Tough Stuff

Explaining the "that girl" trend, why it's toxic and how to grow in the way that's best for Y-O-U

If you've been scrolling through scoial media lately, you may have noticed one particular trend becoming more and more popular. In this trend, girls post pictures and videos with the caption "becoming that girl." Sound familiar? If so, you may be wondering, who even is that girl? And why is everyone trying to become her?

"That girl" is the so-called *perfect* girl. Think: the girl who wakes up at sunrise, journals, exercises daily and eats uber healthy meals. Sure, we can all admit to loving a good sunrise yoga sesh and a healthy meal, but many of these girls have taken the "that girl" trend to the extreme—and they are losing themselves in the proccess. Girls are falling into the rabbit hole of toxic thinking patterns, performative wellness rituals and feeling like they aren't good enough if they aren't going the "extra mile. " 

In today's society, we are hard-wired to believe that we could always be doing more to improve ourselves, regardless of whether or not we're already doing our best. The best version of yourself is reached by doing the things that make *you* feel good—not by trying to become a caricature of someone you, well, aren't. The "that girl" trend mainly features slim, wealthy and conventionally attractive girls, which enforces the idea that this type of person is the gold standard, rather than advocating for you to grow in the way that is best for Y-O-U.


Seerut K. Chawla, an integrative psychotherapist, discussed this phenomena in a widely-circulated Instagram post, writing "It's a funny dichotomy, because on one hand we have the encouragement of a very egocentric, self fixated/absorbed way of being-and on the other, treating oneself like a project that must constantly be improved in order to avoid what is actually going on internally."

To counter this potentially harmful trend, some influencers have been posting "relatable" morning routines, where they show that your morning routine to valid, regardless of how aesthetic it is. Wellness TikToker @thrivebypao posted this relatable TikTok in response to the "That Girl" trend, where she films herself sleeping in, watching TV and eating toast. While this routine may not be as IG-ready as some you see on social media, it checks all the boxes that this individual needed to feel "well" that day.


Which one were you today 1 or 2? 💜 #morningroutine #realisticmorningroutine #selfcareisforeveryone #selfcaretips #333

♬ ghost town voice memo (full version out now) - chloe george

Obviously, there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself or your habits, as long as you're doing it in a way that promotes real wellness over performative acts (especially when they're aimed toward pleasing others, ugh.) Whether you feel like fixing a healthy meal, taking a walk around the block or making time for meditation, make sure you are centering yourself in your wellness activities, because you don't need every aspect of your life to be validated by your TikTok followers. Remember: no fancy smoothie bowl recipe or intense workout routine is going to make you feel totally fulfilled on its own, so live your life on your own terms, girl.

What is your go-to self-care habit? Let us know by tagging us on social media @girlslifemag.

Images: Unsplash & Instagram | Gifs: Giphy


by Claire Hutto and Eva Mandelbaum | 8/19/2021