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Scenester is a slang term used to describe a person who deliberately attempts to fit into a specific cultural scene based around music, film, art, or another genre. Also referred to as a scene kid, a scenester is known for following the fashion trends, preferences, and attitudes of their peer group in the larger scene as a whole.
Like the punk movement of the 1980s, the scenester movement is also associated with a distinct fashion and overall look. However, unlike the punk counterculture, which used ripped clothing as a sign of political protest against capitalism, scenester fashion is generally considered to be a form of pastiche in comparison, lacking the purposeful statement of punk fashion. The American Apparel brand is a popular choice amongst many scenesters, as well as other 80s style clothing, such as black and white checkered or striped patterns and ironic t-shirts. In recent years, pop art makeup and hair has also become associated with the scenester crowd, mixing and matching bold colors such as electric blue, red, and purple.
Social networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook have aided scenesters in keeping updated on the scene and meeting other like-minded individuals. Social networking particularly assists the smaller, Indie scenes in promoting the latest music, art, and cultural events typically attended by a scenester.
One faction of the scenester movement is the straight-edge lifestyle, often adopted by a person who enjoys a specific cultural scene, but prefers to refrain from some of the practices which may accompany it such as drugs, alcohol, or promiscuous sex. A straight-edge scenester will sometimes self-identify with a belt or other article of clothing marked with an X or the number 24. The straight-edge movement and self-identification is thought to have originated with underage bands playing in venues that denied them access to alcohol, and consequently marked anyone under the legal drinking age with an X on the back of the hand. Today, there is sometimes tension or exclusion amongst scenesters and straight-edge scenesters, along with “wanna-be” scenesters who may not be familiar with the music or other genre associated with a particular scene, yet often attend its shows and events.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a scenester?
A scenester is an individual who is heavily involved in the social and fashion aspects of a particular music, art, or cultural scene. They are often seen as trendsetters within their communities and are known for their distinctive style and dedication to the latest trends and events. Scenesters are typically active participants in the nightlife and social events associated with their chosen scene.
How does one become recognized as a scenester?
Becoming recognized as a scenester usually involves immersing oneself in a specific subculture or scene, attending events regularly, and often contributing creatively or socially to that community. It's about establishing a presence and being seen at the right places, knowing the right people, and showcasing a unique style or perspective that resonates with the scene's values and aesthetics.
What impact do scenesters have on their communities?
Scenesters can have a significant impact on their communities by driving trends, influencing the popularity of music or art forms, and contributing to the economic vitality of local venues and events. Their engagement and promotion can help to sustain and grow cultural movements, attract attention to emerging artists, and create a sense of identity and belonging within the scene.
Can the term 'scenester' have negative connotations?
Yes, the term 'scenester' can sometimes carry negative connotations, suggesting a superficial engagement with the scene primarily for social status or to be seen as fashionable. Critics might accuse scenesters of being more interested in the image and social aspects rather than the genuine appreciation of the music, art, or culture they are part of.
How has the concept of the scenester evolved with the rise of social media?
With the rise of social media, the concept of the scenester has evolved to include a digital presence. Scenesters can now use platforms like Instagram or TikTok to showcase their involvement in a scene, share trends, and connect with a broader audience. This digital dimension has expanded the influence of scenesters, allowing them to reach global audiences and shape trends on a much larger scale than before.