The Rawring ’20s on TikTok
By Alexis Zygan, Staff Writer
Y2K Fashion is making a comeback with low-waisted jeans, bedazzled t-shirts, and velour tracksuits. One of the aesthetics popularized during the Y2K era was scene fashion. This subculture primarily existed within the confines of Myspace and Hot Topic—back when the exterior resembled an after-hours sex dungeon. In 2020, the alt community on Twitter was trying to get scene fashion to make a comeback during the “Rawring ’20s.” A reference to the popular “rawr means I love youin dinosaur” graphic t-shirt that many scene kids still have in their wardrobe.
The scene kid’s attitude was similar to the emos but with a happy twist. However, the emo aficionados accused the scene subculture of stealing their style. The significant difference between emo and scene was the iconic haircut. Eighteen Visions bassist Javier Van Huss is credited with the invention of the hairstyle according to Wikipedia. Teenagers would razor cut their hair to create choppy textured layers, swooping side bangs, and dye strands neon colours, add coontail extensions and hair accessories such as clips, tiaras, and bows. Bands associated with the scene subculture were Bring Me the Horizon, Pierce the Veil, and Metro Station, all of whose members had changed their style to embrace modern alternative trends when Myspace died (as did their coontail extensions).
Writing this segment on scene fashion on TikTok instilled a sense of nostalgia in me. As a preteen, I teased my hair to achieve the texture needed for the hairstyle and desperately wanted to dye my hair neon pink but accepted the alternative of neon pink skinny jeans from Urban Planet. We were part of a generation of kids who popped out the lenses from 3D glasses to add a nerdy flair to their outfits and wore raccoon eye makeup with heavy eyeliner to hide the eye bags from staying up all night listening to A Day to Remember music videos and scrolling Myspace. Nostalgia is a trickster that convinces us the past was a better time for us. But maybe we should leave skinny jeans in all colours of the rainbow in the past.
Scene kids were the precursor to e-girls, with their textured brightly coloured hair, handmade Kandi bracelets, and fishnet fingerless gloves. Neon was all the rage. Rave kids took inspiration from the scene subculture, creating Kandi for their PLUR (peace, love, unity, and respect) Kandi trading ritual.
On TikTok, millennials are nostalgically recreating the looks they once wore during their scene era. Some of whom continue to refer to themselves as scene queens to this day. For those who want to relive our emo phase, physically—not emotionally—there is #scenefashion TikTok with visuals where people dress up as they did during their scene phase. Current scene queen @acidmilk666 has a TikTok video series with a step-by-step guide on transforming into a scene kid. She makes a DIY rainbow tutu out of tulle and, in another, a rainbow-studded bracelet. A scene queen outfit is not complete without a tiara or bow. She has a tutorial where she makes a Kandi tiara out of plastic beads and even shares her recommendations on where to buy scene clothes for people less craft-inclined.
TikTok user and self-described “emol-lenial” @smolpuppz dives into scene fashion and history on her TikTok. In addition to a video with updated scene looks. @smolpuppz also points out that any outfit is scene, as the main component of the look is the hair and makeup. The drink of choice for scene kids was Monster Energy. They saved the tabs to wear as necklaces, often with multiple tabs on one. @smolpuppzs mentions this in her scene kids accessory part three TikTok video. @theemochronicles on TikTok share an archive of scene-kid history from scene music to updates on where scene celebrities are now.
Unfortunately, for those wanting to revive scene culture into the mainstream, the Rawring ’20s change.org petition only received 400 signatures at the time of writing this article. The scene subculture died out alongside Jeffree Star’s music career. However, there will continue to be people who keep the subculture alive on TikTok sporting the hairstyle and knee-high converse with multi-colour leopard-print laces.
Next week we will be discussing the aftermath of scene queens and emo chicks: e-girls. A label used to degrade teenagers and young adults for being sluts reclaimed through internet culture. For the Gen Z scene queens unwilling to spend an hour styling and teasing their hair and buying a new bottle of hairspray each week.