VSCO girls and plastic straws

Alycia Wong, Staff editor

Scrunchies, over-sized t-shirts, and shell necklaces – 90’s girls have reincarnated and have rebranded themselves as VSCO girls. Only this time, they are single-handedly saving the environment.

The app VSCO was intended to be a stress-free platform, abstained from likes and followers, for people to share their photography. Recently, however, it has become a new social media outlet for young girls who use the app’s features to post and “republish” relatable content. Eventually, the same things were becoming idealized and certain personality traits and characteristics rose in popularity. VSCO girls are flawless with a dash of quirky; the “I’m perfect but I’m also not like other girls” persona. The road to becoming a VSCO girl consists of owning an absurd number of scrunchies as well as a Hydroflask, a specific brand of stainless steel, reusable water bottle. What has had tremendous influence, however, is the reusable straw trend.

A picture arose of a turtle whose nose had been impaled by a plastic straw. VSCO girls, being the selfless-heroes they are, took it upon themselves to include Preaching to “save the turtles,” these girls have impressively influenced brands such as Starbucks and Disney to ban the forsaken weapons completely. While good intentioned, banning plastic straws have done more harm than good.

. The idea is that if you put a metal straw in your plastic cup, you are making the world a better place and are freed from the guilt of being a climate change-contributor.  The fact is, that cup is still made of plastic. That car still runs on gasoline. Those papers could have been recycled instead of thrown away. However, all of that can be disregarded because using metal straws saves the turtles! What about the poachers, exploiters, and slaughterers you ask? I don’t know. What about them?

Plastic straws are only a tiny fraction of ocean pollution and an even tinier fraction of what is contributing to climate change. Let’s say the environment is on stage, and the main actors are transportation, industries, and electricity. Plastic straws are a single prop on that stage, yet it’s the only thing the audience is paying attention

While yes, small issues matter as well and any change is good change, but let us keep in mind that the new Starbucks cups omitting the straw opening have more plastic than the original model and is all a marketing strategy under the guise of environmental empathy. What matters is the kind of change that is being made and redirect the focus to bigger issues.

Although VSCO girls have made it seem like the turtles are the ones protected from danger, the only thing that has actually been saved are scrunchie companies from bankruptcy.