Everyone on TikTok Wants to Be "That Girl" — Who Is She?
The latest TikTok wellness trend has users so focused on becoming "that girl," but who is she? Why the trend could be harmful more than helpful.
It's no secret that TikTok trends tend to swing between very wholesome and extremely harmful, but some of them manage to be a little bit of both.
If you're someone who likes to scroll through Pinterest creating drool-worthy aesthetic boards, then you've probably seen videos on your For You page about becoming "that girl." These creators share their morning and evening routines, openly aspiring you to be her, but who is "that girl" really?
Who is "that girl"? The TikTok trend is the newest wellness craze.
The "that girl" videos on TikTok are complications of morning and wellness routines, featuring everything from Pinterest-esque gym outfits and planner spreads to the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables. "That girl" is the girl who has her life together — who we're often told we should aspire to be like. She is really just a rebranded image for the girl bosses that once dominated our timelines, making us feel bad for not being in control of every aspect of our lives.
While TikTok is still filled with carefully curated videos and images from certain creators, it's a platform that makes it exceptionally easier to find the content of other people like you — which is something that often makes it a more appealing platform for users.
There are now many accounts on TikTok where users share themselves taking the necessary steps to get their life together, and the "that girl" trend thrives with those who often watch similar videos.
Not everyone thinks the "that girl" trend is good though.
While some saw the trend as an opportunity to seize control of their lives, others have also noticed that it can be a slippery slope to less-than-positive messages for viewers. Some have even claimed the trend promotes disordered eating, playing into the negative wellness trends that thrive often online.
“Increasingly, we are taught or socialized into thinking about ourselves as our own corporations,” Carl Cederström, associate professor at Stockholm University, who co-author of The Wellness Syndrome, told i-D. “The erosion of the line of private and profession is something you see in these trends because it means the work never ends. The work is your life itself.”
Other wellness experts have pointed out that the obsession with the aesthetic of these videos and focus on "clean" living is similar to orthorexia, which is a focus on eating only "good" or "pure" foods to an unhealthy standard.
While some of the accounts out there focused on becoming "that girl" attempt to help viewers foster a healthy relationship with their lifestyle choices, others can sometimes have the opposite effect than the trend initially intended.
That doesn't mean the trend is entirely bad though; it's important while watching these videos to check in with yourself to ensure you're not co-opting bad habits to fit the desired aesthetic to become "that girl."
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.