In May 2021, a trend called “That Girl” gained popularity, before quickly becoming a curse for many young women.
The origin of this unhealthy trend
This movement encourages women to constantly strive for perfection. This becomes unrealistic and unsustainable in the long run. A feeling of guilt, shame and disappointment accompanies any task not completed. Burn-out soon sets in, due to mental and physical overload.
The formation of this phenomenon dates back to May 2021. The coronavirus forces many people to stay at home. The increased use of social networks, such as TikTok, is giving rise to a very specific type of influencer that many young women want to be like.
This “perfect girl” model is called “That Girl”. She wakes up at the crack of dawn every morning to get her gym session done and start her day off right. She showers, meditates, journals, drinks an iced matcha latte and finds time to make avocado toast every day – all before you wake up.
The “that girl” trend romanticizes women whose lives are meticulous about every detail. But most of us can’t achieve these unrealistic goals. These tasks take time but also a lot of money. It’s not recommended to have a low socio-economic status. Usually ‘that girl’ is a white woman, which immediately excludes women of color. A narrow and rigid view of well-being is promoted. The tendency dictates that to feel healthy and beautiful, you have to be thin and productive.
The term ‘toxic productivity’ has gained ground because of social networks. More and more influencers and video makers are promoting a busy and aesthetic lifestyle. This “healthy” lifestyle to all appearances, encourages an all-or-nothing approach to life. Either you follow a rigid routine without flexibility, or you are lazy and slacker.
On TikTok alone, the #ThatGirl videos have over 12 billion hashtags. So the idea behind it is to encourage women to become the most optimized version of themselves. It is a dream that many pursue, but few are able to achieve.
This lifestyle over-promotes wellness as an aesthetic. However, wellness consists of six different dimensions: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental. It is a continuum. This seemingly harmless fad can lead to repercussions. Hence, the importance of focusing on activities that will lead you to a state of holistic health.
In conclusion, “that girl” phenomenon sells us an ideal that is supposed to make us happy. However, its many drifts lead to major self-esteem problems. General burnout due to the “perfect girl” is dangerous, because it’s starting earlier and earlier. “That girl” then becomes the outset to eating disorders.