When you envision a determined, goal-oriented woman, what do you see?
A CEO in a fashionable two-piece suit? Maybe someone who religiously drinks green juices and never skips leg day?
The archetype of a woman who is as close to perfect as humanly possible is something we have seen promoted relentlessly, time and time again.
The increasingly pervasive, “That Girl”, is no different.
wHAT IS THE “That Girl” Trend?
The “That Girl” phenomenon was made popular by TikTok videos in which certain activities such as working out, waking up early, journaling, GuaSha-ing, and drinking lemon water, are recorded to promote the perfect lifestyle. (click HERE for some examples)
These videos have taken on different forms: “That Girl” morning routines, advice on how to be “That Girl”, and signs you should become “That Girl”, to name a few. However, the character being referenced in all of these videos is the same.
So even if you haven’t seen “That Girl” in your internet scrolling endeavors, you have undeniably come across this archetype before. If it sounds a little too familiar, it’s because it is.
It’s seen through the rapidly growing self-care industry, diet culture, hustle culture, unrealistic ‘day in my life’ YouTube videos, the “girl boss” and “boss babe” monikers.
Constant in these examples is the all-or-nothing mentality of perfection that society tends to project onto women, especially when grouping them in behaviors that meet the current social or beauty standard.
SO… IS there a problem?
Well, kind of. It’s a matter of balance.
There’s no problem with the values of self-care and healthy lifestyle choices in their own respect (I’m a lemon water lover myself). It’s beneficial for anyone, regardless of gender, to strive for their own betterment, and I think encouraging that is really important.
That being said, I think the problem lies in the continuously projected unrealistic image of a woman as perfect in all aspects of her personal and professional life. This narrative sets an impossible standard that, ironically enough, makes it less motivating to make those lifestyle choices that are being promoted in the first place, if you don’t adhere to them 100% of the time.
P.s. You ALREADY ARE “THAT gIRL”
This trend insinuates you have to transform yourself into the perfect person to eventually have the perfect life, both of which you’ll quickly learn aren’t attainable. It doesn’t consider the imperfections we all will inevitably face, no matter how early we wake up, or how much lemon water we consume.
So next time you come across ‘That Girl’, in any of its repackaged forms, be mindful of the standard you’re setting for yourself. As women, we should feel encouraged to strive for self-improvement without attaining a level of perfection that, quite frankly, doesn’t exist.