The rise of the VSCO girl on social media has confused older generations who have no clue what it takes to achieve the coveted title, which is typically earned by wealthy teenage girls in high school.
VSCO (pronounced ‘visco’) girls are the result of a trend that was inspired by a photo editing app people use to share their images outside of Instagram. But even though the term is named after the photo editor, it actually has nothing to do with the application.
The now-viral term actually describes teenagers who wear oversized T-shirts, crop tops, scrunchies, and barely visible shorts, with other tell-tale accessories — including a specific brand of water bottle and preferred skincare products, also being used to identify a typical VSCO girl.
Key accessories: VSCO girls are typically seen wearing shoes like black vans and with a scrunchie either in their hair or on their wrist
Spokesperson: Influencer Sydney Serena is a well-known VSCO girl who helped make the trend popular on social media
The essentials: YouTuber Bethany Mota helped spread the VSCO girl trend by releasing her own video of how to dress just like one
Need to know: There are certain qualities and products that are heavily associated with VSCO girls, including water bottles called Hydro Flasks, and reusable metal straws
This is not the only characteristics of a VSCO girl, who is apparently very real and circulating through high schools and on social media.
These teens are also stereotyped for owning Fjällräven backpack and Hydro Flasks, often decorated with stickers, while making sure to always speak about their concerns for the environment.
Get the look: YouTubers, such as Caiti Mackenzie (pictured), have also filmed tutorial videos to help others follow the VSCO girl style if they choose
VSCO girls also made the phrase ‘sksksksksk’ popular to indicate to the world that they are excited about something going on in their lives.
When speaking to Slate, multiple teens confirmed VSCO girls are very much real outside of social media, but they did not recommend that people follow the new trend.
‘I’ve seen them. I’ve gone to school with them,’ Kelly, a 15-year-old, told the publication.
She associated the trend with ‘skinny, white, wealthy girls’ who are typically popular at their respective schools. Other teens often notice a majority of VSCO girls they know attend private schools in their area.
One teenager, a 15-year-old named Julia, confirmed she has seen many VSCO girls when out and about.
‘It seems like it’s something that only exists on the internet, but there’s a decent amount of them that I’ve actually seen in real life,’ she said, adding: ‘Usually, we point them out to each other when we see them, and we might laugh at them a little bit, just because they’re so conformist. Their entire wardrobe is oversize T-shirts and Nike shorts.’
Well-known: YouTuber Emma Chamberlain is also associated with VSCO girls. Teens have stereotyped the group as ‘skinny, white, wealthy girls’
Not just on social media: Slate interviewed teens about the trend, and most admitted they knew VSCO girls at their own schools
Taking over: Teenage influencers have also helped the brand of the VSCO girl grow
The rise in VSCO girls might be, in part, to the amount of parodies launching on YouTube and TikTok to make fun of the new trend. But these parodies have only helped inform more people about the bizarre style some teenagers are currently attracted to.
One teen said she thought the trend hit its peak over the summer.
‘I think over the summer they definitely added specific things, like the necklaces, like the scrunchies, like the oversize shirts.’ Tori said. ‘They dressed similar to that. But once it was a big trend on TikTok, a lot of girls started dressing more similar to VSCO girls.’
Teenage influencers have also helped the brand of the VSCO girl grow, with popular females like Emma Chamberlain and Sydney Serena often modeling the style.
YouTubers, such as Caiti Mackenzie and Bethany Mota, have also filmed tutorial videos to help others follow the VSCO girl style if they choose.
Basic? ‘They all use the same jokes over and over, and the same memes that have been recycled over and over. It gets old and stale,’ one teen told Slate about VSCO girls
Gaining in popularity: The rise of the VSCO girl hit its peak with people seeing the trend online. VSCO girls typically dress in oversized T-shirts, scrunchies, and barely visible shorts
But, despite all this popularity around the recent trend, there are other teens who consider these females to be ‘basic’ with what they choose to wear and how they act.
‘They all use the same jokes over and over, and the same memes that have been recycled over and over. It gets old and stale,’ Kelly told Slate. ‘They’re just kind of basic and not that interesting as people.’
VSCO girls is one trend that could last in the coming years for teenage girls, with more and more people learning about the style. It could even influence other girls to grab their nearest Hydro Flask and purchase scrunchies in order to fit in.
But the trend has also inspired teens to avoid these accessories so they aren’t associated with the group.
A teenager named Cassandra told Slate: ‘I’ve been wearing oversized shirts since seventh grade, but I stopped recently, because of the VSCO girls. I don’t want to be associated with them.’