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Mental Health

Why You Don’t Need To Be “That Girl”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

(or Anyone But Yourself)

We’ve all seen the TikToks of the girls with their full Lululemon outfits, dainty gold jewelry, perfect iced coffees or smoothie bowls, pastel planners and workout routines completed by 6 a.m. Her life feels so perfect on the screen. I wonder how someone like her could ever have any problems. Her homework is probably done for the entire semester! I think about that girl, and I think about how I’m not her. 

Then I think about middle school. Oh yeah…I am going to bring up middle school (sorry!). I bring it up not because I want to relive my cringiest moments, but because how my mindset back then parallels the mindset of trying to be someone else I still feel today. I wanted to fit in so badly and tried so hard to be a version of myself I thought other people wanted to see but strayed so far from who I really was as a result. I’ve always struggled with wanting to be anyone but who I was, and the longer I watched and read about being that girl, the more I felt myself sliding back into fixating on all the ways I am falling short of being her.

I encourage you to challenge this mindset if you find yourself spiraling into a fixation like me.
Breaking news: You don’t need to be that girl. Here’s why: 

  1. Social media is nothing like real life

People can paint themselves to be anything they want to be on social media. “Behind the scenes,” however, there may be anxiety, late homework, a messy room, or poor relationships with food and financial struggles. It’s so easy to get caught up in being ‘perfect’ like those you see on social media, but that truth will never be a representation of their reality—or yours. 

  1. You don’t need an aesthetic

We’re all humans. You aren’t a product and therefore you don’t need an aesthetic! It’s so beautiful to be multifaceted, so why limit yourself to some idea of who you should be based on the people you see online? It’s so important to express yourself how you see fit, and that can be through all different means. 

  1. You are better as yourself

Although it may be tempting to reinvent yourself to what people are doing on social media, you will be so much happier just being yourself, and loving yourself for who you are. I have found that the more you embrace you who truly are, quirks and all, you will attract the right type of friends and relationships, and grow bonds over the interests personal to you.

  1. Wellness is personal

To me, that girl has good intentions like focusing on wellness and mindfulness – but that may look much different from you compared to even your closest friends. You should find activities that make you feel good inside and out, not that feel like a chore or a mask you need to keep holding up. I personally love journaling, writing poetry, working out (light weights, of course) and messing around on photoshop. Perhaps those things aren’t glamorous or laid out carefully with neutral colors, but they make me feel good! And that is what counts.

As you scroll past videos or images persuading you that *THIS IS YOUR SIGN TO BE THAT GIRL* remember that this is an even BIGGER sign that says you are doing just wonderfully being yourself. 

Cheers to self-care and self-love :)

Emma Julian

Illinois State '25

Hi! My name is Emma and I am a freshman at Illinois State! I am majoring in Marketing, but have a huge love for writing and sharing experiences with others. I enjoy writing about mental health, fashion, lifestyle, and wellness. I love writing for Her Campus since, to me, life is all about learning and sharing. Feel free to follow my Instagram: emmarosee13 :)
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