Digital Culture

‘That Girl’: You Don’t Have to Be Her

Image Credit: Jovan Vasiljević Photography

By Eliza Gill

That girl. She wakes up at 6am. She makes her all-white bed then goes to the gym to maintain her perfect physique. She comes home and makes a green smoothie resembling liquidised grass. She journals. She meditates. She eats avocado on toast. She’s probably done all of this before you’ve had time to snooze your alarm for the fifth time.

‘That Girl’ tries to show us that the only way to be successful in life is to have a bullet-journal and a Ninja Blender. But it only counts if you document your entire, aesthetically pleasing day on Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok. ‘The Ultimate Guide to Being “THAT GIRL”’ and ‘Becoming THAT GIRL | The 5am morning routine’ are just two of the thousands of videos aimed at educating you on how to be her. 

But where has she come from? Only recently has she emerged on social media platforms such as Youtube, TikTok and Instagram. She follows behind the mass of content surrounding the Hot Girl Summer trend. Who is she, you ask? Nobody in particular. She is a new archetype in the wellness community, a figurehead. Amassing 2.5 billion hashtags on TikTok, ‘That Girl’ encourages viewers to attain a lifestyle that prioritises productivity and wellness.

While it is easy to view this trope as negative, it must be said that some find it motivational. It is known that simply making your bed in the morning starts your day in a positive way. By making your bed you are “setting an intention” for the rest of your day. If ‘That Girl’ encourages you to take a small step like that, she can’t be too bad.

However, it goes unnoticed that ‘those girls’ are all the same: all of them are white, all of them are lean, all of them seem privileged. We don’t all have the money for expensive skin serums and oat-milk lattes. She can be a harsh point of comparison. Our achievements, our lifestyles, and our looks can seem dire in comparison to her aesthetic beauty. 

The Tab jokes that it’s entrenched in us that a green juice and a yoga session are the key to being happy. This is the image that ‘That Girl’ portrays, but it is far from the truth. Most of the time, this lifestyle is unattainable. Personally, I am too busy being sprayed with food in pot-wash to grab myself a kale smoothie.

Achievement is not always glamorous. Sometimes, it’s small victories. It’s submitting your essay at 11pm with your hair in a messy bun, surrounded by empty packets after a long day of editing. It’s setting an alarm for earlier than normal because you want to get more work done. It’s getting some fresh air. It doesn’t need to be pretty, it just needs to be a step taken for yourself. So if being ‘That Girl’ for you is simply making your bed in the morning, that’s okay.

Categories: Digital Culture

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