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, punk, 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.
Hot pants, swoop-back bangs and heavy makeup 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 networks 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 makeup 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 shows 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.
Rising stars in scene models and scene kids in general, as well as the scene queen elite, can be found predominantly on the following social networking and blogging sites:
- Polyvore (clothing)
Famous Scene Queens
- Audrey Kitching
- Kiki Kannibal
- Dakota Rose
- Hannah Beth
- Dani Gore
- Brittany Kramer
- Zui Suicide
- Jac Vanek
- Jeffree Star
- Racquel Reed
- Miss Mosh
- Jenn Curbstomp
Being a “famous scene queen” is characteristic by the number of views you have on video sites like YouTube and how many friends you have on social media like MySpace and Bebo.
Often, models choose a name fashioned from the internet surveys from early years of social networking that gave you a “punk rock” or “emo” name, which was usually a random conglomeration of a normal first name and a fashioned last name. The last name was commonly full of emotion, such as angst or sickness.
Scene queens represent a rising interest in alternative modeling, models who do not fit the body style, hair and makeup trends, facial features or even plastic surgery common with mainstream models. We will see more internet models become mainstream as the fashion industry and related industries start picking up on this social and consumer interest. For now, these models, boasting the fan base of thousands of random internet users, look ahead to what could be a bright future.
(1) London Evening Standard: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/lifestyle/article-23796498-crazy-for-cute-the-latest-teenage-craze.do
(2) Associated Content: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2051161/hottest_scene_hair_coontails.html?cat=69
(3) Google, Inc.