Why TikTok’s #ThatGirl Trend is Actually Harmful


The girls that get it, get it. The girls that don’t, don’t.

Iced coffee, avocado toasts, gratitude journals, matching workout sets, self-care routines, and inspirational quotes. I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard of it.


Important! you don‘t have to do this everyday! It‘s all about balance🤍 #thatgirl #morningroutine #fyp #selfcare #healthylifestyle

♬ this is what falling in love feels like – JVKE

Who is “that girl”?

The social media craze, as explained by Urban Dictionary is “a girl (or any gender) that gets up at 5 AM, meditates, drinks smoothies, has showers every day, journaling, eating only healthy food, goes to the gym every day and is successful in many ways.” 

But I hate to break it to you, she doesn’t exist.

It’s a mere aesthetic that feeds people the impression that we should be constantly striving to achieve a set of unrealistic ideals, and should be treating ourselves as projects that need to be worked on.

Why is she problematic?

The “that girl” trend was popularized on TikTok during the pandemic, when everyone was at home and the only thing we can control were what we eat, what we consume, and what we do. And these videos capitalize on this.

If you still don’t get it by now, the “that girl” aesthetic is the fitness/wellness/healthy lifestyle archetype that promotes rigorous 5 AM schedules, workout routines, clean eating, low calorie, aesthetically pleasing meals.

It’s easy to overlook the problem of the trend, especially when its intentions seemingly look pure.

Don’t get me wrong. Wanting to be the best version of yourself is one thing, but setting unrealistic standards is another.

It’s self-sabotage

The “that girl” trend is harmful because it romanticizes girls’ need to naturally have everything together, as if our lives are automatically “not put together” when we don’t make avocado toast or work out in matching sets.

These girls do productive shit and call it feminism. It perpetuates a narrow vision of wellness and deceives you into thinking that self-care can be condensed into an aesthetic.

The problem lies in the underlying message of these videos that promotes the idea that women are empowered only through visually appealing videos that hyper-fixate on self-improvement.

And as long as we foster this practice, the capitalistic mentality remains. Worse, our mental health suffers.

We’re not supposed to be walking Pinterest moodboards!

In my [that girl] era

There’s nothing wrong with wanting self-improvement. I admit these videos can spark motivation. But don’t be too obsessed! These videos are made-up content to become a parody of excellence and perfection, all to draw in an audience.

But it’s okay to never be that girl… and not have it all figured out.

After all, being that girl is more than just an aesthetic. It’s finding stability between the perception of social media and what works for your lifestyle, making readjustments to find your balance.

It’s the act of being gentle with yourself and not beating yourself up when you sleep in, or eat chips, or give in on another episode of your favorite TV show.

The most empowering thing a woman can do is to never conform to the patriarchal standards society boxes us in.


mcdonalds iced coffee do be hitting different tho 👀 #fyp #minivlog #dailyvlog #thatgirl

♬ original sound – xxtristanxo

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