VSCO Culture: Here to Stay?

Liam Queneau, Reporter


     In recent months, social media sites have been flooded with photos, videos, and memes of self proclaimed “VSCO Girls.” The term originated when photo editing app VSCO (pronounced visco) was launched as a mainstream media platform. Created by James Cartier in 2011, its original purpose was solely to provide quality photo editing tools in a free app. In more recent years, the app has also added a social element, allowing users to share their posts with the app’s community.

Photo Courtesy of Max Pixel

     But recently, the app has created a subculture of its users, dubbed “VSCO Girls.” This term and subculture, a pure child of the internet, was created when certain users of the app began to carve out a look for themselves. This “look,” which consists of scrunchies (preferably worn on the wrist), sandals produced by the popular shoe brand Birkenstock (Crocs are acceptable as well), over-sized shirts that come down to the thighs, and the carrying of popular water bottle Hydroflask (abbreviated as “Hydro”).

     Although this style has already been around for years, the popularization of the term “VSCO Girl,” grouped with the style, has thrust the look into the mainstream. However, “VSCO Girl,” has been used as a term to describe someone who is “basic.” Although basically every VSCO Girl looks almost exactly identical, it has to be considered who these people are on the inside. Why would they willfully join such a uniform movement, the basis behind which is being “basic”?

     The trend and lifestyle, apparently enticing to some, is followed so immediately and blindly that the girls who follow aren’t aware of the intent behind the culture. Using the word “culture,” loosely, the trend is more of a lifestyle choice than a true culture. Wearing a certain style of clothes and having two popular sayings does not justify you and your culture. 


Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

      Although this has not fully become a culture in and of itself, it has redefined some of the teen culture of our era. Through the introduction of VSCO girls into the mainstream, there have been some upsides due to the trend. VSCO girls have a tendency to be environmentally conscious, using reusable water bottles (Hydroflasks), and reusable straws. 

     However, their intentions may not be to actually be environmentally conscious, but rather to appear that way while gathering products that suit their lifestyle. While this is absolutely not true for all VSCO girls, one must question the purpose behind the decisions made by a member of such a trend.

     Now that we’ve examined some of the basics and intents behind one that considers themselves a “VSCO Girl,” we can attempt to estimate how much longer this culture will remain in the mainstream. At the base of the VSCO trend is internet popularity, which is what contributed to the rise of the trend in the first place. Once the internet loses interest in the trend, once the memes stop coming, then the VSCO girl lifestyle will cease to exist. The style and look will remain, but the glamour and popularity that come along with being a self proclaimed “VSCO Girl,” will disappear, right along with the trend.