In America, we have seen many counter cultures. A new alternative group called E-kids seems to be expanding in numbers thanks to a social networking app called TikTok. Growing up on a diet of politics and anger, most alternative cultures seem to follow three simple rules: they must follow a specific music type; they must also have a strong political opinion; and they must dress the part. So how well do E-kids kids conform to the definition?
Before we dive into E-kids, let’s compare it with other alternative cultures through the years.
We know them; we love to dress up as them for spirit days; and we absolutely would not be here without them. The hippies followed a simple life: being chill and giving back to the earth as well as being anti-war during the Cold War. Hippies seemed to dress in light flowy clothes decorated with flowers and patterns . Their music tended to have themes to match their lifestyle. Themes of love and hope for the future as well as new sounds and exploitation. With bands like The Beatles and The Zombies, many still remember them fondly.
You may recognize this style from the movies and television shows. While the media has shown them as violent people with ideas of delinquency, this is not entirely fair. Punk’s fashion is often characterized by Mowhawks, dyed hair, jackets, and spikes on clothing along with platform shoes or Doc Martens. Much like their hard core dress style, Punk’s music style tends to be loud and excitable with bands like Green Day and Black flag. Another characteristic of Punk culture is an anti-government stance and a drive for individual freedoms. They even create their own clothing to avoid buying from “sellouts” who support the very system they fight against.
Emo skyrocketed with the internet. With black hair and black outfits to match, emos tended to be dressed up in depressing or dark clothing. With razor blades as necklaces and bullets as earrings, Emos are a well known alternative culture. While sometimes Emo’s have colorful hair, it is more likely to see an emo with black hair. Their music being reflective of their “depressing” look included My Chemical Romance, Twenty one Pilots, and Pierce of the Vail. Emos came to be with a single important issue: opening a discussion of mental health, specifically depression, to the public.
Scene kids are one of the new groups.They are known for their unique typing styles (rwar XD) and major influence on the internet. They were part of early 2000’s Myspace culture, but have recently resurfaced into what they call the “rwaring 20’s.” Their musical tastes often consisted of EDM and Vocaloid like S3RL and Hatsune Miku. Much like their emo counterparts, Scene kids love big hair, but unlike Emos, their style is colorful and fun showing they are not afraid to be themselves and express themselves through their fashion. Scene kids often appear with big bright fluffy hair backcombed, then straightened, and dyed colorfully. They also wore kandi: a jewellery often made from cheap craft store beads and elastic often times hand made and into cuffs, necklaces, chokers, and face masks . They are also the group that popularized high topped shoes. Much like their clothing, their movement was to embrace the emerging internet and moving style no matter how colorful it is.
Starting October of 2019, E-kids (or internet kids) began emerging, though they did not start out as a political movement, it soon adopted the statement of living the teenage years to the fullest and equality for all. Their music style is diverse and is often categorized by rappers with gruff voices or artists like XXXTentasion with other outliers often found through audios on Tik-Tok. Their clothing consists of chains and baggy jeans or short skirts. Girls wear eyeliner with hearts under their eyes and boys sometimes wear black nail polish. It is not rare to see a guy with eyeliner. E-girl’s hair is often black but, colors like light pink or blonde streaks are also seen. Boys prefer to stick with a whole head of blonde or black. E-kids seem to fit in with the alternative community well due to similar values with the other alternative groups that have come before them in all three categories of music, dress, and politics.