What the Heck is a VSCO Girl Anyway?


I hear it . . . the grumblings of the parents. These kids think they have somehow fooled us all. VSCO girls and E Girls and the factions in-between. I mean really??? They are too young for Clueless and too old for High School Musical (the original), so they had to make up their own name. So here I am, a mom of a soon to be twelve-year-old girl sharing all that I have learned over these first weeks of middle school.

VSCO – pronounced “visko” (short i) – is actually a photography app that a lot of (mainly) young ladies used to take fashion pictures of themselves, which were then seen by tween girls around the world. Almost immediately, these girls cultivated a new genre called VSCO. I described it to my husband as “A basic, environmentally conscious Valley Girl that’s going to the beach in her daddy’s Jeep while wearing scrunchies on her arm.”

Really y’all, my economics teacher told me that girls between the ages of seven to 19 control most of the disposable income in America, and I now believe him. This is what these girls need to be in full “VSCO glory” (I type with an eye roll). Let’s start with from the top:

What the Heck is a VSCO Girl Anyway? Charleston Moms
On her vanity, as she left it. Not staged at all.


  • Circa 1995 scrunchies in the hair – or giant bow
  • Lots of extra blush
  • Rosewater facial spray – preferably Mario Badescu: found at Nordstrom $7-$12
  • Pooka Shell Necklaces
  • Big T-shirts: think Simply Southern – Good Southerner – Live Oak Brands
  • Shorts – not too short but short enough to be hidden under that big tee
  • Tube tops and High Waisted bottoms (NOT MY DAUGHTER)
  • Birkenstocks, Vans or Crocs – the style doesn’t really matter as much as the brand


  • Circa 1995 scrunchies on one wrist organized in an ombre effect from lightest at the wrist to darkest toward the elbow – 3 to 4 preferably. No, I’m not lying.
  • One darling HydroFlask that has lived a loved life. You can tell because every ding is covered by a cutie sticker that probably says “Save the Turtles”
  • Metal straws to accompany the Hydro Flask
  • Friendship Bracelets
  • Mini backpacks used as purses
  • The Original Carmex… I know more eye rolls
  • Bumper stickers or decals in cute pastel colors, everything from logos to animals to popular sayings

    Favorite Sayings

  • Is that a plastic straw?
  • Save the Turtles
  • You like my new scent? It’s ___ by _____. Example: “Its Bombshell by Victoria Secret.”
  • sksksk and I oop and I oop (yes it’s real) Example: I dropped my HydroFlask sksksks and I oop and I oop.

Lily, my daughter, has always had her own sense of style which has moved towards this direction for years. Honestly, what kid doesn’t have big shirts, shorts, and sandals? This basically just gives a name to a style that has been around forever but by adding a few expensive accessories. It takes what was fairly normal and gives it a fashionable name if you think VSCO sounds fashionable. I honestly haven’t heard anything derogatory about the actions of VSCO girls, so I’m happy to quietly let Lily thrive in belonging to a community with a name and an environmentally conscious purpose.

The other day, I noticed that the cup that I bought from the Charleston Aquarium was damaged. I sighed and said something about my “Save the Turtles” cup. Lily immediately got defensive about VSCO, what they stand for and how my cup wasn’t a HydroFlask so it wasn’t a “Save the Turtles” cup. To which, I explained that the proceeds from my cup actually did go to save the turtles.

Here is where I found it!

I found the answer to how can we use this and work together to make the world better! Let them think about saving the turtles, and then let’s help them do it! Last year we ran/walked the Turtle Trek 5k (to actually save turtles) put on by the Charleston Aquarium, and we had a blast together. This year we ran/walked the Isle of Palms Beach Run to keep the beach clean. There are multiple ways to volunteer to help the community and raise awareness for turtles, sloths, giant pandas, and any other animal that is fashionable to want to save. Heck, I want to save them all. But most of all it gives us the opportunity to share a common goal and lots of time together. She doesn’t need to see all of my eye rolls and smirks as she walks in the room looking like a ’90s valley girl on a beach getaway. She needs to know that I support and love her no matter what.

What the Heck is a VSCO Girl Anyway? Charleston Moms

What I’ve learned about my VSCO girl is that she is kind, courageous, and loving no matter what she wears on the outside. My goal is to share her concern for the turtles and help her find ways to actually help save them, instead of just using it as a snazzy catchphrase.

She will change the world . . . and she will start by saving the turtles.

and i oop and i oop.

And she NEEDS a HydroFlask.
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Amber is a native Texan who moved to Summerville with her family in June 2015. The transition from career banker of fifteen years to a stay at home mom and moving halfway across the country where they knew no one was a challenge, but totally worth it. Now settled, Amber has become a paint brush wielding interior decorator who loves to build new things through her business, Chandler by Design, www.chandlerbydesign.com. But her most important job is to be an example to her kiddos, Lily (8) and Luke (5). Amber’s newest hobby is running and now that she has completed her first individual 5k she is headed towards a half marathon.