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VSCO girl

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The term VSCO girl refers to a popular subculture among members of Generation Z, grouping together teenage girls that follow certain fashion choices that go along with trends. VSCO girl fashion is often described as "laid-back". The term originated with the app VSCO in summer 2019 with an increase in social media content about the trend.[1] Edited VSCO girl photographs are often found on VSCO, but the subculture itself did not originate on the app.[2]

This subculture is often associated with "e-boys" and "e-girls" as well as "Tumblr girls", referring to popular teenagers that go with trends on the Internet, with Tumblr girls specifically referring to those active on the social media site Tumblr.[3] However, unlike these other subcultures, VSCO girls are not grouped together by what platform they use, but by their fashion choices.

Fashion trends

The VSCO girl style is often described as both "preppy" (fashion relating to the dress of pupils of prep schools) and "beachy" (fashion relating to tourists at a beach). The style is often described as "laid-back" as VSCO girls aim to look relaxed and easy-going.[4][5][2]


VSCO girls are often seen wearing over-sized T-shirts that are sometimes long enough to cover their shorts. Though VSCO girls are mostly associated with wearing shorts, such as Nike track shorts, some also wear "mom jeans" and include it as part of their style.[4][6]

Popular shoes among VSCO girls include shoes from the brands Crocs, Birkenstocks, and Vans. Crocs are often decorated with charms. Black and white checkered slip-on Vans are most common among VSCO girls.[7] Many of these styles were popularized by the "ugly shoe trend".[8][9]


Crocs with pins

Scrunchies are worn in both the hair and on the wrists. Wrists are also decorated with Pura Vida bracelets, or similarly handmade bracelets. Puka-shell chokers are another popular accessory for VSCO girls.[1]

Hydro Flask water bottles are popular among VSCO girls, often decorated with stickers. Stickers referencing the "save the turtles" environmental movement are common. These bottles are often paired with reusable straws.[7]

VSCO girls also use Polaroid cameras for photography and Fjällräven Kånken backpacks to carry belongings.[citation needed]


Make-up and hair are often kept simple for a "natural and light" look. VSCO girl hairstyles has been described as low maintenance, with the girls often wearing a messy bun with a scrunchie[4] or beach waves.[2]

Make-up is kept to a minimum. Burt's Bees and Carmex lip balm are common lip products.[10][7] Glossier Cloud Paint, a blush product, is also popular.[11]

Mario Badescu's Facial Spray is a uniting skin-care product.[7]


Amongst VSCO girls, the use of the same brand-name products is a major component. Popular brands include Pura Vida, Hydro Flask, Nike, Brandy Melville, Fjällräven and Urban Outfitters.[12][13]

None of the brands associated with the subculture have reported an increase in sales. There has however been a rise in marketing targeted at VSCO girls.[12] Pura Vida has partnered with Hydro Flask for online giveaways, using products associated with VSCO girls.[14]

Social media usage

Though VSCO girls were named after the photo-editing app, they have been popularized through content on a few different forms of social media.[citation needed]


VSCO is a popular photo-editing and social media app. Most users are under 25.[2] Unlike other forms of social media VSCO does not display likes, follower counts, or comments.[15] This is because of the company's ethos of taking the pressure out of using social media.[7] As a result, the app is used to post more casual content.[15]


TikTok is a short video social media app that is popular with Gen Z.[1] Content made by its users was instrumental in the rise in popularity of VSCO girls.[3] According to the New York Times, "There are more than 422.4 million videos tagged #vscogirl on TikTok”.[7] On August 30th, a VSCO girl filter was added, which included a water bottle decorated with stickers, and a side ponytail with scrunchies.[15]


Instagram is a photo-editing and social media app. Though it is similar to VSCO, content on the site leans towards more carefully curated and professional.[1] VSCO girls are sometimes called an opposition to the heavy make-up and unnatural perfection that is commonly associated with the app.[11]


YouTube has been used to share videos about VSCO girls, many of which are parodies. Elle credits a popular YouTuber, Emma Chamberlain, as helping to popularize the VSCO girl aesthetic.[15]

Environmental concern

There are differing opinions on VSCO girls' environmental concerns. While products like Birkenstocks, metal straws, and Hydro Flasks are associated with caring for the environment[16][6], some see VSCO girls as only caring about the environment when it is convenient, pointing to the popularity of disposable cameras which mimic the popular filters found on VSCO.[2][15]



There have been many parodies made of VSCO girls, often done by the girls themselves. Roisin Lanigan of I-D believes this points to empowerment rather than mocking. This combination of self-deprecation and celebration is also popular among Gen-Z.[1][4]


There has been some controversy about the expensive cost of owning all of the products associated with VSCO girls, especially because of the importance placed on brand-name products. Fox Business estimates buying all of the products associated with the subculture would cost $229.89.[17] Some teenagers associate the look with private schools and wealth because of all the expensive products involved.[3][11]


There has been some concern that VSCO girls are limited to white girls.[3] In an interview with Buzzfeed News one YouTuber, Mai Pham, revealed that when she and a friend wore the same VSCO girl fashions in a YouTube video, some commentators considered her white, thin friend more of a VSCO girl than her.[10] There has also been mention that the subculture's use of phrases like "and I oop-" and "sksksk" which originated from black LGBT culture, are appropriation.[18]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Jennings, Rebecca (2019-09-24). "Why you can't stop hearing about VSCO girls". Vox. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  2. ^ a b c d e Minutaglio, Rose (2019-08-16). "A Guide to the 'VSCO Girl' Aesthetic Taking Over Your Feeds". ELLE. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  3. ^ a b c d Schwedel, Heather (2019-09-12). "Teens Explain the VSCO Girl—and Why You Never Want to Be One". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  4. ^ a b c d Lanigan, Roisin (2019-07-26). "a guide to vsco girls – the tumblr girls of 2019". i-D. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  5. ^ Gomez, Jasmine (2019-08-15). "Who Are the VSCO Girls Taking Over Social Media?". Seventeen. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  6. ^ a b Aronoff, Kate (2019-09-20). "Why VSCO Girls are Going on Strike for the Climate". The Intercept. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Hughes, Becky (2019-08-30). "What Does VSCO Think About the 'VSCO Girls'?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  8. ^ Bergstein, Rachelle. "Why Ugly Shoes Are Having A Moment In Fashion". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  9. ^ Jennings, Rebecca (2018-05-25). "A Cultural History of Hideous Sandals". Vox. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  10. ^ a b "Move Over, Insta Baddies — VSCO Girls Are Taking Over Social Media". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  11. ^ a b c Hoffower, Hillary. "I'm a millennial, and I don't hate the VSCO girl — she's just the first new trend that makes me feel old". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  12. ^ a b Jennings, Rebecca (2019-09-24). "Why you can't stop hearing about VSCO girls". Vox. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  13. ^ "Move Over, Insta Baddies — VSCO Girls Are Taking Over Social Media". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  14. ^ Hughes, Becky (2019-08-30). "What Does VSCO Think About the 'VSCO Girls'?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  15. ^ a b c d e Spellings, Sarah (2019-09-05). "What Does It Mean to Be a 'VSCO Girl'?". The Cut. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  16. ^ Lewis, Rachel Charlene (2019-08-30). "VSCO girl culture is really just lesbian culture". i-D. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  17. ^ Fordham, Evie (2019-09-01). "VSCO girls: Here's how much it costs to be 'on brand' with the new craze". FOXBusiness. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  18. ^ "Like Most Slang, 'Sksksksk' Originated In Black And LGBTQ Communities". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2019-10-17.