Vsco girls: stop the skskskrutiny 

Lainey Devlin, Sports Editor

Historically, women unfairly face scrutiny for a variety of reasons, seemingly at every opportunity possible: wearing too much makeup makes a girl a catfish, but girls must wear enough to look put-together. Similarly, “overly muscular” or “paper-thin” girls do not meet traditional feminine ideals of beauty but overweight girls do not either and need to “eat a salad.” Recently, a new hated stereotype has arisen in popular culture: VSCO girls. Characterized by oversized t-shirts, reusable water bottles known as hydro flasks, scrunchies and an affinity towards the metal straw, these girls have recently come under fire for no detectable reason. 

VSCO, originally a photo editing app for the artistically talented, has since morphed into a safe haven for girls specifically to post photos deemed too risky for Instagram. With a variety of filters and photo editing options, VSCO allows people to customize their photos however they see fit. On each person’s profile, it only shows their photos posted, rather than the traditional likes, followers, or even comments seen on Instagram. Taking the popularity contest out of social media allowed girls to exist in a place unjudged. However, the summer of 2019 saw VSCO girls enter the public eye to be mocked on apps such as TikTok and Twitter. 

A common complaint against VSCO girls revolves around their desire to “save the turtles,” which seems to come from a viral video of a plastic straw being graphically removed from the nostril of a turtle. The video clearly touched a multitude of hearts and birthed a generation of amateur environmentalists. Amateur because of the main environmental concern within VSCO girls remaining solely turtles, introducing the metal straw movement without branching out into other concerns such as plastic waste, greenhouse gases, and rainforest conservation. Despite the validity of the concern, a large number of amateur environmentalists bring awareness to the multiple other issues within the environment. Metal straws send a statement to companies that the blindfold will not stay on forever and the public cares about the planet and will not tolerate wasteful behavior anymore. VSCO girls can go from metal straws and totally cut out plastic to eliminate waste. 

Another complaint against VSCO girls: oversized t-shirts. This complaint mostly comes from toxic men, with them saying that oversized t-shirts take away the sex appeal of a girl. These complaints proving as completely invalid, with the current year and the role of women changing in society, looking at women and girls as purely sex objects goes out of style and as does the desire of girls to constantly dress sexy. Oversized t-shirts, comfortable, and often cheaper alternatives to more “attractive clothing” sold in stores prove as VSCO girls’ go-to outfits. These t-shirts, which one can find at a variety of thrift stores and therefore demand for them creates no extra textile waste, help the environment which supports their metal straw fueled environmental activism.

The final complaint against VSCO girls stems from what certain people call “over-edited photos” on Instagram. Despite the stereotype named after a photo-editing app, this still shocks a special part of the public. A personal Instagram displays one’s internal thoughts and acts as an outlet of expression, and if one follower receives offense from another’s personal expression, multiple options provided can solve the problem: from blocking to unfollowing, or even Instagram’s recent option to “mute” someone’s profile so their posts do not show up in your feed but you still follow them, avoiding any friendship disputes. 

VSCO girls, despite their recent public scrutiny, prove to not influence the public in any notably negative way. By creating a mob of small scale environmentalists VSCO girls could do more for the planet than the public expects. Oversized t-shirts, despite the inconvenience for some men, provide a less-wasteful alternative to regular store-bought clothes, especially when thrifted. Personal expression in the form of Instagram edits allows VSCO girls to access their creative side and feel good about themselves and what they post. The unwarranted hate that VSCO girls receive should stop because as our planet dies the last thing we can put hope in, each other, becomes the most important thing.