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Labeling people based on clothing choices is offensive

A person should be identified as more than just what they like to wear.
Illustration: Alex Stallsworth • The Sentry

Fashion does not equate personality

This past summer saw a certain trend circulating the internet: girls with hydroflasks, colorful scrunchies laid across their wrists, all while repeating the ever-so catchy phrase, “and I oop—.” Looking to today, variations of these videos and photos can be found all over social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter but they all point back to one thing: the VSCO Girl stereotype. 

The term VSCO Girl is defined as someone whose entire aesthetic and personality is influenced by the VSCO editing app. Stereotypes associated with this term include being preppy but laid back, beachy, trendy, and just overall basic. Before the term VSCO Girl was even coined, having hydroflasks and wearing scrunchies were solely stylistic; and the saying, “and I oop—” was simply just a popular internet meme. Now, owning or saying anything related to the sort is branded and mocked for being associated with a bland and fake personality.   

But on the other hand, those who adopt those mannerisms and buy those certain products simply because they want to are ridiculed for being a carbon copy of everyone else. If someone wants to sport hydroflasks and scrunchies let them be! If they think it’s cool and trendy that is their personal choice.   

What’s even more frustrating is that owning such items are directly linked to being a VSCO Girl. It is because of this unfair judgment that, apparently, people can’t own a hydroflask simply for its quality or wear scrunchies for their practicality.   

Sadly, this isn’t the only instance where what people choose to buy or wear—which just might happen to be trendy—makes them susceptible to false stereotypes. “Sad Bois” are often associated with wearing dangly cross earrings, being sleep deprived as a personality trait, having chain belts cinched around their waists, and wearing striped long sleeves under a band t-shirt. “Art Hoes” are notorious for owning Fjallraven Kanken backpacks, are obsessed with the color yellow, have some sort of artistic background in painting, drawing, or photography, and have an overall 80’s vibe with mom jeans and chunky sweaters to complete the look. “Vintage” (yes, that’s it) is all about the nostalgia of old movies, quintessential literature, wearing sweaters with trousers and Doc Martens, and “finding their soul” in libraries and old music. 

Mind the fact that these generic descriptions are problematic, what’s even worse is that these stereotypes are gendered and allude to someone being more feminine or masculine because of what they choose to wear or buy. Once again people: What individuals choose to wear or buy does not determine their personality. Why can’t people just like what they like, whatever brand they like, and not be designated or expected for that matter to act a certain way because of their personal choices?

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