Everybody knows that girl. The girl who looks like she was plucked right off the page of an aesthetically pleasing Pinterest board. We love her, we envy her, we want to emulate her. But who really is she? In recent months, the “that girl” trend has erupted on social media sites left and right. “That girl” is composed, on-trend, smart, and creative, or at least that’s what social media makes you think.
In a time of mass-media consumption, it is easy to lose your grip on reality and find yourself falling down the rabbit hole (or more like the black hole) that social media can cause. A simple scroll down an influencer’s page can send you into a spiral, an identity crisis, a period of self-doubt, or worse, all the above. The “that girl” trend can be painfully damaging to our society. While creators enjoy creating aesthetically pleasing content as much as viewers love consuming it, we are often faced with unrealistic expectations of what our day to day lives should consist of, what we should wear, and what we should look like. Now, I’m no hypocrite. I have fallen victim to this trope more often than I would like to admit, both on the content creation side and the consumer side. Everyone likes to showcase the glamorous parts of their lives on social media, and the influencer façade has dominated platforms from Instagram, to TikTok, to Pinterest.
@kaylieestewart part 1 of becoming the best version of yourself in 2022 🤍🥬 #motivation #thatgirl #healthylifestyle #healthylifestylechange #fyp ♬ this is what falling in love feels like – JVKE
@amydubeau Happy Monday 🤍🌱 (inspo: @dailydri )✨ #selfdevelopment #thatgirl #morningroutine #motivation ♬ Originalton – Lennox & Jana ♡
Above are two examples of the “that girl” effect in action on TikTok. According to an article done by Yahoo’s In the Know, a segment dedicated to exploring topics relating to style and innovation, the “that girl” trope has not gone unnoticed. Yahoo writer Kelsey Weekman notices there’s a sense of jealousy built into the term “that girl.” We know we want to be her, we know we should be more like her, but we do not have the time or energy. The main emphasis put on the “that girl” lifestyle is wellness and productivity. Aesthetically pleasing TikTok accounts revel in romanticizing their day to day activities; but, as Weekman said, “green juice doesn’t have the power to generate self-love – only you can do that.”
In my opinion, 2022 should be the year of the “this girl” trend. And I think this is a trend we can all get behind.
Everybody knows this girl. She’s composed, although she doesn’t always seem like it. She’s on-trend, even if her style is a little out of the ordinary. She’s smart without trying, and creative beyond her awareness. We cherish her, we are proud of her, we are her. “This girl” loves dressing up for a night out just as much as she loves dressing down for a night in. She documents her life, but she doesn’t let the obsession to have an aesthetically pleasing life consume her. She’s not worried about a job rejection, and she’s not afraid to clap for a friend’s victories, because she knows there is a time and a place for everything. Some days she goes to the gym and checks everything off her to-do list, and some days she spends under a duvet. She grows at her own pace, and she treats herself with kindness.
2022 should be all about bringing out the “this girl” in everyone. This trend is about bringing back the self-confidence we all had when we weren’t too busy comparing ourselves to people we’ve never met. Social media is toxic enough as it is, so I am challenging you to take a breather when you start spiraling and remember that social media is just a highlight reel. You’ll soon realize that “that girl” is really just “this girl,” and we’re all just trying to get by.