found out about emo a couple of months ago.

    Comes from not having kids I guess.

  5. I think it’s great that kids now have the opportunity to express themselves like that. I was one of “the weird girls” in high school (in the early 90s) and was lucky enough to have parents who encouraged self-expression and taught me to never compromise who I am. Throughout my teenage years (and into my twenties) they never said anything negative about my ever-changing hair colour and horrendous outfits, and even defended me to more conservative family members. The only thing I my mum asked is that I not get any tattoos and I abided by that.

  6. Here, via Jazz.

    I had my high school aged son look at those – he said there were lots of kids at his school like that and added, “That’s just emo.” Maybe it varies by region what that’s called?

    He also insists that he doesn’t have a style, although he says the closest thing is grunge but that would be an exaggeration. He does wear pants long enough to get frayed at the ends, longish hair (was to his mid-back but he had to cut it for marching band), and converse hightops even with shorts.

  7. Jo – Ya, if you saw them in real life they wouldn’t be the least bit scary.

    Jazz – One must keep up with the young folk — they’ll be in charge of the world when we’re old and feeble. And, thanks for the award — it means a lot, it really does.

    Kerri – good for you. I’ve put my foot down on tattoos, as well. I’m also holding off on the piercings, though it hasn’t really become an issue yet.

    Citizen of the world – I believe it does vary by region and they are very similar to emo, but the attitude is different. Scene kids love to have fun and laugh and don’t cut themselves or talk about suicide.

  8. Violetsky – Oh come on! Maybe the fashions were a bit dismal (bell bottom Levis & Indian cotton shirts & Buffalo sandals), BUT — the 70s had the BEST music, no pressure to excel in school so you could get one of a very frew cherished University places, pure organic ganga and almost risk-free sex. The 70s were absolutely the best time ever to be a teenager in my books.

  9. XUP, I’m really grateful to you for this posting. I’ve been seeing these girls around and wondered what the name was for the look they are wearing and whichever lifestyle it is associated with.

    Do the Scenesters have any favourite musical artists?

  10. Rachel would *so* fit in with this group. Today’s outfit heading for daycare: fuschia T shirt with cute panda bear decal, swirly pink and orange stretchy capri pants, silver plastic tiara, dangly plastic Little Mermaid ear-rings, Hello Kitty purse.

    Her musical preferences this week happen to be Alvin and the Chipmunks, Madonna and Kiss. Not sure if any of those would qualify.

  11. David – Their music is all over the board with the exception of the whole rap/hip-hop thing (also no country). My daughter’s iPod features everything from Beatles, Bowie, Zepplin to Simple Plan, James Blunt, Coldplay, Jeffree Star, Medic, Droid, Hedley to show tunes. They seem to like a lot of the classic rock stuff as well as anything new/obscure/local.

    Alison – Oh ya – the tiara is a big thing as is Hello Kitty. T-shirt & pants – totally. She has to have the hair & make up, too though. Those are key!! And, Kiss? really?

  12. Really. You haven’t heard Kiss til you’ve heard a five-year-old belt out “I was made for loving you baby”. Truly, you haven’t. She’s a bit young for the makeup though.

  13. Pingback: Best Before: 40/ « XUP

  14. Maybe this is just the old jewish lady deep deep within me, but am I the only one that wants to smack them senseless…

    …although props to princess #3 in the first pic for the leopard print tights.

    This is coming from a former ‘freak’ …at least that’s what we were called in high school back in the 80’s (the pre-cursor to the whole glam / goth movement)

    I’m all for the self expression but now it’s not even that. It’s all cookie cutter and you have whole chains of stores that pander to each and every clique and sub-set of teenage life. Where’s the individuality? Where’s the jealousy over a piece of clothing only you and you alone owned? (because it was from 2 decades ago and any duplicates long lost) Where’s the challenge? When I started dressing ‘that way’ my parents stopped buying my clothes… they said if I wanted to look like that I was free to… but with my own money… and that’s what my friends parents were like to. I think we actually caused a surge in the coffers of the Sally-ann and similar 2nd hand clothing stores…

    Doesn’t it seem they are all practically wearing the same thing??? Personally I hate it when I see someone that wears what I am wearing, or not even wearing but at least own. At 39 I still try to find things that no one else has… that in part is one of the reasons I love leopard print so much… it’s also why I get a lot of clothes from eBay (yea I should seek therapy, I know) In all the years I’ve been leoparding up, I’ve never come across one guy that had the same shirt, pants, coat etc… a few old jewish ladies in the metro maybe, but then that in itself is a hoot. Nothing like sitting next to a leopard clad grande dame in the metro and jockeying for who has the tackiest animal print on… I don’t always win, but the expression on their faces are totally worth it.

    Ok so maybe I’m being too hard on the kids. besides it’s just a phase… everything we wear, always, is just a phase (sometimes the phase is longer than others, but it’s just a phase) I just wish I saw more individual originality…

  15. Kitty – The problem is that anything unique or new teenagers get into is immediately seized upon by the clothing industry. They have thousands of scouts out there sniffing around young people to find possible hot new trends. Once they see something interesting they mass produce it and soon everyone is wearing it. That’s what happened with punk and goth and scene and everything in between. My daughter and her friends are always desparately trying to find things no one else has. They practically live in thrift shops. Yes, they also visit the boutiques that mass produce this stuff, but they’re happiest when they find something really unique. And yes, I truly hope this is a phase that will be over probably by next year at this time. And that’s when I can start hauling out the photos and saying, “remember when you looked like this? Ha ha ha”

  16. perhaps the first 10 kids who dressed this way were different and unique, but now they all look the same. goth is completely different than emo.

    one could also say they are copying the street fashions from Tokyo japan. i give props to people who express their individuality, but not to those just following the crowd.

  17. Christina – Meh, they’re teenagers…whaddya gonna do. In fact, now as I write this (Oct 2008) my daughter is already totally over this style and is dressing completely differently

  18. heeeey.
    to be honest i find this all pretty funny.
    Its just stereotypical that ’emos’ cut themselves and talk about suicide,they really do not.
    Im 15 and scene.
    but dont call myself scene.
    I listen to hardcore/rock music.

    I get alot of greif about how i dress,just because its different.
    and it all is a bit of a phase.
    Im starting to grow out of it and so are my friends.

  19. Katey – Thanks! I know most of it is pretty harmless. My daughter’s already grown out of her “scene” phase. It was fun to see all the creative outfits, though.

  20. lawl. i was looking for clothing stores and i came across this website about trying to figure us out!

    and well u guys were discussing music? all wrong.. soz..

    mainly now, either techno, or screamo, or sum sort of mixture of both. a good screamo band that i lovE is Bring Me The Horizon.. theyre lead screaamer is cuteso =o and a good techno band to me is cosmic gate. a mixture of the two (all time PERFCTION) is BREATHE CAROLINA…

    and if a scene kid admits that theyre scene, they will be called a poser by their fellow scenesters. the only reason im saying all of this is because u guys are old and u dont care probably………………………………………………………….