The Downside of Trying to be “That Girl”

Can a lifestyle become a trend? According to the new “that girl” ideal, everything you do in your day to day life can become trendy and aspirational. Becoming “that girl” on social media has become increasingly popular on a variety of social media platforms within the last few months, especially TikTok.

This new trend is the idea of becoming “your best self.” Common traits of “that girl” include getting up at 5 a.m., meditating, only eating and drinking healthy foods, writing daily affirmations, going to the gym every day, skipping alcohol and partying, and basically living a very aesthetic and seemingly “successful” life in many ways.

The way people post most about this ideal life is through their morning or night routines, their “day in my life” videos, or by sharing photos or videos that highlight the best parts of their life.

While this trend became very popular within the past year, as more people used it as a template or guide for how they should strive to live their life, the trend has recently gained a significant amount of criticism. People now find that this representation of life on social media showcases a false reality and is unrealistic when it comes to day-to-day living. It has become highly criticized as users who view this content have found themselves negatively comparing themselves to “that girl” posts.

Dana Terman, a business student, said, “Any time I go on TikTok it’s something about being ‘that girl’ and it’s so unrealistic. I always feel like I’m not doing enough in my life when I watch those types of videos because they’re so successful and work so hard on themselves but it’s way harder to do in real life.”

You’ll find that most of these posts are filmed purely with aesthetics in mind. A simple task such as reading a book turns into this beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, and significant task that is represented with precisely picked out music and purposeful angled camera shots to display how studious the creator is. Along with this, a trip to the gym includes a sponsored matching gym-set from a well-known athletic wear company, eating breakfast turns into a 20 minute set up of making sure that the food you’re eating has every nutrient that you need for your day, and making your bed turns into this beautiful exercise that allows you to start your day off with a great mindset.

In reality, these are very unrealistic visuals of how we live our life. People read books until they’re over it or tired, they wear baggy T-shirts and sweats to the gym, they eat breakfast of all kinds whether or not it has the nutrients they need, and they make the bed sometimes depending on how they feel and most of the time skip it. Users find that because of the unrealistic visuals that this trend showcases, it inaccurately represents how we should live our lives.

Over the ongoing development of the trend, it has also become very common for users to watch video guides on how to become “that girl.” When posting these videos, content creators commonly promote the going to the gym, journaling, healthy eating, and other activities that sound innocent at first but can potentially have negative effects on users who view these videos.

This lifestyle is not realistic for everyone. People have jobs, families, school, and many more responsibilities that factors into their day-to-day living. Along with this, people have a variety of incomes, disabilities, opportunities, and other factors that affect their daily life.

Users who dislike the “that girl” trend have explained that when you try to fit and transform yourself into this specific image while trying to achieve the other tasks you need done in life, it can be overwhelming and make you feel like you are not doing enough or will ever be successful. Kaitlyn Daly, a senior psychology student, said, “​​Social media has a big impact on people’s self-esteem, especially teenagers and young adults.

Trends that promote lifestyles that are unrealistic can be especially damaging to young girls.” While this trend was originally created to share a healthy and aesthetically pleasing lifestyle, the negative impact on viewers’ mental health due to the issue of comparison is an important topic that should be discussed. While these videos are still trending and users’ criticism increases, being “that girl” will continue to be a controversial topic.