She walks down the street wearing an oversized pastel colored t-shirt and a scrunchie in her hair. She fiddles with her puka shell necklace while sipping her iced vanilla coffee through a metal straw because saving the turtles is important to her. Her Hydroflask is swinging from her other hand while she strategically plans her outfit for tonight: vans and a tube top. She waves to her friend across the street. “Sksksksk and I ooop!” She smiles. She’s a VSCO girl.
What’s a VSCO girl you might ask? VSCO is a photo-editing app, but the term ‘VSCO girl’ encompasses much more than a girl who merely uses the app to edit her photos. It’s an aesthetic, a personality, a basic way of life. The term started circulating last January, trying to encapsulate the chill summer beach girl aesthetic felt in certain Instagram and VSCO photos. Pink skies, messy beach waves, smiles and rainbow friendship bracelets. The girls attempting to attain this aesthetic are typically ages 14-18, and idolize younger Instagram influencers and YouTubers like Emma Chamberlain and Summer McQueen who perfectly and effortlessly encapsulate the essence of what it means to be a VSCO girl.
Feeling out of the loop and suddenly very untrendy, I committed to becoming an authentic VSCO girl for a week.
First, I needed to update my wardrobe. VSCO girls regularly shop at Urban Outfitters and wear oversized baggy t-shirts, scrunchies, tube tops, cut-off jean shorts, puka shell necklaces, and a Kaken brand backpack. Being a VSCO girl means being comfortable which was fine by me.
Next, I needed to update my lingo. VSCO girls use words and slang from meme culture on Twitter and Instagram. Their two coined slogans are “SKSKSKSK” which is supposed to represent a keyboard smash as well as “and I oop-” which originated from the famous Jasmine Masters meme. Having never heard of these phrases nor the memes they came from, it felt off to incorporate them into conversations. My other 21-year-old friends have yet to catch up to the VSCO girl trends.
VSCO girls love being eco-friendly. You can always catch a VSCO girl drinking out of her reusable Hydro Flask but you’d never catch her drinking from a plastic straw. An iced coffee addict myself, I went out and bought a metal straw to use. I had to keep reminding myself to refuse the long, green straw everytime I went to Starbucks, but this is definitely a practice I’ll keep ingrained in my routine even after my VSCO girl week ends.
After attempting to epitomize the VSCO girl, I realized the core of what it truly means to be one. VSCO girls are often criticized for being basic and unauthentic, but the heart of a VSCO girl lies in her energy. She’s positive and she cares about creating a positive environment around her with positive vibes. VSCO girls lack the competitive energy that I was used to feeling in high school by focusing on how they can brand their own individual and unique style into this shared chill girl aesthetic. Quite frankly, I don’t dislike the trends of a VSCO girl at all. Maybe if we could all be more like the VSCO girl, the world would be a better place.