Imagine walking in on this conversation:
“And then I dropped my Hydro Flask.”
“And I oop.”
For those of you who live under a rock or like me, your minds are so extraordinarily numb at this point in the school year that you’re barely coping and all-nighters are a norm (courtesy of all our SAT scores, sorry), here’s a quick introduction to the global phenomenon known as VSCO girls before we move on.
VSCO Girls, derived from the photo-editing app of their namesake, are often defined by wearing oversized t-shirts, carrying Hydroflask water bottles and metal straws, and bringing back the scrunchie trend. Oh, and they want to save the turtles. Don’t forget the turtles. Anyways “sksksksk” — a phrase that is mostly typed — has become the rallying cry of the VSCO girls across the land. It can stand in for laughter, or express awkwardness, or be the same as an “OMG.” It’s sort of like saying “I can’t even” if it were still 2013.
Verbally, you’re more likely to hear “sksksksksk” out loud (tip: start to say “sky,” but drop the “y,” and repeat) from someone mocking VSCO girls. Like most things teen girls like and do, VSCO girls are often mocked.
The underlying implication of the insult VSCO girl is that she is white, relatively rich, conformist, and obsessed with social media. Sure people have their doubts about the VSCO trend: many may call it pretentious, but these girls are doing more than just trend-setting. A recent NPR podcast cites them as being the first large group of their generation to bring environmental consciousness into the mainstream: by promoting reusable drinking products, an appreciation towards nature, and thrifting.
I think we are all guilty of using plastic straws (for example, when buying all those overpriced Milos from the canteen *ba dum tss*), and I for one didn’t know metal straws even existed until I saw a VSCO girl’s video on social media.
The thing about people is that they’re very quick to judge. Everyone was quick to sneer at the physical demeanor enclosed by the typical “VSCO” look, they took no time in poking and prodding at the way these girls spoke (fun fact: the terms “and i oop” and “sksksksk” originated from Twitter by African American and LGBTQ+ communities), and they were especially quick to turn the trend into a mere gibe, to be thrown at people ironically or turned into memes for entertainment.
I think everyone has the right to be opinionated, but the only problematic aspect here is that they’re shaming people for actually caring about the well-being of the environment.
Now, not everyone can be Greta Thunberg, and not everyone has the means to contribute immensely to climate action movements. Perhaps under these circumstances, doing something as seemingly insignificant as using a metal straw can sometimes mean all the difference in the world.