As some of you may know, a trend currently sweeping the suburban, white, middle class teenage girl group is the aspiration of achieving their most “teenage” version of themselves, a VSCO Girl. As I was doing some very extensive research on the visibility of this subculture of teenagers, I asked my brother, who is currently 24 years old just entering the job market, what his thoughts of what a VSCO Girl is. He answered with confusion, “Isn’t that just a picture sharing app that girls post half naked pictures on and call it artsy.” My answer, why yes Colin it was that, but this is now.
VSCO is an app created to share beautiful pictures with your network. The pictures are supposed to speak for themselves, so there are no captions, likes, or commenting. This is a desirable picture sharing app for teenage girls as it is fair to say that the demographic is increasingly becoming more and more self obsessed with pictures. Although VSCO’s have been a “safe” place for girls to post some scanty pictures that their mom who follows them on Instagram won’t see in the past, the app has taken on and promoted a different identity within these suburban teen girls, a VSCO Girl.
A VSCO Girl is a girl living her teenage years to the fullest. She wears big t-shirts, that look like she’s not wearing pants, and wears her hair in a messy bun with a scrunchie. These girls are too busy living young, wild, and free to even think about wearing longer shorts or a t-shirt their size. There are scrunchies on her wrist because they are so much more accessible than an average hair tie. Along with these elite items, the item that inspired this whole article, the infamous Hydro Flask. A Hydro Flask is the ultimate symbol of suburban wealth. These Hydro Flask’s must be covered in stickers to make yours unique, but at least one with a quote from The Office. This metal canister, with a colorful coat can be yours for as little as $30.00. Along with achieving the perfect VSCO look in real life, it is important to also have a coordinating VSCO presence as well. These VSCO pages must be filled with pictures in a colorful jeep, a mysterious, pink drink from Starbucks, and of course a picture to show off the uniform you just dropped a lot of cash to attain.
So, now that you know the in’s and out’s of this new phenomenon, what does it mean. This aesthetic and uniform is the epitome of teen culture. It’s a culture I am slowly phasing my way out of. As I am becoming a young adult and continuing to learn about marketing, I recognize how easy and vulnerable this group is to status items. Every teenager is looking for their own identity, but in their journey to do so are conforming to the crowd. It is the comfort of knowing that they will be accepted and have something of worth in their world. Teen culture was and still is conformity. What makes this new trend different than the rest, is the social media aspect. This subgroup is consumed with taking pictures and making their lives look as fulfilled and fun as possible. This lifestyle is sell-able and glamorous to other teens, and with their obsession of posting pictures can keep their focus rather than the sad reality of the economic state and worsening job market they will soon be entering. Yea, sure, that may be a hard pill to swallow, so instead let’s focus on coordinated scrunchies and jeep pictures and live young, wild, and free.