Emo and Scene: What’s the Difference?

Emo and Scene: What’s the Difference?

By Hanh Nguyen


Lately the Internet has been buzzing with images of those in an up-and-coming subculture- “Scene.” Set apart by their dyed hair, extreme eyeliner, and typically pale skin, Scene kids are often considered “cringe-worthy” by the general public, and typically invoke thoughts of another it prominent subculture: “Emo.” Emos can also be identified by their dyed hair, extreme eyeliner, and pale skin. After years of exposure and careful observation of these easily mistaken subcultures, I have now developed the ability to identify the subtle distinctions between the two. Now, I am making these statements through my observations of the two subcultures, and there may be some overlaps between them due to their similarity. These are just based off of my observations as an outsider of the subcultures.

Emo people exclusively wear black. If ever found donning color, it will only be  a color associated with their band t-shirt. The wardrobe of a Scene kid isn’t as restricted, though they tend to wear t-shirts with “corny” and “cute” illustrations, such as a cartoon dinosaur with the words “Rawr means I love you in dinosaur.” Also, Emo people tend to keep their hair flat, with the most volume being slightly tousled hair. Scene kids value volume, and will use their flat irons to create a poof, with girls having the first layer of hair stick out from the rest of their hair, and guys having a mix of a Bieber bowl and surfer hair. The best analogy to compare Emo people and Scene kids is that Emo people are mature adults and Scene kids are cute kids. In other words, Scene kids are just a more cutesy, bubbly form of Emo people.

We may make fun of these subcultures, but we should give these devout followers some credit for their hard work. I heard that a scene kid said they had to wake up early in the morning to do their hair for two hours. Then, there’s the money and time taken to dye their hair into unnatural colors. Also, they have to constantly make sure they aren’t in the sun too much to maintain the pale skin. These people just take in so much time to have an aesthetic, and its awe-inspiring how dedicated they are to appear what they find perfect.


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