Arts and Culture

Being “That Girl” Sustainably

Photo Credit: Marina Zlochin. Adobe Stock.

By Amelia Erswell

Since lockdown began, there’s been emphasis upon improving oneself … to become a “better you”. But, what does this actually mean? 

I hate to say it, but lockdown provided essential time to pause. Reflect. Reset. Whether it allowed us to grow out over-processed hair (leaving behind our “blonde phase”, in favour of a natural look), or it meant we picked up that half-finished Penguin Classic (an impulse buy, recommended by our favourite blogger). Covid had some benefits! 

People are recognising the importance of mental wellbeing, the mindfulness industry has surged in popularity. Although, there is debate surrounding whether being “that girl ” creates a stigma, promoting unhealthy lifestyles and beauty standards. I have watched endless TikToks advocating for us to make matcha ice-cubes from scratch, meditating daily, using jade gua-shas, all affirming one’s goals and journaling extensively. However, is doing all these things really sustainable? 

This question of time and space (both markers of economic capital) brings to mind Episode 110 of The Diary of A CEO, a podcast hosted by Steven Barlett. Barlett interviewed Molly-Mae Hague, famously a contestant on Love Island but also a business woman in her own right, who proclaimed that ‘we all have the same 24 hours in the day.’ Hague has since received extensive criticism. Many have suggested that her personal circumstance and celebrity status allows her to exercise a form of privilege. In theory, Molly-Mae is not factually incorrect: we do all have ‘24 hours’ in a day. However, our days are not all ‘the same’. Herein lies the issue with attempting to be “that girl”. 

To facilitate and emulate the lifestyle of “that girl” requires extensive time and money. So, how can we do this sustainably? The answer is: mindset. 

  1. Being “that girl” should advocate being the best version of yourself. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to others, this fuels resentment and negative mindsets. We need to recognise our own beauty. We are all beautiful and deserve to feel this way!
  2. It should be empowering. “that girl” ought to be a mindset, not a specific stereotype. Be resourceful, work with what you have. What makes you special? It sounds immensely cringy, but jot this down. You will be amazed how many little things contribute to who you are, as a person. 
  3. Think before you post. Is posting this “new phase” beneficial to others? More importantly, is it conducive to you? Be on this journey, first and foremost, for yourself. Don’t let social media distract you! And, it goes without saying, be sensitive to others. 
  4. Be at one with your body: are you tired, hungry, uptight? Work with your body, not against it. It is okay to pause. Stop. Rest. Reassess.   
  5. What makes you happy? Today, observe three successful things … even if they are small. Being “that girl” is taking responsibility, be present! 
  6. Change your habits and mindset, work proactively towards a goal. Unfortunately, there is no magic “reset” button. It is about hard work and dedication, being sustainable and realistic.