The Truth About VSCO Girls

VSCO girls seemingly burst out of nowhere during the summer of 2019. One day, no one had ever heard of them, and the next, they had seemingly taken over not just the photo editing and sharing app from which they take their name, but also Instagram, soon to be followed by YouTube and TikTok. 

Then, in a life-following-art (or at least social media) twist, VSCO girls started appearing IRL, namely, in just about every high school freshman class as the 2019/20 school year got underway, and the trend is trickling its way downwards to younger girls, too. So what, exactly, is a VSCO girl? Perhaps not surprisingly, VSCO girls seem to be a group defined almost entirely by their clothing, hairstyles, and accessories.

What every VSCO girl needs

There's an absolute VSCO girl uniform, consisting of an over-sized tee worn with — and most often entirely covering — a pair of Nike shorts. As one 15-year-old non-VSCO girl interviewed by Slate magazine explains: "You can never see their pants." 

If you can see shorts, that's because the VSCO girl has opted for a Brandy Melville crop top, the only acceptable alternative to a baggy tee. VSCO girl accessory must-haves include a scrunchie worn around the wrist and a puka shell necklace, while a Hydro Flask water bottle and a Fjällräven backpack are highly desirable. As for footwear, most VSCO girls don a pair of Birkenstocks. Makeup is minimal (Carmex lip balm instead of lipstick), and the VSCO hairstyle of choice is easy, breezy, beachy waves (via BuzzFeed News).

What teens think about VSCO girls

VSCO girls, while they may still be all over social media (and shivering out the real-world winter in their endless summer outfits), turn out to be the teen version of hipsters — something everybody wants to look like, but nobody wants to admit to being (according to teens, anyway). What's more, some feel that not everybody can join the VSCO gang, since the look obviously requires money to pull off (no generic wardrobe items!), and plus-size girls, as well as girls of color, need not apply. The same 15-year-old who supplied the no-pants scoop characterizes her VSCO classmates as "skinny, white, wealthy girls," while another 15-year-old called them "the kind of girls that would make fun of you in elementary and middle school."

All of the non-VSCO teens interviewed by Slate seemed to agree on one thing: VSCO girls are the new flavor of basic, and are really not that interesting. 

However, your mileage may vary, and while it's entirely too common for teenage girls' interests to be universally disparaged by all (which is just one annoying thing about being a teenage girl), it's a harmless trend that will likely give way sooner or later. If you're really down on VSCO girls at the moment, just wait for another new teenage trend to emerge.