Rise of the VSCO Girl


Graphic by Priscilla Baek

A VSCO girl can be spotted by her colorful, oversized tee complete with scrunchie and Starbucks drink. Her makeup is kept natural, and her hair is slightly tousled for that effortless vibe.

Jordan Lee and Priscilla Baek

The summer of 2019 has brought many phenomena: the announcement of an international space station, the release of “Toy Story 4” and, most controversial, the VSCO girl. The teenage fashion trend has swept social media platforms such as TikTok, YouTube and Instagram, with many scratching their heads to who a “VSCO girl” actually is.

A VSCO girl’s label has less to do with personality as it does with accessories. The trademark starter pack includes Hydro Flask water bottles, Fjällräven Kånken backpacks, metal straws and the most important feature, the 90s scrunchy. 

A VSCO girl can be defined in many ways, from “a young, white woman who posts perfectly—and enviably—attractive pictures online,” to a derogatory nickname implying someone is, “relatively rich, conformist, and obsessed with social media,” according to Dictionary.com. 

The popularity of both becoming and mocking a “VSCO Girl” rose from TikTok, a music video sharing site that some consider the hub of memes. Twitter and YouTube social commentary critics of the fad, such as TiffanyFerg and Kurtis Conner, call the VSCO girl the new Tumblr girl of the 2010s, a rebranded form of “basic.” 

The trend has become a cultural term to both deflate others and heightens one’s own value, a testament to the ongoing teenage battle between being different and fitting in.

“Sometimes they [VSCO girls] do it ironically, but then it becomes a habit,” sophomore Luca Ngo said. “I think it’s strange. Now that it’s a meme, it’s being brought into real life, and we are not being ourselves because we are following what the internet does.”

The term has also been implemented in spirit week. If anyone wants to become a VSCO girl, all the accessories together cost around an eye-watering $140 minimum, according to Instagram. As superficial the trend may be, being a VSCO girl is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and people should make the most of the craze. 

“Try to create your own interpretation of the VSCO girl meme,” Ngo said. “Even though its dying, there are still people who do it unintentionally. Just try to make it your own.”