In defense of VSCO girls


By Sophia Pan, Copy Editor

“I’m not a VSCO girl, I swear! I just like scrunchies.”

“If you lose this round, you have to dress up as a VSCO girl!”

“Hey, VSCO girl! Where’s your Hydro Flask?”

Lately, I’ve heard this term — VSCO girl — tossed around a lot. So, what exactly are VSCO girls, and why does everyone seem to hate them?

The term VSCO girl stems from the popular photo-editing app VSCO, which functions like a low-pressure version of Instagram without likes or comments. To put it simply, a VSCO girl is someone “basic,” often stereotyped to be wealthy, conformist and vain. She’s generation two of the “basic white girl” (think Starbucks and Uggs) of the early 2010s.

Picture a girl in oversized clothing, Hydro Flask in hand, walking around in her Birkenstocks saying “sksksk” and “and I oop-.” Her hair is tied up with a scrunchie, and she’s got four more on her arm. And don’t forget the puka shell choker around her neck and the friendship bracelets on her wrist. But however strange the VSCO girl may seem with her phrases and fashion sense, she doesn’t deserve the hate she gets.

A lot of VSCO-girl hate originated from TikTok, a short-video sharing app that has skyrocketed in popularity. Recently, that hate has seeped into our everyday lives. People have started dropping casual jokes about wearing scrunchies or clothes that are too big. Hydro Flasks have become indicators, and mockingly saying “sksksks” or “and I oop-” has become the norm.

But most of what typically characterizes VSCO is simply harmless or functional.

Scrunchies, for example, work great for tying up hair both thick and thin. They’re a fun and vibrant return to ’80s and ’90s fashion.

And what’s wrong with wanting to save the turtles? If environmentally-conscious products like Hydro Flasks and metal straws are a VSCO girl’s way of showing she cares about the planet, let her be.

Crewnecks and oversized tops provide comfort by allowing more movement and air circulation. Wearing something just a bit too big is like being enveloped in a soft hug, and no one should be judged for wanting a little more comfort.

Birkenstock sandals have a simplicity to them that flatters everyone in every outfit color. The German company has retained relevance since its inception in 1774 because of its time-tested design, whose soles are designed to become more comfortable over time.

“Sksksksk” (a keyboard smash) and “and I oop-” (adopted from drag queen Jasmine Masters) are harmless phrases that effectively communicate excitement, shock and surprise. Besides, internet lingo has always found its way into the outside world — these are just the newest additions to the ever-growing list of weird things people say (think “mood” and “tea”).

Most of what people associate with VSCO girls is harmless or even healthy. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to fit in somewhere. VSCO girls shouldn’t be insulted for wanting to be comfortable, eco-friendly or accepted.