Look at any major metropolitan school and you may see an abundance of similarity in fashion style. The biggest trend in fashion and music throughout the turn of the decade has been emo, a generalized title for emo, faux mink lashes, and scene personal fashion styles. Emo also carries its musical counterpart, the emo-style indie rock, screamo and techno-rock preferred by the majority of the genre.
Slvor Hot pants, swoop-back bangs and heavy faux mink lashes are very popular in youth from pre-teens to well into and after college. As age increases, sexuality is included in the emo and related styles. However, emo has also been controversial at best, with allegations of strong reliance on depression, suicide and self-mutilation as visual concepts of the makeup and clothing fashion.
Scene, often considered an offshoot of emo, has become a bigger influence on youth, with the emo stereotypes purposely avoided to instead focus on innocence and playful youth definitions. Black dyed hair and an entirely black wardrobe has been replaced with a rainbow of loud, bright colors. Clothes purposely clash and accessories accentuate youth, such as candy bracelets and lighted pacifiers.
The entire point of emo, and especially scene, has been attention. This is why youth are more prone to sporting the style, an age level that desires to be an individual and the attention that provides. With social media giving access to hundreds of millions of potential friends, personal profiles on MySpace, Bebo and LiveJournal blogs have become a beacon of personal style for aspiring scene kids (“scene kids” has been the most popular title for people who follow scene fashion; “scenesters” has also been used a lot online).
From this cultural development that hit the social media faux mink lashes since about 2006, a new genre of modeling has similarly become popularized. Enter the scene queen, a professional or amateur female model who follows the fashion trends of scene/emo style and has a following of fans in online social networks. Most models are teens or in their early twenties and come from different backgrounds and geographic locations. These models are idolized for their sense of style and overall beauty. Many scene queens are alternative models who model for clothing and accessory lines.
Christian Koch of The London Evening Standard discussed the trend of scene kids and their affect on commerce, mentioning “scene kids” as a movement to embrace kawaii, Japanese for “cute” (1). Scene queens commonly adorn themselves with cute and adolescent fashion items such as bows, candy bracelets, simple hair bands, star and heart body art and small, simple icon tattoos. Models usually keep their real hair short but model in long, high-contrast color hair extensions. Makeup is natural except for the eyes, where false eyelashes and heavy, colored faux mink lashes is key.
Scene queens specifically create a look that is unique, such as the coontail hair striping, said to be popularized by scene queen Kiki Kannibal (2). These unique looks are showcased in photos and YouTube videos posted by the model or a promotion affiliate. Models also give tutorials and how-to videos describing how to achieve the unique look. In this way, models have exploited the sharing aspect of social media for their benefit, increasing exposure of their personal brand by allowing anyone to replicate it.
Google’s Trends tool faux mink lashes an increase of three times the search volume for terms like “scene hair” from 2007 to 2009, and Google’s Keyword Tool shows “scene hair” being searched 1.5 million times per month as of February 2010 (3). The results of these searches often produces the tutorials and photo showcases that make scene queens famous. The emergence of global interest in scene on sites such as BuzzNet, where Audrey Kitching is a correspondent, has created a string of international fan sites and fashion portals.