The Rise of The VSCO Girl



The VSCO Girl is the newest fashion subculture from Gen Z to take on social media but who are they exactly?

Every few years a new group of people with a similar aesthetic get given a name.

We have had Tumblr girls and Insta baddies.

Travelling back before social media was as prevalent as it is today, we had hipsters, punks, hippies and even emos.

The latest form of this cultural tradition is in the rise of the VSCO girl.

VSCO is a photo editing app which offers an array of filters and editing features.

It has since evolved into another photography posting platform just like Instagram.

A VSCO girl is known to be an avid user of the VSCO app using both the editing and posting features to make their photos have a beachy, Summer appearance.

Amongst this defining factor, she can be found exclusively wearing Brand Melville clothing, paired with some slip-on Vans and an absurd amount of scrunchies running up and down her arms.

To top off this very particular California-girl aesthetic, the VSCO girl is known to be environmentally conscious, taking her Hydroflask water bottle everywhere she goes with a metal straw rattling around somewhere at the bottom of her Fjällräven backpack.

Hydroflask and Fjallraven Kanken backpack at the beach.
VSCO Girl aesthetic

VSCO girls can be found hanging around the beaches of California or at their local skate-park, speeding around on their penny-boards.

The VSCO girl resembles a carefully curated mix of a modern-day valley-girl and a beach babe aesthetic.

Some examples of the VSCO girl include social media influencers from Youtube; Summer Mckeen, Emma Chamberlain and Marla Catherine.

Emma Chamberlain and Olivia Reyoure with penny boards.
Penny boards in hand.

With any newly emerging identity marker such as the VSCO girl however, there comes a level of ridicule from people who sit outside the trend.

Although the title allows young girls with similar taste to unite and feel empowered together it simultaneously invites others to mock or shame them into feeling “basic”.

In a time where social media is praised for its ability to promote self-expression, it begs the question as to why as soon as a group of people become confident in their shared characteristics and behaviour, we try to tear them down.

The same series of events played out with the rise of the infamous Tumblr girl aesthetic.

Girls who rocked a grunge look, with ripped jeans, dark winged eyeliner and chunky Doc Martens, who deviated from the over-trodden path of mainstream music and girly outfits were teased for their alternative aesthetic.

In examining this re-occuring theme, it seems that there is something going on deep beneath the surface that has yet to be addressed.

Perhaps there is an element of the mob mentality meme complex where the ridicule is fleeting.

On the other hand, maybe there is a certain level of discomfort seeing young soul-searching adolescents figure out and embrace exactly who they think they are.

Whichever it may be, we salute you VSCO girls.

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Anisha Premawardhana


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