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“That girl.” She’s completely put together in every way. Every morning she wakes up at some ungodly hour (I don’t know what time, I’m still sleeping) in her perfectly decorated luxury apartment in the city and ensues with her perfectly curated morning routine. She’s fit, only eats foods with ingredients you can pronounce and somehow manages to have it all together without an ounce of visible stress.

I used to be disgustingly jealous of her. To me, she was everything I wanted to be and everything that I felt I could be if maybe I just tried a little harder. Her life is something I wanted for myself but also something that seemed so desperately out of reach. 

The trend on TikTok is supposed to motivate people, and for the most part, it does. People comment raving about how motivating it is to them to see “that girl” living her life in all of her glory. And don’t get me wrong, her life is so endearing that I can’t help but sit back and think what it would be like if I could do that and if I could be like her. But she doesn’t feel realistic or attainable, but in spite of this, I will become her or die trying. 

I’m willing to bet that my fascination with her isn’t a singular experience because videos like this get millions of views on Tiktok with comments like “I’m manifesting this for myself” and “you are the exact kind of person I’d trust to be my doctor.” People love her, and they want her life for themselves. 

The truth is, while she is a culmination of the best parts of the self-care movement, she’s also a symbol of the exclusionary society we live in. Most often, “that girl” is skinny, rich and white. Her privilege allows her to live a life of minimal stress. She can pay for her expensive fitness classes and luxury apartment. She can move through the world being the beauty standard. She can move through it without a second thought about her race.

For me, as a Black girl, I have had to remove all of those aspects from her to become my own version of her that is authentic to who I am and my identity. I strive to keep the best parts of her with me. The parts of unconditional self-love and putting yourself first while extending compassion to others as well. 

Part of the trend of me was accepting that I will never become her. I will never be exactly like “that girl.” And I don’t want to be. I am unwilling to sacrifice my identity for her. Now that I know this, the task at hand is marrying the best parts of me with the best parts of her. We both have a lot to learn from each other. 

Zahra is a sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University majoring in Journalism and Strategic Advertising with minors in French and Musical Theatre. She is a diehard Taylor Swift fan and likes to rewatch Legally Blonde every 3-5 business days. In her spare time, she likes to hang out with her two cats, Bonnie and Clyde, and spend an inordinate amount of time on Tiktok.
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