Opinion

Are You “That Girl”?

By Shaela Foster

shaela.foster@spartans.ut.edu

“That girl” wakes up at 6 a.m. every morning, makes her bed, works out, does her skin care routine, makes a healthy breakfast, and writes in her journals all before 8 a.m. “That girl” is a pro when it comes to romanticizing her life.

Becoming “that girl” has become a trend on TikTok since April 2021. There are about 1.3 billion videos associated with the hashtag #thatgirl. This trend has slowly made its way to YouTube where girls are making longer videos with tips on how to become “that girl.” The videos on TikTok are typically 30 seconds with an aesthetically pleasing song. With the recent release of Drake’s new album Certified Lover Boy, everyone has become obsessed with using his songs in their videos.

I can admit I am infatuated with the “that girl” trend. I am starting to get into self-care and making yourself feel better after a bad day. I also love watching a morning or night routine that doesn’t appear complicated. My favorite part is the music. It adds to the ambiance of the video. I typically use the videos for motivational purposes, but everyone does not have the same motive as me.

In an interview with Bustle, Hollie, an 18-year-old lifestyle YouTuber from the United Kingdom said she feels the trend is about “finding joy within the small moments, whilst also establishing daily habits and routines that allow you to be healthy mentally, physically, and spiritually.”

I agree with Hollie, but as I said before, everyone isn’t going to see the trend as motivation to become a better person. This trend brings up the notion of being the “perfect woman”. Realistically, it isn’t possible to be perfect or motivated every day. It takes discipline to complete tasks even if you aren’t in the mental state to do so. 

Trends like this trigger feelings of inadequacy, according to Dr. Jennifer Mills, a registered clinical psychologist in an interview with CBC. Some girls may not know where to draw the line on trends like the “that girl” one. These trends can make people feel like they aren’t doing enough because their life isn’t an aesthetic or doesn’t fit into one. 

Trends on social media shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself, but should inspire you to become better for yourself. When we see trends that follow the same program as “that girl” it adds a level of escapism to our lives. When we watch these videos, we are fantasizing about how amazing our life would be if we were healthy and in shape. These thoughts can lead us to feel bad for ourselves and wonder what we are doing wrong.  

Although the “that girl” trend is a motivational montage for some, it isn’t for everyone. The videos may fit into an aesthetic we’ve always dreamed of being a part of but watching too many of these videos can subconsciously hurt us. 

To escape the stress of school work, I watch “that girl” videos to fantasize about how my life would be if I wasn’t in college. Sometimes, it is a great escape from doing work all day, but other days it makes me feel like I’m not doing enough in my life. 

Now I have started to question when engaging in any TikTok trend, am I doing this for me, or for someone else? 

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