By Mireya Sol Ruiz |

From the way we act to the way we dress, social media holds a substantial influence over our generation. As trends continue to spread across our smartphones, I came across a new character that has become a recurring figure online, a “VSCO girl.”

Without realizing, I began to adapt to the VSCO girl trend. From the way I dressed to the appeal of posting aesthetically pleasing pictures with quirky captions, I conformed to the wide-spread phenomenon.

The term VSCO comes from the popular app named VSCO, used for editing photos with their preset filters and editing tools, such as saturation and grain. 

Hayley C. Cuccinello, writer for Forbes, said VSCO has accumulated over 150 million downloads since the app first launched. The app has grown in investments from $40 million in 2014 to $90 million in 2018. VSCO is a well-liked app, with a 4.4-star rating on the Apple app store and it’s currently worth $550 million.

The app allows users to edit and post photos with a common aesthetic. It’s created a stereotype for those who use the app due to their similar styles and passions. This stereotype has resulted in the rise of VSCO girl.

So, how might you identify a VSCO girl?

A VSCO girl typically wears a large T-shirt with athletic shorts, shoes ranging from Birkenstocks or Vans, and always has a scrunchie. They own a reusable water bottle, typically a Hydro Flask, that’s covered in stickers reflecting their hobbies, favorite T.V. shows or other interests, and, of course, have friendship bracelets tied to the lid. If they’re not drinking out of their hydro, then they’re definitely drinking an iced coffee out of a reusable metal straw. #SaveTheSeaTurtles

Every VSCO girl’s wrists are covered in a variety of bracelets ranging from Pura Vida, Lokai, or beaded bracelets. They also wear pearled chokers and shelled necklaces around their necks. Lastly, products such as Burt’s Bees, Mario Badescu facial spray, and Maybelline mascara are utilized and always on hand. 

These girls have grouped themselves into a subculture that has become a worldwide phenomenon, and I’m a part of it. 

After familiarizing myself with the VSCO girl qualifications, I find myself unintentionally being one. I grew up using the app and, without noticing, was influenced to follow the patterns others set as I encountered them across my glowing screen.

In my room, I have a drawer filled with scrunchies from top to bottom, with every possible color you can think of. Whenever I go shopping and a new scrunchie catches my eye, I have the strongest urge to buy it and add to my collection. I just can’t resist! 

Another trademark of the VSCO girl is an obsession with DIY string bracelets, and from church camp to my front porch, making bracelets is one of my all-time-favorite summer activities. I could make them for hours, as it is a relaxing, peaceful time I like to have with God. I play my favorite Christian tunes and focus my attention on making my bracelets, blocking out any distractions or stress that is occurring in my life.

Take me to a coffee shop and I will tell you the best iced coffees that are on and off the menu. I most definitely drink more coffee than water, and I’m proud. I may be a poor college student, but I’m never too broke to squeeze in $5 for a daily coffee run. Like any good VSCO girl, I’ll also remind you that I drink my iced coffee out of a metal straw I bought off of Amazon. Only because they were cute. Sorry turtles, this isn’t about you!

Whenever I am jokingly called a VSCO girl by friends, I am slightly offended. It is not my intention to hop on the bandwagon of this popular trend. But as hard as I tried not to follow it, I’ve grown to love many of the signature items of VSCO girls.

From my experience, my qualities that are compared to a VSCO girl have all been positive. Even if you don’t utilize the VSCO app, the trend grabs people’s attention, like mine, and influences you to follow them across other social media platforms. However, these platforms can also easily transform trends using satire. At times it has been almost embarrassing to be called a VSCO girl. But I shouldn’t be apologizing or feeling ashamed for the clothes I wear and the interests that I have.  

Although there are times I feel slightly triggered for being called VSCO girl, I am proud of who I am. If you’re a VSCO girl, especially an unintentional one, who cares? Wear your scrunchies proud and swing your Hydro Flasks in the air! Just don’t drop your Hydro – I would hate for you to dent it.