Silicon Valley Sociological Review


Maria Gregg


Women have historically been socialized to interact with the environment as caretakers or consumers, which has contrasted with men's role as an environmental conqueror. These roles have had an enduring effect on how girls have interacted with their identities and the available avenues for environmental activism. This paper investigates how those roles have manifested in two case studies: the Girl Scouts and VSCO girls. The Girl Scouts have historically focused on environmental service projects and teaching girls outdoors skills, and it uses cookie sales to fund these endeavors. VSCO girls embody an outdoorsy and sustainabilityinspired aesthetic and purport to "save the turtles," and VSCO girls must purchase environmentally sustainable products to enact their aesthetic both stylistically and environmentally. As gender roles have evolved, this research investigates the ways in which girlhood informs, enables, and limits these activists' environmental impact. By looking at the similarities and differences between an organization such as the Girl Scouts, which has enabled girls' environmental activism for over a century, and a modem community such as the VSCO girls, whose activism is intrinsically tied to the technology and society of today, this case study comparison seeks to understand how social constructions of girlhood have shaped and continue to shape girls' means of environmental activism.