Image Credit: Pinterest by neva
By Emily Smith
If you’re a frequenter of TikTok then you’ll be familiar with the viral trend on becoming “That Girl”. She’s everywhere. But who is she? How do you become her? And why is the message behind her not the aspirational one she proposes it is
“That Girl” is an aesthetic – a beautiful portrait to admire and aspire towards. She’s a girl with her life together, a life that grins with success because: she wakes up before 6am, she does yoga, she meditates, she journals her daily goals, she’s an excessive reader, she drinks green smoothies, she eats balanced foods (mostly salads), she goes to the gym every day, she has a 30-step skincare routine – all whilst bossing it in her career. Now don’t get me wrong all these steps are perfectly fine – they’re beneficial for the body and the mind, they make you feel good, and they make you feel confident – they feature in my day-to-day life too.
But what this trend has done is take what were once simple, almost mindless steps in a woman’s everyday routine and made them a checklist for success. Just see WikiHow for instructions! Women who make their lives a step-by-step guide and stick to it as if it were gospel have become a stereotype. It’s no longer about empowering yourself through self-care – it’s all for the aesthetic. As Emma Luxe explores: “[That Girl’s] aesthetics are beautiful because she’s plucked from the pages of Pinterest” and that’s where the problem lies. Once again, women are pitted against each other. This trend masquerades itself as a methodology for women to be the best versions of themselves when in actuality, it’s stoking a rivalry between them. Moreover, this notion of how to become “That Girl” shackles women to rigorous routines – it pressurises the women who don’t do it, and undermines women who don’t do it enough, all the while reinforcing this idea that without this step-by-step guide to life, they can’t be successful.
What is at risk with this trend is the risk with anything considered vogue – individuality, self-expression, and self-confidence. This is not about people who are into these routines, they are for the most part invigorating and productive, but what about the women who these trends don’t work for? For the women who do things differently? What happened to being “just a girl” – a girl who knows her worth?
Emma Luxe states in her final thoughts: “You don’t have to be perfect every single day to become “that girl”…If the new routine you come up with isn’t working for you, change it until it is”. Stop enforcing routines, the dos and donts to be a certain woman. Just be you.
Categories: Digital Culture