Friday, September 5, 2014

I had a "Scene" mom makeover

For my daughter's tenth birthday, she wanted to give me a makeover. A "scene" makeover, to look like her big sister, who introduced our family to the scene/emo look. Do you know what that is? For you visual folks, I'll show you:

Scene girls wear lots of dark eye makeup, have perfect eyebrows, and dyed hair that is layered and teased. They wear fun accessories, like bows and Hello Kitty, and lots of black, preferably band "merch" purchased from Hot Topic. Facial piercings are common. And selfies with dorky faces are essential. Here is my oldest, who I think it the prettiest of all the scene girls:

Now, here is what I look like:

I don't wear eye makeup, or much black, and I wear my hair in a bun every single day. I do have my septum pierced but I haven't worn jewelry in it for years. My eyebrows are decent. I like to smile pleasantly and I shop at Anthropologie.

But I am one of those mom's that really likes to make my kids happy on their birthdays (possibly to make up for being such a shit to them the rest of the year.) If the birthday girl wanted me to be a Scene Mom and parade me around Oaks Amusement Park for her enjoyment, then I would step up.

This required some pre-planning. First, I went to Hot Topic (duh) and bought a band shirt, and then went straight home to cut it up. Then I bought a neon green tank top to wear underneath. I also bought some gel eyeliner and dug an old piece of nose jewelry out of my jewelry box. Finally, I procured a pair of Converse sneakers (scene kids wear Converse and emo kids wear Vans, I have been told.)

The night before, I stayed up late and practiced how to make a nice cat eye with my gel liner. I also read on wikiHow about how to be a "good" scene girl. I learned that it's more than a look, it is about attitude as well. So while make-up and hair choices are flexible, and scene girls should be well-groomed at all times, they also exude confidence but not bitchiness (I kept thinking that these instructions had the air of those vintage "how to" etiquette books for teens....only extremely modernized.) It dawned on me my oldest has been nailing this scene thing right under my nose for over a year and I never really noticed past the "look": she always comes out of her bedroom very put together, clean, smelling nice and with an air of authority. She looks intimidating on the surface but when someone is brave enough to compliment her, she responds with sweetness. She calls her friends "betches" and flips off the camera but when she talks to little kids she says "awwww" and "thank you, sweetie" and even sometimes leaves the house dressed as Pokemon's Pikachu. She has embraced a sub-culture that really reflects the duality of adolescence: one foot in the adult world and one in childhood. I felt like doing this helped me understand her better...ironic that the wishes of my middle child helped me understand my oldest child better.

So, on the big day, I let the girls help me with my hair and make-up. The biggest challenge was my hair since I wasn't willing to cut it (I have my limits) but they showed me how to part it just right, to comb it over and have it cover one of my eyes (hey, I already have amblyopia!) and loaned me some band bracelets. I felt like a completely different person, like I was in costume. In fact, someone came by the shop while we were doing the makeover to introduce me to their new girlfriend and I immediately explained, "I don't normally look like this!!"

First, I took the oh-so-important selfie while touching my hair:
Don't be basic, betches.

Then, it was time for the big reveal:

Then, we hit Oaks Park:

Do they even know what that means...? Who cares, I'm a cool and confident scene mom.

The Scrambler is HELLA!

The report: My hair was a pain in the ass, it was too hot for black skinny jeans, and I felt like a nanny, not a mom, the entire time since all the make-up took ten years off. But it was FUN. The best part was how much of a kick the kids got out of it. I think the effort I put into it made them feel understood and seen and respected. It was totally worth it. And, the best BEST part was that the birthday girl was happy.

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