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Is Becoming “That Girl” Really All That?

If you’re on TikTok, it’s pretty likely you’ve seen the “that girl” trend. If you haven’t, “That Girl” is the type of girl who appears to have her life together. She has this aesthetically pleasing and perfect lifestyle where she is always healthy and productive. Most people would think that this is the goal, to be able to thrive both mentally and physically. Although the “that girl” trend started as a positive inspiration to develop healthy habits, it quickly turned into another toxic, unattainable lifestyle that women feel compelled to follow in order to feel worth. 

I fully believe the “That Girl” trend did start as a way to encourage people to develop a healthy lifestyle, as it provides inspiration to those who want to change their life for the better. However, there’s a common theme in these videos. All the girls have the same “Five Minute Journal”, the same expensive skincare routine, and other expensive products that give off the idea that you need to buy all these things if you really want to become “That Girl”. In fact, I’ve seen so many videos advertising “here’s what you need to become that girl!” This creates the first barrier as not everyone has the financial ability to afford all these things. Does that mean they can’t develop healthy habits? Of course not. On top of this, 9/10 times, “that girl” is the typical, unattainable beauty standard. Tall, skinny, white, along with the typical body type of models.  Not only that, but there’s also the idea that you need to be living in a beautiful and aesthetically pleasing environment. From your bedding to your coffee cups, everything has to be just perfect. These are the biggest issues with becoming “that girl”. It creates barriers, and thus makes the goals more unattainable rather than accessible.

In addition, due to social media, the idea of productivity has changed and this has created a feeling of severe disappointment for many people. When I see people being productive every day, I personally feel like I need to do the same, and the idea of taking a rest day makes me feel like the absolute worst. 

My 2022 new year’s resolution was to become “that girl”. Starting January 1st, I wanted to wake up early, work out five times a week, meditate daily, the whole shebang; and I thought my whole life was going to change! This lasted a few days. When I wouldn’t work out one day because I was tired, I would feel like a failure. When I would wake up later than I hoped, I would feel like the entire day was a waste. Overall, I didn’t reap the positive benefits that I wanted to develop from becoming “that girl”. 

My attempt in becoming “that girl” crashed and burned rapidly. This is because not all of us are at the same place in our lives to reach for the goals of “that girl”. For example, someone who works out on average 4 times a week and someone who hasn’t worked out since high school gym class is not both going to set the goal to work out 5 times a week. This will be near impossible for the person who hasn’t worked out since high school because you need to build up to your goals.  

I watched this video by zoeunlimited on YouTube, and she gave three tips for self-improvement that are significantly more effective than the one-size idea of “that girl”.

  1. Aim for the better, not the best. This mindset sets the idea that there is always room for improvement because there is no “best” version of yourself. It allows you to focus on the journey, rather than the destination, which helps with motivation overall. 
  2. The Irony of Consistency, sometimes we won’t feel results for months on end but then one day, things can just change. It’s all about being patient throughout the journey as progress is not linear. 
  3. Know the “who” before the “what”. You can have hundreds of goals and sometimes these plans just fall through. Something that helps is aligning your identity to the goals. Similar to manifesting, envisioning yourself/ the person you want to become with these new habits. 

There is no mould for becoming “that girl”, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on skincare products to have clear skin, you don’t need to wear matching workout clothes to have a productive workout, you don’t need to wake up at 6 am to get work done. We all live our own separate lives and the goals we make for a better lifestyle are going to look different for everyone.  So if there’s one takeaway from this article let it be this, becoming “that girl” isn’t about how you appear, it’s about how you feel. You need to set small, personal goals in order to develop healthy habits. There isn’t just one version of productivity, so fix the “that girl” mindset and make the goals your own!

A first-year Bachelor of Arts student at Queen's University, pursuing a career in journalism, publishing, or anything within writing. Lover of all things related to music, 2000s tv dramas, and always open to book recs!
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