Are VSCO Girls Good for the Environment?


Claire Dinh

Sixth grader Nickie Walsh shows off her VSCO girl inspired laptop.

Photo courtesy of
VSCO is used primarily by a younger audience, 75% of users being under 25 years old.

When you hear, “and I oop” followed by “sksksksk”, you know a Hydro Flask just dropped to the floor.  “I don’t even know what a [VSCO girl] is!” said eighth-grader Addie Vining. Sure, many people aren’t aware of this new subculture of teenage girls, but they have been profiled in magazines and online by such sites as and

Many teenage girls have the app VSCO, (pronounced “visco”), a photo editing app, but not all users are considered “VSCO girls.”  In contrast, even those who don’t have the app may claim to be VSCO girls. The trend just happened to originate from the app. A typical VSCO girl tends to like vintage, beach-inspired clothing and accessories such as scrunchies, puka and cowrie shell necklaces, Crocs, Birkenstocks, metal straws, Hydro Flasks, and lip balm of all sorts, from brands such as Carmex and Burt’s Bees to Sun Bum and Glossier.

They also tend to say and text interesting catchphrases such as “And I oop-” followed by “sksksksks.” The former is a trend that originated from a video of drag queen Jasmine Masters, while the latter (pronounced almost like a hissing noise preceding a “k” sound), is how VSCO girls communicate their excitement.

This trend is most popular among middle and high school students. According to NBC, VP of Communications of VSCO Julie Inouye stated that 75% of VSCO users are under the age of 25. 

“Yes, [I am a VSCO girl], sksksksk and I oop–I have 75 [scrunchies],” said sixth-grader Nickie Walsh. “I have five puka shell necklaces, sksksksk.”

Upon hearing the phrase, some teens groan and roll their eyes because they feel the VSCO girl trend is a vapid and meaningless pursuit.

“I think that people are overdramatizing a small trend that isn’t really that funny and also can bother you after a period of time,” said eighth-grader Canyon Rauch. The sksksks sound has also been harsh to the ears for some. 

“The Hydro Flask trend has taken over,” added seventh-grader Reagan Donohue, “[and] I think the sound “sk” is very disturbing to my ears.”

“[VSCO Girls are] spending all their money on Hydro Flasks,” said sixth-grader Niko Lenard. “They go like’ sksk’s all the time it gets on your nerves at some point.” 

However, what may be lost in the negative perception of this affluent teen trend is its environmentally conscious aspect. One thing that a lot of VSCO girls accessorize with are metal straws, the purpose being to (in their vernacular) “save the turtles” by not using disposable plastic straws.  Being so close to the beach, some students and faculty support this initiative or even use metal straws.  

“I use metal straws and reusable cups to help the environment,” said Walsh. “It’s just the right thing to do, and the world is going to be dead eventually if we don’t do anything.”

“I think the trend is spreading the word about the overuse of plastic straws to everyone because when people see metal straws, they find them cool and different,” said seventh-grader Ella Bailey, who doesn’t identify herself as a VSCO girl but considers herself environmentally conscious. 

Photo courtesy of
Metal straws are used to “save the turles”.

Science Department Chair Mrs. Stephanie Oster, though unaware of the VSCO girl trend, said her family is conscious of the effects plastic has on the environment and tries to minimize their carbon footprint. 

“I know our kids, they’re away at college and they actually have a little packet that has a reusable knife, fork and spoon, and a metal straw. They’ve used the same utensils for the four years they’ve been at college.’’ 

As the trend to use these straws expands, Oster has been pleased with the outcome. “I see a big difference,” she said. “I see students actually thinking about making the right choice and wanting to make the right choice [to use reusable straws], which is nice to see.” 

Though most self-professed VSCO girls only use metal straws, some also want to take action and take care of the world around them. “[I would love to be able to] go to clean up the beach,” Walsh said.

Though some only use the straws to conform to the trend, maybe a trend where it’s “cool” to look after the environment and world around you will become the norm.

Because VSCO girls are influenced by the trends of a very environmentally conscious decade, this might have led to the current awareness to help the environment.

“[Metal straws] save the turtles from eating [plastic straws] and other sea creatures [from eating plastic],” said seventh-grader Ella Bailey.

The plastic problem has already been apparent to many “We already have a lot of people trying to help the environment and getting more trash and plastic out of the ocean so the turtles won’t be in danger.” said seventh-grader Scott Noble.