Remember when Ugg boots, black leggings and oversized “Pink” shirts defined who was categorized as a basic girl? Well, just when we thought it became safe to step out again in black leggings and oversized shirts, a new label arose. As millenials argued over who had a “hot girl summer,” Gen Z’ers took control of many social media platforms, creating a new persona: the VSCO girl.
Originally named after the photo-editing application, VSCO, the VSCO girl basically embodies what the app promotes. Name brand clothing and accessories that, more often than not, come with a high price tag as well as popular sayings and expressions. Their “uniform” consists of oversized t-shirts, spandex, puka-shell necklaces and usually some sort of ugly-but-for-some-reason-popular shoes such as Crocs or Birkenstocks. Not to mention, many carry around a FjallRaven backpack along with a Hydroflask. These girls are determined to live a carefree life, but the internet has chosen to do anything but.
Over the last couple of months, I can’t help but notice the amount of attention given to this new persona. You can find countless YouTube videos instructing how to follow “VSCO girl’s trends” or how to “transform into a VSCO girl.” Now, while these videos seem harmless, the underlying message is actually harmful. Instead of allowing girls to follow these trends without repercussions, many online figures often mock them, causing the same effect on the term “VSCO girl” as the term “basic girl” had just five years ago. But the problem here tends to take a turn when the majority of people who mock these girls turn out to be older girls who look just the same as those they try to mock. So what really is going on?
This is exactly the mentality our generation needs to have regarding the perception of trends. This habit of tearing down younger girls specifically and categorizing them to fit a label based on a social media craze is a never-ending cycle. In the end, these girls are simply trying to live their life — yes, maybe with a scrunchie and metal straw permanently attached — but we can at least respect that they are adamant about choosing these over single-use plastic straws.
Between the over-prominent “cancel culture” and exposing people on social media platforms, many people feel constantly labelled and ridiculed for just following trends. A person’s teenage years are some of the most malleable and vulnerable years, so if we are constantly making fun of people’s traits, how will this generation grow up without feeling self-conscious?