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And that’s okay, because I can’t either.

That Girl is the model of what society wants every girl to be. That Girl is smart, pretty, and kind. That Girl wakes up early, makes a healthy breakfast, and works out every morning. That Girl is productive all the time. That Girl looks like your Pinterest home page. That Girl gets all of her schoolwork done on time, and she does it well. That Girl gets eight hours of sleep every night, but still manages to maintain a social life while also getting everything done that she needs to that day. That Girl is what other girls want to be, #ThatGirl has 1.1 billion views on TikTok.

That Girl is not real. She is the model person everyone sees on their For You pages, the daughter your parents want, the student your teachers dream of. She is perfect. And you can’t be her.

She is an aesthetic that we created, but cannot achieve ourselves. Social media is full of videos titled “Day 1 of Becoming That Girl”. No one seems to make it past day 5. She was born out of the toxicity of productivity, workout and diet culture. 

She is a phenomenon designed to set you up for failure. To have you beat yourself up for forgetting to make your bed in the morning or not feeling mentally able to finish an assignment. She has self-discipline that is near impossible to obtain. You can try your damn hardest to be That Girl, but it will end in feeling burnt out. Taking care of yourself is good. Making your bed, moving your body, and getting work done are all good things that we should do for ourselves. The problem is that That Girl takes it to the extreme. She makes you feel bad about breaking from a strict routine.

That Girl seems nice on the outside, but once you dig a little deeper and see what’s inside, you realize how much you dislike her lifestyle. And that’s okay. Being productive and self-disciplined all the time sounds good at first, but it’s okay to not want to be. To want to rest and take days off and take care of yourself in ways that aren’t working out every morning and waking up super early.

After a long time of trying to be That Girl, I realized that I didn’t want to be her. I want to sleep in late. I want to lay in my bed and watch Netflix and feel okay with the fact that I’m not being productive. I want to eat unhealthy food and wear sweatpants and be a real person. I want to stay out late with my friends without feeling like I’m doing something wrong. I will never be happy trying to be That Girl, and I’m okay with that.

Hi, I'm Sarah (she/her) and I'm a freshman at Wells!
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